The advertising industry is regularly criticised for targeting children to pester their parents for food or toy brands. So, it’s somewhat ironic that this month’s WFA newsletter is showcasing, via Contagious, soap brand Gelo getting kids to pester parents about the planet.
Hand soap Gelo created a cookie-tracking tool that serves parents messages about the evils of single-use plastics. The cookie tracker is aimed at children who want to convince their parents to shop more sustainably and can be activated by visiting The Parent Track page on Gelo’s website.
Once activated on a device, the tracker serves it with Gelo ads with messages such as ‘You still kiss your kids in public; don’t embarrass them more by buying single-use packaging’ and ‘Your kids aren’t mad that you bought single-use packaging, they’re just disappointed. Which is way worse.’
Clicking on the ads directs users to a webpage with educational tools created by Gelo to give guidance on how to be kinder to the environment. Gelo has also created a guide for children on how to have the ‘Save the Birds and the Bees’ talk. The tool was created in partnership with New York-based Mischief @ No Fixed Address.
Gelo has cleverly flipped the child-parent relationship on its head by encouraging children to track their parents’ internet use, nag them to change their behaviour, and sit them down for a ‘talk’ about single-use plastics. While the idea of a cookie-tracking media buys sounds intrusive, ultimately Gelo is sending parents a message they can’t disagree with: single-use plastics are bad news. Further, having kids install the tracker makes it seem less sinister, and by speaking to parents through their children, Gelo increases the likelihood that they will listen.
Thanks to the World Federation of Advertisers and Contagious for this content.