MIXED BLESSINGS Manipulative Kids, Inflation vs. Romance, Diamond Loyalty, Etc.

If you can’t spend more time with your kids, at least you can buy them some potato chips. So goes parenthood in the hectic ’90s, to judge by the results of a recent Yankelovich Partners survey among kids age 9-17. Asked whether they’re “successful at getting parents to do” various things, 67 percent said they can badger mom or dad into buying the snack foods they like. But just 38 percent of respondents succeed in persuading their parents to “spend more time with you.”
Can’t win ’em all. Meanwhile, fast-food marketers will note with interest that 40 percent of the kids say they’re able to drag their parents to an eatery that’s offering “a special toy” to its customers.

This week’s honors for Best Recycling of a Temperance Battle Cry go to an ad for a Coleman air mattress that’s equipped with its own air pump. Of course, if the object of your affections is oddly partial to lips that have touched air mattresses-and it takes all kinds-you can always bring your business elsewhere. Another ad for Coleman (by Martin/Williams of Minneapolis) jumps on the current craze for automotive muscle by describing a two-wheeled cooler as a “sport utility vehicle for bologna sandwiches.”

Old slogans never die. They just turn up years later in ads for unrelated products. So, if you’re boasting about the flawless surfaces of a client’s industrial-strength valves, why not bring a toothpaste-touting phrase out of retirement? As it happens, “Larox” almost sounds like a dentifrice brand name anyway, so the company could be building up equity for a bold line extension if the valve business goes into a decline. Fast & Associates of Columbia, Md., created the ad.
Baseball fans root, root, root for the home team, but some big-league teams inspire more fervent rooting than others. Just as consumer brands in other categories generate brand loyalty to one degree or another, so do baseball teams. New York-based Brand Keys has attempted to quantify the degree of loyalty fans feel toward their teams, based on such factors as “pure entertainment value,” sense of attachment to particular players, team history and traditions and so on. According to Brand Keys’ Sports Loyalty Index, the Chicago White Sox enjoy the highest degree of brand loyalty, followed closely by the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers. Filling out the top 10 are the Reds, Marlins, Cardinals, Indians, Blue Jays, Orioles and Brewers. The league’s cellar-dwellers, according to this measure, are the California Angels, with the Rangers, Mets, Red Sox and Padres faring just slightly better. (Polling among fans was conducted early in the season.) Comparing the major pro sports with one another, Brand Keys finds basketball scoring best on the Sports Loyalty Index, followed by football, baseball and hockey. Hockey and basketball pile up points for entertainment value, while football leads in history and tradition. Basketball is tops in “fan bonding” with the players, with baseball running second.