What Do 10-Year-Olds Think?

It wasn’t quite Take Your Kids to Work Day. It was more like Make Your Kids Work Day. But before you go off, let us explain.

Sure, it was Columbus Day, schools were closed, and it seemed the perfect time to bring the kids in for snacks, games, music, movies, karaoke, scavenger hunts and 12 varieties of pizza. We even showed them around the building and explained what a radio marketing company does.

But in addition to teaching them, we thought we’d try to learn something too. We wanted to know what 10-year-olds think—what they like, what they dislike, what they regard as cool, what they think of certain products. We weren’t really making our kids work—we were having some fun (and so were they) and in the process expanding our knowledge of how to market to this general age group. While it wasn’t an exact correlation, it reminded some of us of the 1988 movie, Big, in which 12-year-old Josh Baskin (Tom Hanks) gets paid to test toys.

As school-age-children expert Katherine Lee writes in About Parenting, “Ten-year-old children can often think and sound almost ‘grown-up’ and have the language skills and cognitive ability to gather information and formulate opinions and thoughts that are well-organized and thought out… At the same time, they are still young children who may need to take breaks to just run around and play.”

So Camp CRN began—naturally, with donuts, mini muffins and granola bars. The child participants actually ranged in age from six to 10. During the day, the children were brought into our studios and asked in front of the microphone to share their real-life stories, experiences and feelings about a particular product. Some of these “real-kid testimonials” might even be used in real campaigns.

Later on, in what was billed the “Unfocused Focus Group,” the children got to taste-test a product and provide their reaction. Nothing like pure, youthful honesty—right marketers? Comments for the very same taste treat, from one: “There’s chocolate in so many places.” From another: “It’s chocolate-less.” Hmmm.

The kids were also scheduled to produce a podcast with one of our resident professional radio hosts to experience what goes on behind the scenes in this hot audio medium. Alas, an urgent client request forced a few parents, including the planned moderator, to turn their attention back to their day jobs. But CRN was ready with a pinch hitter—the show goes on!

Camp CRN was a great community builder that allowed some CRNers to have a new experience with their children and help answer that age-old question of what exactly mommy or daddy does after leaving the house every morning. Based on their answers, this much we know for sure: They “go to a lot of meetings” and “type things on the computer.” Enough CRN secrets for one day.

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Jim Alkon
Marketing Director