Archive | Marketing Madness and Gadgets

Fun = learning. No fun = a lot less learning.

Boring Educational Toys

Here’s a note from a reader who used to design educational toys. But first, let me say that when I went to the Toy Fair here in NYC a few years ago, I was amazed at the way EVERY SINGLE TOY had come up with a way to describe itself as educational. If it was […]

Continue Reading
Of course we recognize you! And so does the system.

Welcome to School! No Entry Without Your Fingerprint

. Old school school security irked me because it was so pointless: Write your name on a sheet, show ID, get a sticker. Plain busywork. But school security has ballooned since Sandy Hook and now in addition to being pro-forma, it is also wildly expensive, diverting funds from anything remotely educational. So kudos to Sasha […]

Continue Reading
Curious George and the healthy treat. Kids are gonna love this one!

Happy Birthday, Formerly Curious George

. When Curious George was born 75 years ago this month, his German Jewish parents, H.A. and Margaret Rey, were fleeing the Nazis. They took George with them, in the form of a manuscript. As Alison Lobron notes in The Boston Globe: Three generations children have grown up with Curious George, who celebrates his 75th birthday […]

Continue Reading
Get out of my kid's room, you unlicensed character!

Capture Your Child’s Most Magical Moment Forever, for just $34.99

. “Soon to be a  much-loved lifetime companion.” That’s the pitch I just got for a new “spunky, lovable” doll that is being marketed to parents of kids with wiggly teeth.  It reminds me of that great blog post by Bunmi Laditan, “I’m Done with Making My Kid’s Childhood Magical.” One of the burdens we […]

Continue Reading
Just think! We wouldn't even HAVE our daughter if my parents had done this with me.

Stop Your Kid From Making Out — Remotely

. This Buick ad is airing on the Olympics. It’s about a tracker for kids old enough to drive (the Buick). It shows a mom and dad realizing that their at-least-16-year-old daughter has parked on Lover’s Lane. Yikes! As the Taliban would say: Let us stop this whoring spawn of Satan! But, being Americans, they […]

Continue Reading
Now imagine if you'd had to wear one of these when YOU were a kid.

“It Is My Duty to Spy on My Kids”

. This comment came in response to the post by Mean Girls’ author Rosalind Wiseman about whether or not to spy on a child’s online activity: There are so many monitoring apps out there, and the aim of using them is to keep loved ones safe. I don’t think it is too controlling of me […]

Continue Reading
Forgot one, George: Safety is danger.


. The paragraph below is from a press release about a GPS’ing service parents can subscribe to. When would you need this service? How about when your kids are — Walking to school solo.  Sure, you only live a few blocks from school, but letting your kids make the journey alone seems terrifying.  Freedom is […]

Continue Reading
Why does the fakeness of this ad rankle me so?

This “Sweet” Hershey’s Commercial is Making My Skin Crawl

. Please watch this 2-minute reverie on parenting, tweens and how many Hershey’s products two people can consume in one sitting, and then give me your reaction (because mine was visceral): . The spot shows a girl preternaturally sad because even though her (pathetic, doofus) dad is at home with her, he is tied up […]

Continue Reading