With thanks and a tip of the hat to reader Richo, we will hold our tongue and refrain from railing against the abject greed of our times, the predatory DNA and absence of morality of all in the FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) sectors, and also from invoking the merits of capital punishment, as we instead merely copy verbatim the following news story from the Herald Sun, and let the words speak for themselves:
ONE of Australia’s largest real estate agencies is targeting children as young as four as the next generation of home buyers.
LJ Hooker is following in the footsteps of fast food, toy and clothing giants, planting the seeds of brand recognition in very young children.
The company makes no secret that its educational app and dedicated kids website, launched this week, are designed to encourage kids to become future LJ Hooker clients.
Georg Chmiel, LJ Hooker CEO, describes the digital pitch to kids, predominantly aged from four to nine, as an industry first and a clever initiative to raise brand awareness.
“LJ Hooker is successfully building a positive relationship with the next generation of Australian real estate tenants, buyers and sellers,” Mr Chmiel said.
The app and website’s central character Mr Hooker bear – LJ Hooker’s international mascot – could hardly fail to attract kids. He frequents community events throughout Australia, has his own range of merchandise, and Mr Hooker Bear’s suit is available for school hire.
Since it’s launch almost 2500 have signed up for the app, Mr Hooker Bear’s Letter Pop, which is designed to entertain kids, freeing up parents’ time.
“Children attending open for inspections and marketing appraisals are often bored and cranky, now they can have fun with an element of practical learning,” Mr Chmiel said.
“It’s almost like catching two fish with one rod, the app and site address the distraction element with modern technology to keep kids engaged while at the same time building brand awareness in a nice way.”
The app is available for free.
LJ Hooker said it began cultivating brand recongnition in children with the Next Barbie Dream Home campaign last month.
Marketing experts say brand loyalties can be established as early as age two, and by the time children head off to school, most can recognise hundreds of brand logos.
Digital technology is one of the most desirable marketing mediums to target children as it is part of youth culture, and parents generally do not understand the extent to which kids are being advertised to online.