Is Technology Interfering With the Simplicity of Childrens’ Lifes?

  As a kid, I remember my excitement in the morning was never about what kind of cereal I was going to eat, instead it was more important that I was the first to get the prize at the bottom of the box!  Some of the fun prizes included PEZ dispensers, tattoos (washable ones of course), or a mail in offer for an even bigger prize.

What if those prizes stop being hidden beneath all that cereal and are replaced by a simple QR code on the outside of the box…will there still be the same excitement when eating breakfast?  Mark Addicks, the chief marketing officer for General Mills, is willing to give it a try!

In the article General Mills Spoons Up Digital Fun on Cereal Boxes, Jefferson Graham of USA Today  interviewed Mark Addicks of General Mills and discussed how the company will incorporate the always changing technology into their market.

“Because of the digital technology that resides in people’s hands … we can now deliver content that engages and enhances the experience. Before, we had to rely on a 30-second TV ad,” explained Addick.

Kids will simply have to scan the boxes’ QR codes with a smartphone to digitally see their “prize.”  The surprise will either direct them to entertainment or videos on the smartphone screen.

With this generation of kids knowing nothing but technology nowadays, everything is digital and any task can usually be completed from a smartphone or a tablet.  This characteristic of Generation Z is what popular toy companies like Hasbro and Mattel are going to use to advance its industry and captialize on the digital app trend.

Some of the new games that are coming out for children to play don’t even involve a board or fake money, but instead will require a smartphone or tablet. In her article, The Game of Life,With Apps, Ann Zimmerman explains some of the new games such as:

  • A new Hasbro version of Monopoly priced at $25, twice the price of the normal game, uses an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch to debit or credit virtual accounts with a bank card. Players challenge each other to virtual mini games when they get one of the board game’s Chance or Community Chest cards.
  • Another new toy in the Mattel Apptivity line, which ranges in price from $10 to $20, allows children to use Hot Wheels cars to control a racetrack game on the iPad.

Do you believe these steps are necessary for General Mills and the toy companies to take in order to keep up with the continuous advances in technology?

Or do you agree with  the mother that blogged, “I take issue with throwing technology at kids. iPads aren’t toys.”


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About promotionalguru

A marketing communications professional helping other marketing professionals, business leaders and marketing students gain a better understanding of trends in advertising and public relations as well as tips for being a successful marketer.

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