Kidult expands into the food mass market

Considering our role in the B2B entertainment market, we cannot fail to consider the new dynamics emerging from the “kidult” universe and the advancement of the “nerd” target from niche market to mainstream. In order to better understand these new trends, we host this regular appointment, entrusting the selection of some case studies to the expertise of Mattia Coen, consultant and expert in the fun&collectibles market for almost 30 years. Here is the third in-depth study: a not-too-daring comparison between two leading brands on their respective food supermarket shelves, which try their hand at Kidult themes to promote their products.

Here I am again, guest of MLD Entertainment, to tell you about what happens in the interesting kidult’s world. To get the ball rolling, I mention two company examples from the food & beverage market.

Disclaimer: both promotional campaigns have different objectives, geographical area and product categories. What I would like to highlight is the increasing trend of using kidult themes and all the elements by which they stand out.

Let’s deal with an interesting worldwide promotional campaign by Coca-Cola: a limited time campaign, where 38 Marvel characters will appear on uniquely designed bottles and cans. The 38 characters will be distributed on different products. For example, if you wish to collect Deadpool, you will have to buy a Coca-Cola, while if you would like to find Captain America, you will have to opt for Coca-Cola Zero. Every packaging will be provided with a virtual reality purpose, in order to transfer the character shown on the can or bottle to your mobile phone. Here is the link to a promotional spot, showing the high narrative pop quality of the video campaign.

Italpizza also chose to opt for something easier, in order to increase the shelf impact, that still winks at the world of young adults, a world that unquestionably goes hand in hand with its own product. As Coca Cola, Italpizza as well decided to collaborate with Marvel, taking advantage of the Deadpool & Wolverine film release. Some images of the main characters have been added on the packaging for the 26×38 limited line, using some sort of word games when communicating it.

On a totally different front, I bring to your attention a news from Lego. A short time ago the Tuxedo set came out: a cat made of bricks. A cat, however, to which you can change the position of its paws or the ‘expression’ of its eyes and mouth, that looks good in the house and can also be modified as you decide. A cat that reembodies all the visual elements of the Lego Botanical line. Tuxed set as well benefits from some typical elements from the kidult world: a deep passion, the desire to declare it and show it, customisation that emphasises identification and, of course, play. By the way, Japanese Apricot and Chrysanthemum came out for Botanical.

I leave the floor with an article, recommended to me by a friend, on how Lego emerged from its darkest hour and how, from there on, it took the path that has led it to be the market leader for more than 15 years.


Mattia Coen

Retail Specialist