It is a well known fact that children are narcissists.
In their world what they think goes. Unicorns definitely exist, if you jump off your bunk bed you will almost certainly be able to fly and if you draw all over the walls but say that it was a Gruffalo then your mum will definitely believe you.
The universe bends to your will.
Kids are interested in things that they are interested in and the rest of the world can quite literally naff off.
I had a flavour of this at the weekend looking after my 6yr old nephew Max.
My grand weekend plans included cake, dinosaurs and science experiments.
No I don’t have kids but I did my research, I asked parents, I consulted blogs.
It is fair to say that I left the office on Friday ready to pick Max up, with what can only be described as swagger.
You see I had a vision. I would feed him cake and sweets until he was sick and take him to the most badass mind blowing Londony shit going and he would go home fatter but with a general view that his Aunty Tash was totally down with the kids.
That was my vision.
What went down was a bit different.
Cake definitely happened. We got that far unscathed.
Then massive sugar high was followed swiftly by massive sugar low, which was also followed by epic meltdown. But this was early doors, I remained confident that I still had this in the bag with dinosaurs and science experiments.
Two hours later I was losing my mind and he was trying his best to lose me altogether. He seemed to have the distinct impression that I was tedious.
We had a frank and honest discussion about this in the Natural History Museum:
Me: “Isn’t this exciting seeing all the dinosaurs.”
Max: “This is boring, why can’t I play with Lego.”
Me: “Because we are here and this is really fun.”
Max: “Dinosaurs are rubbish.”
Shortly after this fruitful and constructive conversation we got the tube home.
Later that evening, large glass of gin in one hand, my street cred with 6yrs olds lying in a tattered ruinous mess in the other, Max loudly proclaimed that he had had a great day.
Whilst admittedly this was a relief to hear, I was curious as to which part of the hellish last 6hours he would classify as ‘great’.
It was the tube.
Yes travelling on the underground as it turns out is about the most fun you can have as a 6yr old. We could have spent the weekend on the circle line and that would have been just fine.
Max likes Lego, sweets and as it turns out tubes. I kind of knew about the sweets and Lego thing, I had to learn about the tube thing first hand by accident.
I feel like brands could learn a lot from 6yr olds. Children are narcissists but if we are being honest, brands are too.
When you look at most ads and 100% of social media content, it loudly yells: “Don’t worry people! We know what really interests you and we are going to ram it down your throats until you are sick because that is exactly what you want and you will think we are awesome because of it!!”
Brands want to tell people what brands think people are interested in. Whether it’s an end line, or really helpful added benefit that you’re pretty sure will clinch the deal. It is my unfortunate duty to break it to you that people literally don’t care.
If I am a tragic aunt trying to score cool points with a 6yr old, what the hell are you doing trying to sell me volume shampoo on instagram, or banking solutions on Facebook?
Brands are narcissists.
Now go away and let me play with Lego.
“Yes, the fourth wave of content marketing has arrived, but consumers aren’t waving, they’re drowning in an ocean of branded pap, and the interactive lifeline they really want to be thrown is the one whereby companies promptly answer calls in person, keep their promises, make better products and contribute to a better world.”
– Helen Edwards