Friday, May 20, 2011

Marketing Ploy

I have noticed a growing trend in television advertising with regard to children's toys. Ads for everything from trading cards, to collectible action figures, to water guns seem to have latched onto this new marketing approach. Frankly, the whole thing kind of creeps me out. Toys that are made for and played with by boys 5 to 10 years old, all seem to be using grown men in their commencials. One of the worst offenders is the toy brand Nerf. Picture a man with a 5 o'clock shadow looking menacingly into the camera and snarling, "It's Nerf, or nothing!". Either these men have not matured past adolescence and need some significant psychological counseling, or the toy manufacturers are up to something else.

You may ask, "What could they possibly be up to?", to which I would say, "I'm glad you were astute enough and good-looking enough to ask." Well, I don't know for sure and can only wildly speculate. Actually, at this point, I feel compelled to wildly speculate. It's my calling, it's my gift. My initial guess was that the toy marketing gurus were hoping that the lonely housewives who watch daytime television would be put under a testosterone spell and sprint to their local Toys R Us and purchase all of this junk. However, it is much more likely that there is an important marketing demographic of Navy Seals and Army Rangers out there who are just an inane commercial away from spending their full military retirement on cheap plastic crap because they sense a kindred spirit with the tough guys they see on the tube. You might have other theories, but I can assure you that you could not be more wrong. Even though I am creeped out by these commercials, I am learning to live with them, after all, I feel it is important to support our troops.