Monday, April 16, 2007

The Kidzania Brand Experience

Martin Lindstrom, co-author of BrandChild, has been producing a weekly video blog for AdAge.com highlighting new trends in branding from around the world. This week's installment (to paraphrase the AdAge description) focuses on "Kidzania" a Japanese theme park aimed at "edutaining" kids all about the "real world", which also just so happens to be the real world of consumer brands. For $30, kids can experience a day of "working" in one of 70 different "jobs" in a highly stylized, miniature urban environment. While some of the "jobs" seem to remain generic--such as "firefighter"--many more incorporate a form of interactive branding. The branded jobs or areas of the park range from Coca-Cola bottling plant worker to Johnson and Johnson hospital staff. The kids are outfitted in all the proper attire, and the park has now sold out for months in advance. Schools are sending classes in for the "edutainment" value, which Lindstrom claims to be "an emerging role for brands". Eek! You can watch the vlog entry here (not compatible with Safari, I think), but keep in mind this is told firmly from a pro-branding-to-kids perspective.

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