Since my own daughter started back to school, obviously all the other school-districts are getting going as well. My friend Natasha’s daughter started first grade two weeks ago actually. When I was over at the house she told me a story about how Mary came home from school and announced that “All the other girls all have Twinkle Toes shoes.” Really? Wow. All the other girls. Mary wanted to know why she didn’t have Twinkle Toes and Natasha told her that that’s not what they’d decided to buy and, of course, she didn’t need to be just like everyone else. We both chalked it up to a Good Life Lesson and that was that.
Well, fast forward one week and my sister-in-law was on her way over to the house to visit the kids. She called and said she was stopping by McDonald’s and wanted to know if she could get the kids anything. Jason told her sure, whatever is fine, and hung up. When she got to the house Jenny carried in three Happy Meal boxes and set them on the table.
Now, I’m not a big McDonald’s gal, but once in a blue-moon I’ll pop through the drive-through to get the kids a hamburger. I don’t know that I’ve ever gotten them a Happy Meal just because they don’t eat much anyways, and it’s pretty expensive. So the fact that Jenny got them Happy Meals was something different. As they dug into their boxes I couldn’t help but notice Francesca’s toy:
Well, now isn’t this interesting? A Sketchers brand Twinkle Toes key-chain. Also, the entire box was decorated with snazzy-looking cartoon kids wearing the different varieties of Twinkle Toes shoes. (The box has long been thrown away.)
Look, the gizmo even lights up!
So the Mystery of Why All the Little Girls of the First Grade Are All in Twinkle Toes Shoes has been solved I’d say. And this is only one piece of it. I’m sure there were tons of commercials on Nickelodeon and Disney as well. Another reason why we don’t have the kids watching any commercial television. The PBS info-mercials featuring Pillow-Pets were enough to get them clamoring for one!
Now I have nothing against Twinkle Toes from a design perspective (although I do have something against them from a cost perspective at $50 per pair.) They’re cute shoes and let’s face it, little girls love color-explosions. The problem, to me, is when something in our minds or our children’s minds becomes the “only acceptable option”. That’s a branding mentality that we must constantly challenge in ourselves and definitely take care to protect our children from.
Have a wonderful day!