Marketing, Motherhood, and Mayhem


May 20th, 2010 by Deb McLean

In my 50 years, I recall many obsessions off the top of my head such as Mood Rings, Pet Rocks, Big Wheels (although I was too big at the time. I was terribly jealous of my little brother’s ability to tool around the neighborhood), Tickle Me Elmos, those HORRIBLE Cabbage Patch Dolls and more recently Beanie Babies and Webkins.  But these Silly Bands…as the actors in my favorite Guinness commercial would proclaim, BRILLIANT!  

Silly Bandz are all the rage with kids (okay, friends, I’ve actually been wearing a heart one on my right wrist for a week, a gift from my daughter…I’m such a sucker).  Sold in packs of 12 for about $2.50, or 24 for about $5, they are organized according to theme: animals, princesses, alphabet, Western, for example. Children stack them on their wrists and trade them. The coveted ones glow in the dark. On a child’s wrist, they look like brightly colored rubber bands, but laid on a lunchroom table for inspection, they revert to their original shape.  It’s a total obsession and very viral.  It’s the perfect fad from a retail point of view.  Kids lose them.  They break.  If your friend has a certain one, you have to have it too.  They are affordable, collectible and tradable.  They’ve even been banned from most school districts because they have become too much of a distraction.

In this hi-tech era (i.e., expensive gadget, aka Apple Era), it’s nice to see something so simple captivate kids.   I just wish it had been my idea!!!!!

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