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Brands All Grown Up: Shifting Target Markets From Children to Adults

“When at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again” is a quote we’ve all heard at least half a million times. Despite its redundancies, the message remains the same; don’t give up when things seem hard, but try something new and see if that gives you the results you want.

Companies must have this quote plastered somewhere in their office building, because many have recently readjusted their target markets in order to appeal to more customers. Who, you may ask? Several!

General Mills

They’re targeting adults in their latest Lucky Charms TV advertisements instead of the typical child viewer. Why? According to their marketing manager, Greg Pearson, 45% of Lucky Charms’ consumers are adults and because of this shift their brand saw its best volume year ever in 2012.

Targeting adults with a sugary (albeit delicious) cereal may seem strange, but with new restrictions on advertising to children taking place, adults nostalgic for their favorite breakfast cereal are becoming the saving grace for marketers. General Mills is rolling out a new adult campaign (get your mind out of the gutter, not that kind of “adult”) to attract the attention of those who enjoyed the cereal when it was first introduced in 1964. Here’s the latest ad for the cereal:

If you think about it, this move actually doesn’t seem so crazy. Targeting millennials with a “hey, remember when?” style of advertising is genius. They’re in their early thirties and early twenties and are going through a whole bunch of life changes. Who wouldn’t want a way to think about their simpler childhood in the midst of a quarter-life crisis?

Kellogg’s

In a refreshingly different advertising tactic, Kellogg’s is going after the often portrayed ‘bumbling idiot’ dad and making him seem like a functioning human being. Let’s face it, Frosted Flakes are delicious but probably as nutritious as eating a cup of sugar straight from the bag. With their current ingredient list they’re not able to market children, so instead of throwing in the towel they went after attracting dad’s attention. Here’s a screen shot from their commerical, but if you’d like you can view it in its entirety here.

 

With Dad in the picture, Tony the Tiger can stay in TV ads a bit longer

With Dad in the picture, Tony the Tiger can stay in TV ads a bit longer

Are cereal companies the only ones out there switching up their target markets to appeal to more people? Nope! You name the industry and there’s an excellent chance at least one company in it has changed who they appeal to.

Jell-O

Next up on the demographic re-targeting agenda is Jell-O and their “Jell-O Temptations” products. Just one look at their commercials and you’ll get the ‘no kids allowed’ vibe:

I don’t know about you, but as an elementary-aged kid I loved the days when my mom packed pudding in my lunch. Plain old chocolate was always requested, but I wouldn’t know how to react to their other flavors like apple custard pie, double chocolate pie, French silk pie, lemon meringue pie, raspberry cheesecake, and strawberry cheesecake. With stricter regulations on who food companies can market to, it only makes sense that they would try to attract a larger demographic to make up for the markets they’re losing.

Ford

They aren’t a stranger to repositioning themselves if needed to get their name out there to new and usually ignored markets. Their latest marketing tactic of appealing to millennials showcases this idea perfectly. They’ve realized this age group is unlike other generations before it and instead of trying to make them conform to their typical marketing tactics, they’re embracing what makes this group different.

They’re not creating an entirely new car, but instead they’re using what the millennial mindset is and hoping to attract their attention. To read more about their target market shift, you can check out a blog I wrote earlier: here.

National Football League

The NFL did some intense market research and found that women weren’t just keeping busy in the kitchen when the game was on, but many were sitting on the couch along with the guys watching the game. They didn’t completely shift their target market to women, but they realized a hole in their product offerings and began production on the “It’s My Team” line of apparel and accessories for women football fans. Sales of these items have blown past all expectations and are proving to be a very successful business shift.

Women wearing jerseys that flatter them instead of making them look like a dude? How scandalous!

Women wearing jerseys that flatter them instead of making them look like a dude? How scandalous!

Brands shifting their target markets, or at least being open to including other demographics, are something we’ll be seeing a lot more of in the future with stricter regulations and the need to find the customer base that fits their product offering the best. Get ready my friends!

What do you think? Does it seem weird to you that a sugary cereal is trying to get adults to buy their stuff? What about a car company trying to attract an entire generation going based off trends they’ve noticed? Shout off below!

Expand Your Brand!

 



Amy Swanson

Amy is one of Quality Logo Products’ content developers and social media coordinators. She is a self-professed newspaper nerd and thoroughly enjoys reading business and financial news and having impromptu discussions about it. Oh yeah, she’s “one of those” people! A true Midwestern girl by nature, she loves riding her bike, photography, and the Chicago Cubs. You can also connect with Amy on

Comments

  1. Jeff Porretto

    Ummm, I like damn near ALL of these things. Frosted flakes is my Jam!! Ideally while watching the nfl with my Packer-Share-owning wife in her women’s nfl apparel…

    Gaaa is the advertising working on me??? NO IT CAN’T BE!!! IT BURRRRNS! :)

    • Amy Swanson

      I know, right?! I was like, I’m a mid-twenty year old and I still smile like a seven year old when I eat Lucky Charms or some other sugary sweet cereal on Saturday morning.

      Just go with it, Jeff. It’s for the best ;)

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