Is Woolworth’s targeting strategy Genius or Unethical?

Posted by: Mauricio Soto Henriquez and Esme Louise Russell
I must commend Woolworths on their genius marketing campaigns. Whilst their competitors are talking about their low prices and special offers aimed at their customers, Woolworths haven’t targeted their customers. They have targeted their Customers biggest influencers – their children.
1506894_840195609385905_7002604965783372890_n images
Having no children of my own I thought I was safe from being sucked into the persuasion to shop at Woolworths. Wrong I was – My friend’s 8 year old daughter is determined to collect all the Dominos in Woolworth’s current marketing campaign. She is recruiting everyone she can think of to help her reach her goal.
A few weeks ago I received a call from her which went a little something like this:
Katie Scarlett – Where do you currently shop? Coles or Woolworths?
Me – Coles, its closest to my house.
Katie Scarlett – Well I need you to shop at Woolworths and collect the Dominos for me. You need to spend over $20 so if you could please go there every day and send the Dominos to me please.
I now shop at Woolworths and always ensure I spend over $20 to be eligible to collect my Domino. Yesterday I needed Milk and apples but I left with not only those items but also the latest issue of Vogue, a block of chocolate and some body wash as I just HAD to collect my Domino.
Had I just gone to Coles would I have purchased all that? Definitely not. But Woolworths have now influenced where I shop and what I spend.
Is Woolworth’s strategy Genius or Unethical?
Advertisers spend billions of dollars each year trying to manipulate or persuade people into a consumer lifestyle and lately marketers started very cleaver campaigns targeting children due to the big influence the kids have over their parent’s purchases. There is evidence out there the children market can be segmented into 3 big markets, the direct money they spendmoney they influence and the future market hence all these marketing campaigns in place.
There is a research out there from Professor Sharon Beder (at the University of Wollongong) that clearly shows how CEO of company look at children, According to the CEO of Prism Communications, “they aren’t children so much as what I like to call `evolving consumers’.’ 
‘Advertisers recognise that brand loyalties and consumer habits formed when children are young and vulnerable will be carried through to adulthood. Kids `R’ Us president, Mike Searles, says “If you own this child at an early age… you can own this child for years to come.”’

As group we would like you to share your thoughts about this campaign and the controversial quotes expressed 

Advertisements

34 thoughts on “Is Woolworth’s targeting strategy Genius or Unethical?

  1. This is a great strategy by Woolworths. Being a Woolworths shopper myself, they have one campaign after another and a lot of them are targeted at children. Does anyone know if Coles have any similar campaigns? I wouldn’t say this strategy is unethical, it’s just smart targeting. Also, the quotes in your post are made by CEO’s of companies who need to market their goods or services, so taken in a marketing context, I don’t think these quotes are controversial. The aim of any business is to target specific markets and then engage and retain their custom – this particular market just happens to be children. The quote given by the Toys R Us CEO (to me) shows that the company segments and targets the market for kids of all ages, and “owning” them is from a loyalty and custom point of view. Toys R Us is a good example of how they have different products catering to different age groups.

    Children are bombarded by marketing from a wide range of sources such as TV, at the movies, on the internet, and at supermarkets! I think children are a prime target for marketers and can have a large influence over purchases. I think it would be almost negligent for marketers to ignore children as it seems that they do influence how their parents purchase. How many times have we seen kids nag their parents to buy them something? Some parents may not give in at the time, but if your child keeps asking for something, I’m sure most parents will eventually give in and buy it. Apparently there is a whole segment of the marketing industry that is dedicated to finding out how to sell products to children. It seems that Woolworths has tapped into this market by stealth, by targeting the children via their parents.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. I don’t find Woolworth’s current marketing strategy unethical at all. At the end of the day it is the parents (like myself!) who decide if they will increase their basket size to hit the $20 threshold for domino entitlement. As a parent myself I can attest to being slowly warn down by a nagging child- but that’s only going to win so many times. I don’t have an endless supply of money and I’m also sick of picking up dominos all over my house! I can actively choose not to be influenced by the campign if I like.

