Marketing to the Child in You

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on July 09, 2013

I am not the wonder of your thinking, I am real, I exist in each of you, I never diminish, I just hide with age, my thoughts fly as far as they can, I am ignorant yet I push you for more, I am not confined by the walls of mere human thoughts, I am much more and beyond the complexity of human species and its intelligence, much more than the worth of every technology and wisdom put together, I am a child in you and I am here to stay with you forever.

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Child state and marketing- The concept

Marketing is about understanding what humans want and providing it to them. Sometimes the humans are not aware that they will require the product or service until and unless when they actually need them. Antivirus is one such example where need was recognized when the computers started failing due to viruses.  Similarly sometimes humans are not aware of the inner state they act while buying a product. When the company understands that the need of the hour can be tapped and the people can be provided with what they require then your business is here to stay. Amongst many such objectives of identifying the nature of market conditions and demand, there is one such parameter which cannot be neglected while introducing your product. ‘The child state of an adult’ which is one of the parameter out of the three ego states and are evident in adults. The article doesn’t focus on targeting children segment which may be a common topic, but to understand child state of adult can prove to be a blessing in disguise for the future products and services. The colored froot loops is liked by adults as well.

The Ego states and marketing

The three ego states in any human being exist together but the dominance of one leads to the nature of adult in dealing with situation. The three ego states are namely Parent, adult and child.

Parent state and marketing- this is the state at which an adult looks at a product by means of care for their loved ones. This is the same nature of reaction as people see in their parents doing. They don’t question it but accept and pass on to the next generation. The examples of providing nutritious food, come from parenting much before the doctor’s advice. The generations may follow the tradition of ordering amul milk only just because their parents bought it and they understand that it is the safest option for milk.

Adult state and marketing- The state of reason or logic- This is common in adults and assumed to be dominant in them. The idea of reasoning out something comes directly from the fact that human mind is well developed by this time to understand the consequences of their act. Hence a person buys a product by reasoning out in general the need of the future. This may or may not be a calculation based reasoning to buy a product. The idea of buying insurance to secure your future may not be a parenting based approach or a child state approach but clearly calculation based risk assessment purchase behavior. Companies try to give clear figure of how much a person will benefit if they invest now.

Child State and marketing- it is the most common yet not so explored state of an adult. This is the state where people base their decision on same pattern they showed in childhood. This is free of reason or logic and care. This is where the emotions take a upper hand in buying the product. The case where a grown up adult buys a chocolate, enjoys the water park, plays video games is all part of childhood days. Logically a grownup is supposed to work logically by taking into consideration the effects and consequences of decision made based on given conditions. But when a child dominates the emotional needs are fulfilled first. It is this emotional need of child state that needs to be tapped and understood in order to increase your sales and develop similar products in future.

The greed is good

A child’s greed is of importance because he knows one thing that he wants the thing which he is wishing to get. It’s important because this greed of wanting everything is pushing the human life to achieve greater heights. When a company launches a product for children its first thought is to explore the side of a child which will push its want of things to want their product. The child understands things in their own way. Similarly the adults have their own world as well. When an adult makes a purchase the greed is evident in purchasing behavior. The greed of getting the product in the hand is a child state attraction to the product. when the company launches a product which is limited in addition it leads to child state of owning it. There is no reasoning required other than having the pleasure to own it.

The child in me

True we are children, from the child born to the oldest man alive on this earth has a child within us which compels everyone to live, It is its desire to live few more of each moments that keeps us happy that we are alive. The adult sometimes makes a purchase which makes them feel happy. A grown up buying a videogame to refresh his childhood memories is common today. This has been evident in the case of launch of XBOX 360. The target segment has not only been children or middle age people but grownups and elders as well. The type of games varies and is suited for each generation in a family. The market has bought back the childhood days to relive each and every moment as a child does, tension free.

The concept of agelessness

The concept of don’t grow is fast catching up in today’s world. The best example is none other than ‘raho umarless’ tagline of Gems by Cadbury. The advertisement clearly reflects that the’ gems’ is not only for children but also for elders. The free toys make it extra special to relive your childhood and remember the days when you played with your toys. It is none other than bringing back the happy days when you were lost in the world of your toys ranging from action hero figures to trump cards. The concept has really made the generation ageless. The advertisement clearly targets consumers in order to increase the consumer base.

The concept of ‘thoda extra mile toh acha lagta hai’ has also tapped the child side of adults. The emotion is again that of greed. The consumer will surely shift to take the extra benefit and the advertisement has been a hit.

The song of ‘haan haan mai crazy hoon’ has cleared the boundaries that existed between generations.

Products and the child state of adults

Many of the products launched today target wide base of consumers. The example of MC Donald is best example for this. All age segments are welcome to the shop because the idea of revitalizing your taste buds is not restricted to youth. Logically the adults should not eat junk foods, but when the inner child comes out there is no stopping and the cravings grow with time. The advertisement also targets the same child like side of the adult and encourages them to buy the product.

Child state combined with adult state

The child state can be combined with adult state to cover all the benefits to the consumers. The idea of buying a dominos pizza is effective because of childlike want of the consumer to eat pizza, but the service provided by dominos pizza makes the person think in logical way that the product will reach him in less time along with surety of delivery and be value for money deal. Mahindra club provides the luxury in affordable cost; again the child in adult wants to go for the luxury tension free life and the affordable cost completes the reasoning why the people should go for Mahindra club only.

There is no ending

The market is full of such examples. From the past, present and future the parameters have varied, the technology has grown but the targeting of basic emotion will never go out of phase. It’s just that the channels have increased and we need to understand which channel will suit which segment and continuously evolve with the help of our inner child. At the end both the consumer and companies will have the last laugh. A Laugh like a child does, happy and innocent laugh.

This article has been authored by Shalini Chabbra and Shubham Shukla, NMIMS Mumbai


  • accessed on 16th june 2013
  • accessed on 16th june 2013
  • accessed on 16th june 2013
  • accessed on 16th june 2013

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