Thursday, October 18th, 2007
Spot the Problem with this Toy Advertisement
Here is a Lego print advertisement, one of four in a series.
The ad is compelling, but I see a problem. The problem is apparent to me when I view any of the ads.
You don’t have to, but you can view each ad in detail at the Hoovaloo blog.
If no one guesses correctly, I’ll post a second image tomorrow to better illustrate the problem.
It might be a problem that only a parent can see.
What do you think?
Update: Wow, there were a lot of neat guesses which might be true, but it was Eric that guessed the problem. Wow, again, he’s a senior lecturer in economics at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, precisely the type of person my narrow-minded stereotyping would assume would guess wrong. His parental instincts must be in control.
Here is the “hint” image I was prepared to show:
Here is the problem: The advertisement is selling imagination, the idea of open-ended creativity, a child’s world where two sticks can be an airplane.
In reality, the company is selling detailed instructions with components to build objects shown on a box. In this example, the company essentially sells model airplane kits. They’re more versatile that glued kits because they have moving parts and can be adapted, but as a creative outlet they stink.
The first toys I bought when I learned I was having a baby weren’t crinkle toys and wrist rattles. I began hoarding Lincoln Logs and Lego bricks. (Lincoln Logs make great hamster fort-mazes.)
While eBay is a fantastic venue for buying bulk bricks, I bought Lego kits at garage sales. Once home, I threw away the instructions, washed the bricks and jumbled them together in a storage bin. My 3-year-old daughter can stack bricks, but not pull them apart. I’m hoping next year is magic time.
I just weighed my Lego collection. Minus the box, I have 17lbs of Lego
blocks. The 10-gallon bin is half-full, so I think I’ll stop at 20lbs. I’m overcompensating for having
grown up in a Lego-deprived household. A childhood friend had tons of Lego
bricks. We would spread them across his floor and just build, build,