    But for me the reason their tactic is not unethical is because we all absolutely know what they are trying to achieve- every parent understands that Woolworths is using this domino campaign to try to entice us to spend more money. I don’t think their is anything particularly sinsiter or sneaky about what they’re doing- it is a tried and tested way of generating additional sales. We all understand the tactic and if we allow it to influence our shopping behaviours then we really need to take responsibility for that.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Very interesting post. I have to agree with the earlier posts and don’t find Woolworths marketing strategy unethical. Woolworths are actually being very clever with this approach as children are extremely persuasive and quite often get what they want…I’m speaking from experience! But as the parent I have the final say as to where I shop and what I put in my shopping basket.

    I do shop at Woolworths and can guarantee that every time I go grocery shopping I well and truly spend over $20 regardless of whether or not dominos are involved. However, to survive a shopping expedition with kids it is handy to have a bribery up your sleeve so I say thank you to Woolworths for providing this in the form of a domino!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I have to agree with the other comments…I don’t find this an unethical campaign. It is a very smart strategy for getting their target customers (families) into their stores more frequently, and to some degree ensuring their basket size. I wonder what they are doing inside the store to capitalise on this program? Probably a strategic placement of product and promotions.

    This kind of promotion and ‘give away’ targeted at kid has been around for awhile. I remember the hype around tazos when I was in primary school (remember those little disks inside chip packets). Then there are collections of toys in cereal boxes, limited realise toys in happy meals….it seems to be a tried and tested way of increasing frequency and ultimately the bottom line.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting post about the strategies aimed at children. I don’t shop at Woolies often but have heard of their campaign and seen other shoppers collecting the dominoes for children. As a strategy I wouldn’t necessarily call it unethical – it isn’t targeted at any particular item, such as encouraging children to eat more sweets or soft drinks, but more at an overall spend on groceries – which is quite clever. Parents aren’t being coerced into necessarily buying unwanted goods – just maybe more than they might have planned to purchase. But all supermarkets have a variety of strategies – some subtle and others not so – to increase our impulse buying. I know I always seem to walk out with more than I intended to buy … how does that happen?

    Don’t forget the fast food chains also market heavily at children with toys from the latest movie. My two didn’t actually like McDonald’s food – but I would have to buy the Happy Meal because they insisted they did like it – and because it came with said toy. Fortunately they are now older and wiser, or rather no longer influenced by said toys.

    I can see how the CEOs would see children as evolving consumers, and children are probably more consumers now than they would have been in the past with the multitude of means through which marketing material can reach them. I can understand that the CEOs would think that to win their loyalty early might pay off for them in the future, and it might. But they won’t be able to take that for granted – these brands will have to work hard to keep them as ongoing consumers to keep up with new fads and their relative lack of attention spans as pointed out in one of this week’s readings relating to the Gen Z. The article suggests they are so used to quickly searching and processing new information they are likely to get bored more quickly too, and that will present an ongoing challenge for marketers.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ‘Unethical’ is a little strong in my view as I am not sure that appealing to the children of adult purchasers to thereby – and ultimately – influence their purchasing decisions/habits (which we assume is the motivation) is breaking any ethical standards per se.

    As those with kids would be well aware, Woolies’ domino camaign is the latest in a string of similar ‘collect all’ marketing campaigns adopted by the organisaton and, in my view, brings to the surface a marketing strategy/approach that, for years, has been much less overt e.g. typically … get a free toy if you buy this kids’ product.

    As such, I agree with many of the previous posts that the approach by Woolies is indeed clever, if not, progressive. It is symbolic of a new, more open and aggressive approach to influencing its buyers, which is highly compatible with the spending habits of the “mainstream” family.

    The fundamental question is when will such a strategy reach ‘saturation point’, particularly when other large retailers begin to follow suit? My view is that the buying community’s tolerance for such/similar marketing strategies is fairly sensitive and could, in fact, work against retailers should they bllindly run mass ‘collect-them-all’ kid-targeted campaigns i.e. there is a breaking point beyond which consumers will view such maketing strategies as inconvenient and worst still, overtly manipulative.

    Chris Banks

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi all,
    This is very interesting post.
    Their strategy is very well defined and yes genius they are. They are committed to build internal capabilities. Their thoughts were incredibly refreshing and marketing strategy too…
    Woolworth simply simpers “They strive to be open, honest, fair and transparent in everything they do.
    They are not targeted at any particular item. All supermarkets like Coles, K-Mart, etc have a various type of strategies some are benefited for the consumers and some are not it is jus tto increase consumers impulse buying.
    And i totally found their strategy GENIUS just in crease their sale and to make kids and other consumers happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Firstly I would like to say thank you to all you who have stopped and reply to the first post! We really appreciate this as a group!

