Save money the passive-aggressive way: Hide marketing from your kids

Last week, I went to an event here in Portland where Wieden+Kennedy (famous for coming up with Nike's "Just Do It" campaign) former creative director Jelly Helm was speaking about marketing and conversation. He declared that advertising was dead. No one, he said, looked at advertising any more and said, "I want to buy that!"

I didn't have a chance to shout out from the audience "huh?" He obviously hasn't been in a living room with my children. He hasn't watched TV while a perfectly noxious-sounding ad comes on -- the one parents tune out -- and my boys, all the way from the 17-month-old to the six-year-old, start jumping up and down with excitement over Horton Hears a Who or that game where hippopotamuses eat marbles. He hasn't seen them seated rapturously on the floor with a Target or WalMart circular, playing "I want that!" and fighting over who, exactly, gets to want the Spiderman/Power Rangers/Pokemon what-have-you.

And he would be shocked, and I am not proud of this but I have been known to lose my self-control when faced with the increasingly-frantic "can I have this PLEASE!?!" for the end-of-the-aisle displays in the grocery store, or the seasonal aisle in the drug store.

I finally found a solution that is both passive-aggressive and elegant in its simplicity. It works, and it saves me tons of money and (if one is possessed with far more will-power than me, you might be saving money but are losing this) sanity.