Play-Doh Behaving Badly

by Jason Toon

Watch any kids' TV show and you'll see commercial after commercial marketing directly to the kids. Advertisers have long known that the best way to get you to buy something for your kid is to enlist said kid as their agent on the inside. So I thought this Play-Doh ad campaign from Singapore (as seen at Ugly Doggy) was an interesting and hilarious reversal.


Ostensibly, it takes the old-fashioned approach of convincing us parents that Play-Doh is a mild-mannered toy that you can trust to babysit your precious little ones. But the way it does that isn't old-fashioned at all. It uses humor and danger to exploit my generation's overriding consumer impulse: the need to feel cool. Also, consider how much more acceptable it is today for adults to buy, collect, even play with toys. You don't see anybody's desk decorated with action figures on Mad Men. So while the dark humor appeals to your more mature (or at least adolescent) side, the colorful pleasure of these meticulous miniatures make you want to grab a handful of Play-Doh and start molding, like a kid. As somebody who almost always hates ads, I'll admit that campaigns like this are why I say "almost". Click "read more" to see the whole line.









Thanks, Fipi Lele!