    As future marketer I must say that anything ‘catchy’ or a little controversial catches people attention hence the title of the post. I wanted to generate a debate among all the students.

    Evidently more than just to generate a debate or discussion we also have look at the 2 sides of the story. Most of the comments so far are inclined to think that the strategy itself by ‘Woolies’ is fantastic and it is if you look at all the attention it has caught by their direct consumers and also by the ‘influential little ones‘. From this point of view it has certainly achieved what the marketing department aimed for. In fact the CMO of Woolworth said ‘“Since we launched the first Collectibles range in September 2013, we’ve recruited an army of fans that just love collecting”’

    Concerns

    There are concerns out there about the ability of children so young to understand advertising and its intent and not be deceived and manipulated by it. Experts in the field say that children “don’t understand persuasive intent until they are eight or nine years old and that it is unethical to advertise to them before then.[40] According to Karpatkin and Holmes from the Consumers Union, “Young children, in particular, have difficulty in distinguishing between advertising and reality in ads, and ads can distort their view of the world.””

    There is another study done by ‘by Roy Fox, Associate Professor of English Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia’ this research has found a few things: “found that children watching athletes in television commercials thought that the athletes paid to be in the advertisements to promote themselves rather than the products. They believed children in advertisements were real rather than paid actors and they often confused advertisements with news items. Generally they did not understand the commercial intent and manipulation behind advertisements”

    All the above support the original title of this post, the research entices that marketing should be carefully regulated in particular to children under 9 years of age, including different platforms of advertisement like the internet and television at those times when children are engaged watching their favourite cartoons. These advertising campaigns contribute “the cost of these services at the cost of our children’s values, sense of well-being, health and integrity”

    Please feel free to keep this conversation flowing!

    End notes:

    http://mumbrella.com.au/woolworths-teams-disney-pixar-latest-collectibles-domino-stars-279454
    https://www.uow.edu.au/~sharonb/children.html#fn39

    Thanks,

    Mauricio

    Like

  9. Firstly I would like to say thank you to all you who have stopped and reply to the first post! We really appreciate this as a group!

    As future marketer I must say that anything ‘catchy’ or a little controversial catches people attention hence the title of the post. I wanted to generate a debate among all the students.

    Evidently more than just to generate a debate or discussion we also have look at the 2 sides of the story. Most of the comments so far are inclined to think that the strategy itself by ‘Woolies’ is fantastic and it is if you look at all the attention it has caught by their direct consumers and also by the ‘influential little ones‘. From this point of view it has certainly achieved what the marketing department aimed for. In fact the CMO of Woolworth said ‘“Since we launched the first Collectibles range in September 2013, we’ve recruited an army of fans that just love collecting”’

    Concerns

    There are concerns out there about the ability of children so young to understand advertising and its intent and not be deceived and manipulated by it. Experts in the field say that children “don’t understand persuasive intent until they are eight or nine years old and that it is unethical to advertise to them before then.[40] According to Karpatkin and Holmes from the Consumers Union, “Young children, in particular, have difficulty in distinguishing between advertising and reality in ads, and ads can distort their view of the world.””

    There is another study done by ‘by Roy Fox, Associate Professor of English Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia’ this research has found a few things: “found that children watching athletes in television commercials thought that the athletes paid to be in the advertisements to promote themselves rather than the products. They believed children in advertisements were real rather than paid actors and they often confused advertisements with news items. Generally they did not understand the commercial intent and manipulation behind advertisements”

    All the above support the original title of this post, the research entices that marketing should be carefully regulated in particular to children under 9 years of age, including different platforms of advertisement like the internet and television at those times when children are engaged watching their favourite cartoons. These advertising campaigns contribute “the cost of these services at the cost of our children’s values, sense of well-being, health and integrity”

    Please feel free to keep this conversation flowing!

