Saturday, March 24, 2007

Baby Einstein

If you don't have children you'll be unaware of the phenomenon of Baby Einstein. So, let me fill you in. Baby Einstein is the biggest, most annoyingly simple money making scheme in the world outside of all those US companies who grow fat over "reconstructing" stuff that the US government bombs.

It works like this: some genius in San Francisco or somewhere had this idea that parents want their kids to be exposed to culture and all that stuff, while also being taken out of their hands for a while. Additionally that research was published some time ago suggesting that babies (and foetuses) who listen to Mozart will be vastly more intelligent than ones who listen to heavy metal or boy bands or something. So, they came up with the baby Einstein videos. In these videos music is played (we have the "Baby Beethoven" one), while on screen there are pictures of toys. And, in a nutshell, that's it. And, get this, they don't even pay for the toys - at the end of the video (which only lasts half an hour for your 15 quid or whatever they cost) there is a list of toyshops which supplied the toys.

So their business plan went something like this -
1. Get toyshops to give us a bunch of toys,
2. film them in action,
3. put the film to Beethoven's music (obviously out of copyright),
4. produce vast quantities of DVDs,
5. charge inflated prices for them
6. sell them to middle class parents

More or less no overheads, and a huge profit margin. It's brilliant. Really, I am always simultaneously irritated and impressed by people who come up with some incredibly simple idea through which they can make vast amounts of money. Bastards.

2 comments:

Mira said...

And the woman who came up with this brilliant idea was invited to Bush's State of the Union address this year and given a special shout-out.

Evan said...

There was a New Yorker piece a few years ago about the baby product industry racket in the US. Baby Einstein of course was mentioned.