an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Zhu Zhu Pets

Posted by Rosepixie on December 8, 2009

I had heard that one of the biggest toys of the season was Zhu Zhu Pets, but I didn’t know what they were, so I looked it up and found this ad.

One of the biggest things that I noticed about this ad is that while the voice-over sounds like it’s talking to kids who might want this toy, the most concrete selling point that is brought up is pretty much only of interest to parents.  How many kids consider whether or not a toy is mess-free as an important feature when choosing it?  In fact, many toys are sold to kids almost entirely on the fact that they are messy (remember all the toys that came with slime in the ’80s and ’90s?).

The other big thing that I noticed about this ad is that most of the shots where we actually see the kids don’t show them actually playing with the toy.  We see them watching it, dancing behind it, and smiling at it, but we only really see their hands sometimes rearranging the set-up like you would do for a toy car track, except that then you usually get to control the cars somehow while it seems like you just start the hamsters and watch them go, and petting the hamsters at the end while they “sleep”.  This doesn’t do a whole lot to show that the toy is that much fun to play with – although it’s apparently fun to watch.

The jingle is fast paced and cute, but somehow this just didn’t convince me that the toy is fun for kids.  It seemed more like an ad for parents.  Maybe especially parents looking for an excuse not to buy their child a pet, since the “doesn’t make a mess” selling point seems like it’s specifically setting these against real hamsters (who would also probably require an ad with more interactive kids).

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