    End notes:

    http://mumbrella.com.au/woolworths-teams-disney-pixar-latest-collectibles-domino-stars-279454
    https://www.uow.edu.au/~sharonb/children.html#fn39

    Thanks,

    Mauricio

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Woolworths are certainly pulling a great marketing strategy to target children. Having worked for five years in retail, I have seen countless occasions of parents ‘giving in’ to their children’s nagging and in turn making purchases. I don’t find these comments controversial given he context I understand the messages being conveyed. Especially in the case of Kids `R’ Us president, Mike Searles with his line about ‘owning’ the children – he is simply referring to customer loyalty and nothing more. Already for a great deal of time products on shelves within supermarkets have been selling with children related promotions. Now we are starting to see the supermarkets themselves run their own children oriented marketing. Perhaps it won’t be long before we see Coles make a similar shift with their own Coles branded products. I believe that we as adults have a responsibility to make our own decisions and choose our spending wisely. In many cases it may be easier said than done not to buy a product when it seems to be screaming at you (or your child is screaming of it!), but at the end of the day every product and business will promote to get your business. In turn, to some degree we should all be aware of marketing strategies and make conscious decisions based on our circumstances – especially economically.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hi
    I liked about children’s you have discussed in this blog are future customers. .And about woolworths campaign, it’s their strategy to reach more people or retain the current customers. Understanding the customers are not that easy.Some won’t be trapped in this campaign you have discussed. Customers can even purchase those Dominos for some money.Instead of collecting one by one. As customers we have more choices nowadays and competitors are trying to get new customers. .
    Finally I feel it’s not unethical that is their strategy to retain the
    customers and for children’s their family is influencer for any good or bad..

    Liked by 2 people

  12. The commercialisation of children is a tricky issue.
    The ever increasing reach of media and commercial messages into our lives, whether it be television, print, online or otherwise, means that it is nigh on impossible for parents to insulate their children from the influence of marketers.
    These commercial influences are directly linked to a whole raft of social issues, including sexualisation of children, childhood obesity and body image concerns, violence and the commercialisation of play time and leisure. Where do we draw a line between what commercial messages are appropriate and which are corrupting?
    For example, is Woolworth’s overt strategy targeting children to increase grocery sales any less ethical than McDonald’s Happy Meal advertising to increase their sales? When is the intentional influencing of a person with reduced cognitive capacity ethical?
    A compelling case is made by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org) to change the way society views commercial messages that exploit such a vulnerable group as children.
    While there is no doubt that Woolworth’s campaign is clever and achieves the aim of changing consumer behaviour in the short term, it would be interesting to know if this leads to lasting behavioural change or whether there was a negative impact on consumer sentiment over the long term.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I too, am a Woolworths customer. As a mother, I find myself under pressure to bring home a domino each time I shop which can be frustrating as every $20 spent only gets you one domino, so how many $20’s do I have to spend to have the full set? Well, isn’t that clever?
    According to the family decision making unit, there are different roles played by members that contribute to the act of making purchases. Such as the information gatherer, influencer, purchaser and decision maker and user. It has been said that family members have a strong influence in consumer purchases, although it depends on the family and product.

    Woolworths targets children (influencer) to influence the decision maker and/or purchaser (parent/sibling). Woolworths has segmented and targeted children and therefore families, which contribute to a large chunk of their revenue.

    A very effective strategy indeed. In terms of ethics (in my opinion) the promotion motivates sales volume and revenue. It taps into psychological decision making processes, to influence purchases. As long as it isn’t deceitful or harmful, I think it is acceptable. At the end of the day, I am a consenting adult with the choice to be or not to be influenced by my family or GWP incentives.

    http://www.consumerpsychologist.com/cb_Family_Decision_Making.html

    https://www.boundless.com/marketing/textbooks/boundless-marketing-textbook/consumer-marketing-4/social-influences-on-consumer-purchasing-42/family-212-894/
    http://www.researchersworld.com/vol4/issue3/vol4_issue3_2/Paper_03.pdf

    Like

  14. I agree with a lot of the points raised.
    I have found there is a cohort of consumers that are questioning the ethics of indirectly targeting children in marketing campaigns. Here is a post I read written by a parent regarding the current Domino campaign
    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/woolworths-pixar-dominoes-are-causing-household-civil-wars/story-fni6unxq-1227287905457

    Coles ran a One Direction campaign which was not very well received and won the 2013 Shame Award for Pester Power – http://www.campaignbrief.com/2013/11/the-parents-jury-names-coles-o.html. Parents felt it was promoting Junk food and that the companies Coles aligned themselves with should have been promoting healthy eating.

