The unsuspected Play-Doh goldmine on YouTube

Here I go again, writing about Play-Doh.

As I wrote before, my little granddaughter loves the stuff. She loves it just as much as she does Kinetic Sand (you’ve got to check that stuff out) and anything having to do with Frozen and Tangled. She is a Play-Doh fanatic and would rather play with the four and salt concoction than just about anything. “Pop-Pop, want to play Play-Doh with me?” is my usual greeting when I stop in to see the grandkids.

One day, as my son told me, in an attempt to avoid another screening of Elsa and Anna, he went to YouTube. There, he typed in a few key terms on the search page, such as, “Play-Doh,” “Frozen” and “Kids.”

Play-Doh on YouTube is a treasure chest for parents of young children.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

The search turned up endless QVC-like videos of both adults and children testing the gooey products. In this case, the test was the toy clay with a Frozen theme.

Play-Doh benefits from user-generated videos.

I implore you to do this. Visit YouTube and type in, “FROZEN Elsa Play-Doh STOP MOTION.” Then take a look at how many views the video has.

That’s right, 130 million views.

And that’s just one video by the DCTC TOY Channel (the company that produced this particular video).

Or even better, look up “Play Doh Sparkle Princess” by the channel FunToyzCollector.

Yep, that video has 471 million views. May I add, the person behind this handle was YouTube’s highest earner in 2014, making over $5 million for opening toy packages on screen.

If FunToyzCollector is making that kind of money, just imagine what the manufacturer must be making off of it too — all for free.

Heck, maybe I’ll retire early and go into the YouTube business of opening toys on screen. It’s certainly worth a shot.

Public Policy. Changing Behavior AND Making A Difference

Making Associations and Public Policy Persuasive

By Tom Dougherty

Welfare Reform

Public PolicyWhen faced with the challenges of welfare reform, Philadelphia utilized strategic advertising to change behavior. The brain trust at Stealing Share® helped develop the brand strategy for this effective campaign. The issues faced in this initiative are very similar to those faced by political parties (Democratic Party, Republican Party and the Libertarian Party) and organizations. Initially, the campaign merely encouraged welfare recipients to contact the welfare agency in order to learn more about their upcoming transition.

Firstly, the current welfare recipients failed to recognize that welfare was actually ending, so an apparent lack of urgency dominated the market. Secondly, the current recipients needed to be able to find adequate employment opportunities from the welfare agencies rather than merely making a phone call. In addition, authorities offered a tax incentive to any company that hired a welfare recipient.

Precepts. How do you influence decision makers?

However, we thought that this offer simply added to the concept of hiring a welfare mom as a form of charity. Preceptively the messaging had to affect the mindset of the employer as well as the welfare mom. We needed to convince employers that welfare moms were not lazy and unmotivated. It was necessary to suggest to employers that hiring welfare moms made great business sense because welfare moms are motivated employees. In order to give life to the character of welfare moms, we borrowed on the universal concept that it is dangerous to get between a mother bear and her cubs. The messaging emphasized how a mother will do anything to protect her children.

The Work

The resulting campaign encompassed two seperate campaigns. The first part of the campaign targeted welfare moms, telling them to be prepared to plan for their future without the help of welfare. The second part of the campaign focused on local businesses and highly recommended the hiring of welfare moms. Both messages took the form of stories told through the words of the children of the welfare moms. A local paper wrote of the campaign in this way: “The emotional ads, depicting children of welfare recipients, have attracted the attention of the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as other government officials around the country.

balance in Public PolicyThe Department of Labor is looking at Philadelphia’s campaign as a possible model for other cities, which have been slow to complement welfare reform programs with advertising campaigns. Philadelphia’s ad campaign supports the city’s welfare-to-work initiative known as The Greater Philadelphia Works Program, a $44 million program created to find jobs for 7,500 women during the next year.

Philadelphia is the first city in the state, and possibly the country, to implement an aggressive ad campaign around welfare reform, according to state and local officials. Milwaukee is the only other city with a campaign. ‘All eyes are on Philadelphia,’ says George Yanoshik Jr., a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, who was involved in the campaign. “This has trailblazing capabilities because of the size and demographics of the [welfare] market.”

The Results Were Astounding

The campaign includes television, print, bus, billboard and direct mail advertisements. It targets two audiences: welfare recipients who will be cut off from major welfare benefits in March 1999, but who have not taken the government threats seriously; and potential employers hesitant to hire welfare recipients because of the stereotype that people on welfare are lazy.

simplicity in Public PolicyNearly 26,500 adults—mostly women—who live in Philadelphia could lose benefits in March if they are not working at least 20 hours a week. The campaign uses children to reach both audiences. In ads targeting welfare recipients—who in Philadelphia are typically female and single mothers—racially diverse children encourage their mothers to begin looking for a job. “You can do it, mom,” reads the headline in the recent print ads appearing in the Daily News. The message, though blunt, does not paint a doom-and-gloom picture, but one of opportunity: “Welfare as we know it is ending. But we have jobs, we’ll help with interviews, job training, transportation and even child care, so you’ll not only get that job, but keep it.”

In ads that target employers, appearing in the Philadelphia Inquirer, children suggest that companies should hire welfare recipients because they have real responsibility. “How about my mom?” reads the headline in response to the text: “Need a hard worker? Moms coming off welfare are motivated, responsible employees. They have to be. Hire one today.” As a result of careful strategy and targeted messaging, this campaign was so successfully executed that it was adapted to run in multiple metropolitan markets all across the United States.

Welfare is ending :30



A market study of organizations and associations

Halloween. Goodbye, Childhood

I can’t believe the story I just heard on NPR about a trend called Trunk-or-Treat. Apparently, church groups and organizations are creating these events in the parking lots of their organizations. The idea is that group members pull up in their cars and the children go from car to car and get candy. Sounds like a real authentic good time to me!

As a culture, we have sanitized everything until it is no longer recognizable. Those kids subjected to Trunk-or Treat are building terrific childhood memories to be sure. No doubt they will look fondly back upon all the adventures in the church parking lot. I’m sure you remember the scene in To Kill a Mockingbird when Scout was returning home from Trunk-or-Treat, dressed as a ham and saved by Boo Radley. Such iconic Americana.

trunkOrTreat3Parents, you should be ashamed. You are stripping the magic from childhood and you deserve the EPCOT version of the world you want. A world where anything real is as scarce as diamonds.

As a parent, I always accompanied my kids from door to door, in the dark on Halloween night. We went to the homes of the people we knew…which, by the way, was everyone in our neighborhood.

No one ever got a razorblade in an apple or a drug-infused candy bar. As we sorted through the loot with the kids, looking for tampered wrappers (which we never found), our only complaint was how small the candy bars were compared to when we (my wife and I) were kids.  Sure, the past always seems nostalgic and I hope all of you trunk or treaters have vivid and important memories from the popped-up trunk of a Ford or the more common tailgate on the SUV that we so fondly recall from our childhood.

Let’s try to remember the idea of authentic. Once some overprotected and sterilized child gets his finger smashed by accident by the trunk of a car, we will just hand out candy to our own kids in our living rooms and watch any third-rate TV movie on Halloween. Next, we can have the kids talk to SANTA on Skype and keep the jolly old pedophiles away from our precious flock.