P.R. Pitch of the Month (or Maybe the Decade)
By Joe Nocera
Like most journalists, I have an in-box inundated with p.r. pitches, most of which go directly to the recycle bin, where they belong. But every once in a while, I get one that is so brazen, so craven, so mind-bogglingly inane that I feel compelled to share it with others.
Now that I am blogging, I can share them with you! (Flacks of America: don’t say you weren’t warned.) Check out, especially, the second to last paragraph: “Children have become fashion accessories … etc.” Makes you just want to run right out and buy Phil & Ted’s product line, doesn’t it? The author of this gem, by the way, is Amanda Miller, a vice president at Nike Communications, which describes itself as “a full-service public relations firm specializing in the marketing and promotion of luxury goods and premium lifestyle products.” Such as children, apparently.
Hope you are well! How will Brangelina tote around their new twins this August? It certainly won’t be in two separate carriages.
With the widespread use of fertility drugs and an increase in women having children later in life (average age is now 31), twins — and children born in quick succession — are born in greater quantity now more than ever. But how is the market responding to this trend? And what are the tools out there to help parents deal with two tykes … and deal with them in style?
In a recent People Magazine spread of J.Lo and her newborn twins, Jenny from the Block and husband Marc Anthony were photographed outside their NJ mansion, each pushing an old-fashioned pram. Are Jen and Marc really going to each push a huge stroller around town every time they want to take the kids out? Probably not. Several years ago, Phil & Ted’s, the premiere maker of juvenile products, introduced the first in-line stroller; and this year updated it to include a handbrake and sleeker, chicer look, which has become a favorite of Gwyneth Paltrow and Brooke Shields. Sales of in-line strollers have quadrupled in the last few years as parents have become fed up with the struggle to fit cumbersome double strollers through doors and in to elevators. (Look for the J.Lo prams on eBay).
Phil & Ted’s, which is the Apple of juvenile products launching 10 new products a year that ameliorate the quality of life for parents, also produces a Traveller, which is a playpen/sleep solution that sleeps two newborns; and -– in fact -– doctors recommend that newborn twins sleep together in the first few months. Smaller (and less expensive than a crib) the Traveller is lightweight and portable. In fact, Phil & Ted’s is the only fully diversified juvenile products manufacturer and boasts the highest profitability per square foot for retailers; and at just fourteen years old, Phil & Ted’s has an annual growth rate of about 120%, which is expected to treble in the next few years.
Children have become fashion accessories to parents who take them out and show them off not only in the park, but also in restaurants, chic resorts, and places that used to be the bastion of couples; which necessitates chic accoutrements to make them more mobile, like strollers, portable cribs and playpens. As our cultural trends change and evolve, it is interesting to examine how the market responds to the needs of new parents by producing innovative, new products that respond to every touch point in a parent’s day.
I look forward to speaking with you soon.
1. July 14, 2008
11:04 am Actually, I think it’s a pretty good pitch. And using “fashion accessory” for “children” is just plain fun. Don’t take life so seriously, Joe.
— John K 2. July 14, 2008
11:05 am Question: is the PR industry merely a reflection of our culture, or a source of our shallowness?
Thanks for sharing. http://joefusco.com — Joe Fusco 3. July 14, 2008
I have been a PR professional for over 20 years. This pitch