    Woolworth’s are being smart with how they target their market and segment their consumer base. Wether their consumer is a direct or an indirect consumer. I think this is more a case of smart segmentation and understanding what the consumers are driven by.
    This happens in all industries however I feel that in this case Woolworth’s did it exceedingly well. Ultimately the choice is in the hands of the purchaser.

    Like

  15. I personally don’t see any issues marketing to children. In the end they are not the consumers, rather just an influence to the real consumers their parents. We opened savings accounts for our children at a local community bank. Every year both my children receive a birthday card and a small gift. They think it is fantastic to walk down to the bank and pick up their small gift. This is great example of building consumer loyalty. I must admit it will be interesting to see whether this small annual gift will transfer into a lifelong relationship with this particular bank. I wonder if collecting dominoes will have the same effect on the children currently shopping at Woolworth’s.

    In the end I believe that as parents it’s our role to educate our children to the manipulation of marketing and I’m always very surprised as to how quickly children will learn and shape their own actions based upon those of their parent’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi jfer1004, your story is a great example of using a positive experience in early life to shape a person’s perception of a brand. When applied to an industry like banking, there doesn’t seem to be anything untoward and an example of a great marketing initiative. Where this gets blurry is when you apply the same concept to less ‘socially acceptable’ products and services. What if your children received a free cricket bat or football from a brewing company while attending a sporting event? Or a gift at school from a fast food restaurant?
    I agree that parents need to share responsibility for the commercial messages children receive and how those messages are interpreted by the child. But they can’t wrap their children in cotton wool and completely insulate them from the reach of corporate marketers, and you would hope that a socially responsible company would be able to self regulate how they approach marketing to minors. Experience tells me that this is not always the case.
    I heard an interesting story on the radio the other day about a McDonalds restaurant (in a regional Victorian town with one of Australia’s highest obesity rates) offering schools a fundraising opportunity whereby students could purchase a McDonalds meal for lunch and the restaurant would donate $1 from each meal to the school’s fundraising coffers. Good marketing, or ethically questionable?

    Like

    • Hi jasonchuck, interesting point you raise about freebies from certain companies e.g. brewing. I grew up in the era of mass tobacco advertising, Benson and Hedges World Series Cricket and Marlborough team motor racing. I even recall receiving a cricket bat with Benson and Hedges printed on it and having Matchbox cars with the Marlborough logo. Never did I correlate this to the eventual use of that product (I have never smoked cigarettes) all I wanted was the free cricket bat or toy car. I think the one thing we are missing is that children are generally beautifully innocent and this is why they are immune to the specter of marketing manipulation. In saying this I do agree that we cannot wrap our children in cotton wool and therefore the hard truths of marketing manipulation will need to be discussed when appropriate.

      Organisations will always push the ethical boundaries, the degree of which is a decision for their executive, shareholders and customers. I am aware that there are some organisations that hold the belief that everything is fine as long as no laws are being broken. We can only hope that parents are informed enough to make the right decisions when the time comes e.g. not taking the kids to McDonald’s for lunch if obesity is a problem.

      Like

  17. I’m going to jump off the fence here and support the notion that Woolworth’s strategy is actual genius. However, it’s a strategy many supermarkets have employed for a number of years evolving from what used to be coupons to buy IBM computers for your school in the early 90’s to their current Domino’s promotion. The genius I think lies in their decision to partner with Disney – as we all know Disney have been multi-proprietor of children entertainment for years so in terms of synergy, they’re spot on. Whether it’s unethical is an entire different kettle of fish. I personally can’t see anything wrong from Woolies perspective – they’re providing excellent incentives to their consumers alike and it looks to be paying off. The fact it’s targeted to children shouldn’t really matter as the entire children’s market is saturated with unethical campaigns particularly concerning fast food & violence.

    Like

  18. This marketing strategy by Woolworths may not be blatantly unethical but I am not convinced this strategy is entirely acting “responsibly.”

    Looking at their website, Woolworths have a section called ‘a trusted company.’ I am a little unsure that a ‘trusted company’ uses children to persuade their parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles etc to shop at Woolworths for their benefit.

