Super Nanny discipline - cages for children?

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Parents of toddlers have their patience tested every day. They dream of escape to a world without "no", without whining, without little speeding bullets running around, without mealtime battles. This ad campaign took these parent fantasies to whole other level. See what you think.

Super Nanny ad campaign

The Super Nanny ad campaign featured control toys.

A range of child restraint toys has appeared in toy stores in Brazil. The display in stores is part of a novel Super Nanny ad campaign. The tagline for these control toys by the Super Nanny TV show is: ‘‘Toys that teach how not to educate your child.’

Bunch of harnessing toys 

Super Nanny is a TV show that helps desperate parents to deal with badly behaved children. In order to promote its new season to parents, a fictitious line of toys with absurd features to discipline children were created. This brightly colored collection includes the following four toys.

Super Nanny ad campaign

Super Nanny launched a line of control toys to restrain ill-behaved children.

  1. Funny Cage – Shows a picture with a boy playing with his toys inside a cage. ‘Don’t limit your child’s playing. Limit his space’. 
  2. Baby Trap Chair – A high chair with wrist and ankle manacles with the tagline, ‘The end of suffering at meal times’.  
  3. Happy Heavy Ball – A simple ball and chain for the ankle, colored bright orange and with a smiley face on the ball. It claims ‘No more running around the house’.  
  4. Lovely Strait Jacket – A harness jacket offers to ‘keep your children’s hands away from your home’s beautiful and expensive decoration’.

A joke that sparked the idea for the campaign! Read it on the next page.

Super Nanny ad campaign

The idea of controlling kids started out as a joke and it got people’s attention.

Super Nanny ad campaign

Copywriter Luis Felipe Figueiredo created the successful Super Nanny ad campaign ads, with Antonio Correa, for the international advertising agency, Publicis. When asked how the idea clicked, they said, “We put ourselves in parent’s place for a minute thinking what we could do to control kids and the idea came as a joke. Well, it’s a joke but maybe that’s what we need to get their attention. In fact, we even bet that some parents would consider the possibility of buying those crazy toys.”

The Super Nanny ad campaign was rolled out on TV through an elaborate ruse. The products were marketed as actual discipline aids. Print ads with the same theme appeared in local publications. They marketed these child cages, trap chairs, balls and chains and straitjackets as real products. Fake packages for these control toys were  placed in one of the biggest toy store chains in Brazil. They then recorded customer reactions on video.

Visitors to the toy shop were taken in by the seemingly real display of cages, trap chairs, balls and chains and straitjackets for toddlers. A video showing parents reacting with horror has gone viral. Thankfully (for the future mental health of our youngsters) , most parents felt the control toys were an overly harsh way to discipline difficult kids. Phew! What if they had thought it was good idea?

Super Nanny ad campaign

The Super Nanny ad campaign proved to be very successful in garnering viewership.

A successful promotion

“Our ad has been successful in putting forth the intended message – There are better ways to discipline your child. Watch Super Nanny,” says the mastermind behind the Super Nanny ad campaign.

So did the Super Nanny ad campaign work? Yes, it did, Super Nanny’s TV ratings were a lot higher than expected. But more importantly, it reminded stressed out parents that they are not alone in dealing with the so-called terrible toddler years. They don’t always have to be terrible and that there are effective and gentle ways to deal with difficult toddler behavior. If not, at least now you know where to get a child-sized cage for your living room.

Are the toddler years terrible for you? How are your coping? Share your ideas with other parents in the comments below. 



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Written by

Roshni Mahtani