New CME Unit Takes Child’s Play Seriously

In an effort to get into the heads and wallets of children, Minneapolis agency Campbell Mithun Esty has formed CME KidCom, a new marketing unit devoted to the 18-and-under set.
CME vice president and general manager Christine Fruechte said the new unit will help the agency’s clients develop ads that appeal to children.
Though several of the shop’s individual account groups have researched this market, KidCom
will develop more “proprietary tools” to better understand and communicate with kids, Fruechte said.
“We’re going to offer a broader perspective about what’s in a kid’s world,” she said. “This is on top of everything we’ve been doing.”
Such CME clients as Hostess Snack Cakes, Microsoft Actimates and General Mills have a vested interest in the kids market, Fruechte said. KidCom’s research will help those clients “responsibly” increase their business, she said.
“We saw it as an opportunity to add value to our clients’ business right now,” said Fruechte.
For instance, KidCom recently completed a survey of 800 kids to determine which commercials were their favorites.
At the top of the list was Budweiser’s croaking frogs. Pepsi was No. 2 and Nissan’s “Toys” spot was No. 3.
Alhough these products are not specifically targeted to children, the results suggest that getting the recognition of children is not limited to childrens’ products.
“They’re not buying beer and cars, but we’re competing [with those ads] for their attention,” Fruechte said.
The ability to attract kids’ attention is getting more difficult, she added. With the explosion of kid-oriented publications and media in recent years, Fruechte said agencies and clients need to find the best ways to attract and hold their attention.
Fruechte said she expects to see more kid-marketing units.
“A lot of agencies are recognizing this opportunity in the industry,” she said.