Kid Think holds seminar

It takes an expert to think like an eight-year-old.That was the message of a recent seminar, called 'Connecting with Kids to Build Your Business,' by the Kid Think division of Toronto ad agency Griffin Bacal Volny.The one-day event, which drew 20...

It takes an expert to think like an eight-year-old.

That was the message of a recent seminar, called ‘Connecting with Kids to Build Your Business,’ by the Kid Think division of Toronto ad agency Griffin Bacal Volny.

The one-day event, which drew 20 clients and potential clients, was held at The Prince Hotel in Toronto.

Paul Kurnit, president of Griffin Bacal Volny, told participants marketers interested in the youth market should show ‘an understanding of who [youngsters] are, their look, language and music.’

However, he says that because children’s trends change so quickly, advertising for them is tricky, often characterized by a need for frequent new creative and the danger the advertising will be outdated before it is released.

Consequently, Kurnit says many companies stay away from the children’s marketplace.

For example, he says many confectionery companies choose instead to advertise chocolate bars, long a staple of many children’s diet, to adults as between-meal snacks.

But Kurnit cautions ‘there are real media efficiencies in reaching kids, as opposed to adults.

‘It’s a more targetted group,’ he says. ‘Media on a cost per thousand basis is more efficient, so the trade-off in having to produce more commercials comes in the media plans you run.’

And Natalie Robinson, account superviser with Griffin Bacal Volny in Toronto, told participants children are experienced shoppers, by age 10 visiting and buying in an average of 5.2 stores per week, or more than 270 times a year.

Robinson said, according to figures compiled in 1993, Canadian children and teens, aged five to 17, accounted for as much as $864 million in disposable income from allowances and chores.

Griffin Bacal Volny is working for E.D. Smith of Winona, Ont. and other Canadian companies to develop children’s products and brand extensions that will hit the market later this year on both sides of the border.