    Further into this section of the website, there is a segment titled ‘responsible service’ which claims Woolworths “believe in earning our customers’ trust and respect by acting responsibly both inside and outside our stores and enabling them to make informed health, ethical and environmental decisions.” They further claim that their principles and practices focus on buying and selling responsibly. Again I question if a company can be considered ‘responsible’ if they are deliberately using children to nag their parents into shopping at a particular store.

    So whilst the strategy may be effective in increasing profits, does it have the potential to damage its self-claimed brand of a trusted company that sells responsibly?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. This is an interesting one. I have probably never really thought too much about it as I shop at Woolworth’s regularly. However, as someone with no children, my sister-in-law asked me if we could pick these up when we went shopping to add to her collection! I personally do not see this as unethical at all, however, I do see it as a great marketing strategy on Woolworth’s part.

    I couldn’t see myself purposely visiting Woolworth’s for these dominoes, but if I had a young child who was collecting the items, then it may be a completely different. Even so, you are entering the store to purchase essential items and at the end of the day, these dominoes are not going to be too much of an influence in how much a consumer spends.

    Like

  20. Hmmm very interesting. I personally have not seen any advertising about this campaign but have heard about it from colleagues who are collecting for their nieces and nephews.
    In this stance, I’m going to say ‘genius’…. simply because it hasn’t been shoved down my throat from the media… but EVERYONE is talking about it.

    Like

  21. Great discussion point. This issue of “using children” or indirectly marketing to the main influencer in the household is a brilliant talking point. I myself would prefer to shop at an independent retailer, but as my closest shopping centre contains only Coles and Woolworths, we shop at Coles most regularly. However we have over the last few years found ourselves compelled to shop at Woolworths, to collect the cards / stamps / dominos etc. It doesn’t impress me shopping at my local Woolworths, as I have several key factors I dislike about the store. The fresh produce is poor in quality, the shelves seem to always be low, or out of stock, and you always have to wait to be served. For these reasons I will gladly shop elsewhere, except when I am required to collect the tokens on offer.

    Don’t ask me why, maybe its my inert need to satisfy my child’s every wish, or maybe its my subconscious need to not miss out on something, but time after time were back at Woolworth’s being disappointed, just to collect the tokens and trinkets as a reward for being there.

    And you could imagine my disappointment this week when we spent over sixty dollars in the store to be told they had run out of dominos!! This was only offset by me sudden realisation that now I could return to shopping in my regular supermarket.

    So the question is why do we keep going back to Woolworth’s each time they give something away? is it really worth it, or should I just go buy my son a dominos set from the toy store ? I guess its human nature, and peer pressure / a desire to be accepted in society. The last thing you want is your kid going to school and being mad fun of, or laughed at because he doesn’t have the Disney dominos. Right ?

    Well played Woolworths, well played.

    Like

  22. Hi,

    As a marketing strategy, the Woolworth’s campaign is a great idea. It plays on the notion that it’s hard to say no to kids. While it’s relatively straightforward to target children through product placement, the beauty of the campaign is it takes a large part of the buying process (i.e. assess a need, seek out a product, compare products, buy a product) out of the equation for the customer (e.g. parent buying the product for the child) and relies on incentives like spending an extra few dollars, usually impulsively at the checkout, to make a child happy and increase the likelihood of purchase. When replicated time and time again this potentially equates to significant ROI for Woolworths.

    However, I can understand that some would view the campaign as a marketing ploy that manipulates parents into spending more to put a smile on a child’s face and this in turn reinforces consumerist attitudes from an early age. However, the consumer (in this case the
    parent) has a choice to purchase and is not obliged to do so.

    Like

  23. This is genius!!! my nephew begs me to shop at Woolworths just so i can collect the dominoes. it works, i will shop there just so i clear my guilty conscience when he asks if I’ve collected any for him. do i agree with it, no. But woolworths is a business and if thats going to generate more profits than yes its genius!

    Liked by 1 person

    • i agree that children are a prime target to marketers . According to the YTV Kids and Tweens Report, kids influence:

      Breakfast choices (97% of the time) and lunch choices (95% of the time).
      Where to go for casual family meals (98% of the time) (with 34% of kids always having a say on the choice of casual restaurant).
      Clothing purchases (95% of the time).
      Software purchases (76% of the time) and computer purchases (60% of the time).
      Family entertainment choices (98% of the time) and family trips and excursions (94% of the time)

      Retrieved from:http://mediasmarts.ca/marketing-consumerism/how-marketers-target-kids.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your post Carolyne, it is fantastic!!!

