Getting on the list!

Getting on the list!
By: Laurel Rundle
Founder & CEO of Aha! Marketing
December 15, 2019

As we approach the holidays, the holy grail for toy and game businesses, many new concepts and products are anxiously awaiting their time to shine. All of the marketing efforts from throughout the year will either pay off, or find themselves lost in the static that is an extremely competitive space. When you think of influencer marketing, your mind likely goes to the digital- YouTube personalities, mom bloggers and more- how else can you be sure to get onto that coveted Christmas list? Well, there are other effective methods other than high-tech influencer marketing, and that’s taking it back to high-touch. 

My mind goes to one of the most influenceable kids of the 20th Century: Ralphie Parker of A Christmas Story. Every family can relate in one way or another to this classic that runs for an entire 24 hours, every year. Name me another movie that has kept that kind of stronghold on American families!

There are several examples in this one film that could speak to how Ralphie is a marketer’s dream, but we are going to stick to two in particular. The Little Orphan Annie Secret Society was a members-only club that kids could join by redeeming their Ovaltine proofs of purchase for a decoder that could be used to translate a secret code at the end of the broadcast. After weeks- likely months- of drinking ovaltine, his prize finally came in the mail! Running to decode the secret message after the show, the message was only an advertisement for Ovaltine- smart beyond his years, Ralphie realizes he has gotten got: “A crummy commercial? …”

But then we get to Ralphie’s dream Christmas present- the “official Red Ryder carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time.” Somehow, some way, the Red Ryder BB Gun became THE gift of the season. From ads in the paper to chatter in his group of friends, Ralphie, and likely many other boys, HAD to have it. And guess what? He got it. 

How do you and your products become the Red Ryder BB Gun? The answer is simple: get your brand in front of them and become a part of their play. And how do you do that without a massive, costly marketing program? Aha, We got you! 

At Aha! Marketing we have created 6 proprietary groups of professional influencers, enabling us to place your brand directly in the hands of consumers, connecting you prospective buyers within the most credible environments. In fact, we can reach over 200 million consumers through 200K+ venues. ForYourParents is our network of childcare, educator and kids play provider(s), who (through Aha! programming) provide free educational materials, product samples and special offers to parents and their families. 

Take our program for Pirate’s Booty. Childcare and youth sports professionals at daycares, after-school programs and day camps received a newsletter containing information on why parents and children love Pirate’s Booty. Participating venues also received free product samples presented as gifts for their parents. By receiving this product from a trusted provider to their family, there is a trust established in quality and recommendation. What’s more, the kids love it. How often have you said “no” when your child makes a healthier snack choice? 

But if you think that these programs require a large amount of product giveaways- you’re wrong! Programs can be designed for every brand, no matter your budget. The hand-to-hand program that we created for Oberweis dairy had no product involved in its effort to raise awareness of their home delivery program. Instead, pediatricians received a newsletter containing nutrition information and simple answers to commonly asked questions about dairy milk. Families were exposed to Oberweis Dairy branded elements in waiting areas and exam rooms and given a branded brochure at the time of appointments and a growth chart with a special offer for free ice cream for growing kids. 

How can you get your game or toy to Red Ryder level? The answer is simple. Establish your brand by being present in a trusted environment, get directly in their hands and become a part of their life. It can even start small- a coloring sheet or even a sticker. Aha! is here if and when you are ready to make the shift to a high-touch marketing program, taking you from the first impression all the way through measured results. 

About the Author: Laurel Rundle is the Founder and CEO of Aha! Marketing a high-touch point-of-influence sampling company. Aha! helps brands like Bob’s Red Mill, Pirate’s Booty, Burt’s Bees and Weleda reach prospective buyers in unique and innovative ways, resulting in increased awareness and customer acquisition. Aha! puts brands in the hands of consumers through trusted and credentialed influencers. Laurel can be reached at laurel@ahamarketing.com

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