        It is important to see how children behaviour is being manipulated by marketing campaigns and more importantly the behaviour of the whole family is being channel by advertisement.

        If you don’t mind i will quote part of your post in my reflective essay due next week.

        Cheers,

        Mauricio

        Like

  24. Mauricio and Esme – I like your blog.

    I don’t think Woolies are being unethical but personally I don’t feel like it is marketing genius either. The strategy may certainly work for improved sales but I find this sort of marketing pressure annoying.

    Shopping for groceries is a necessity and therefore should be convenient, cost effective and generally low stress. Creating a marketing campaign where the pressure to buy comes from another source and is nothing to do with the 3 components I mentioned above, generally creates annoyance for me.

    This campaign is up there with fuel discount dockets. The notion of receiving a discount at a service station that is connected to the supermarket is one that we feel compelled to take up even if the net price of fuel is no better than the competitor or the net price of groceries + fuel is no better than the competitor. Often the discount on fuel may not be that great depending (less than a cup of coffee) on how big your fuel tank is.

    These campaigns create unnecessary “noise” in our lives when I much more important and lasting things to focus my attention on.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. great blog post & an interesting topic.

    I am a non-parent, yet like you I have found myself sucked in to collecting dominoes for other people’s children. However I don’t think it’s altered how much I spend or what I buy. When I am in the aisles of the supermarket, I am not thinking about the dominoes at all. I only remember when I get to the checkout.

    If I was a parent, this woolworth’s campaign would probably lead to me shopping at Aldi or Coles – to avoid being nagged by my kid for fricken dominoes!

    Like

  26. This is a very interesting discussion topic and relevant with Burger Kings deciding to take the ‘moral highground’ and stop advertising for children and giving away toys. The article below also considers the ‘countdown/woolworths’ strategy and the impacts on social media.

    http://stoppress.co.nz/blog/2015/04/burger-king-takes-moral-high-ground-stops-offering-toys-meals-and-advertising-kids

    Personally I think it takes two parties to make the purchase of any goods or service, no one individual can call Woolworths unethical if they then make a choice to purchase at the store.

    Those who continue to purchase and then complain about are obviously unaware about how their values (keeping their children satisfied, happy, quiet) impact their buying decisions.

    It will be very interesting to see the impact of Burger Kings choices as they obviously understand the social impact the advertising has had in the past and have now taken a stand to change it.

    Like

  27. The controversial part of Woolworth’s strategy is that their targets are not the ones with the spending power.

    They target children who have no income of their own, so that these children can influence their parents to purchase the products. So decision making has been removed from the hands of the parents. Woolworth’s counts on children being better able than themselves to influence their parents purchase decisions.

    While this might initially sound controversial, is this not how it is supposed to work anyway? Don’t kids have to ask their parents to buy basically everything for them? Ultimately the weight of children’s purchases always falls on their parent’s shoulders and a strategy of exploiting this seems perfectly fine to me.

    Like

  28. I would say that I had to change my habits just because this domino campaign. Having two children under 8 and be creative to convince them to come to the grocery store with me it is always a challenge. I used to go to Aldi or Coles, but now they just agree to go to weekly shopping if we go to Woolworth and get those dominos. My two year old can talk about this during all the time we spend walking through the aisles. We can’t forget about the little birds as well – the “cheap cheap” think – they are doing a very good job convincing our main decision makers.

    Like

  29. Thank you for your post.
    There is no doubt that this campaign is distinguishing and smart, as it targets at children where utilise their influences to induct adults purchase behaviour.
    Moreover, as two leading grocery companies, Coles and Woolworth can hardly differentiate from each other in accordance to their product, service, location, pricing and targeted consumer. As consequence, instead of having massive pricing wars which potentially incurs financial loss, they both develop creative and differentiated marketing campaigns to influence and encourage consumers purchase behaviour.
    However, back to the topic, in my opinion, I wouldn’t say it is unethical but genius. As this is smart move and this can improve and/enhance family relationships in some ways.

    Like

  30. Pingback: McDonald’s Survives Children Targeted Marketing: Is it Ethical Tough | T1 2016 MPK732 Marketing Management (Cluster B)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s