BUILDING A KID-FRIENDLY BRAND

By Published on .

MARKETER: Keith Haring Foundation

WHERE TO FIND IT: haringkids.com

CRITIQUE: The government and activists are concerned about marketing to kids on the Internet. As they should. But what if your products are for children and you can't afford to produce a half-hour cartoon show, ala "G.I. Joe," or "Strawberry Shortcake" to sell them?

An unusual challenge for a unique artist: the late Keith Haring. His work was split between art for political causes -- much of which contained adult-oriented material -- and art for children.

A couple of years ago the Keith Haring Foundation launched Haring.com, which showcased his art and became the e-commerce version of his Pop Shop store in New York, which sells everything from Haring T-shirts to children's mobiles and books. However, it wasn't really a site for all ages.

So recently the foundation launched HaringKids.com, a site dedicated to Haring's younger audience. It's adorable, whimsical and educational with tons of material about how teachers and parents can integrate art into youngsters' lives.

Is it a marketing site? Not exactly. In fact, while you can get easily from Haring.com to HaringKids.com, you can't go the other way directly. But does it help build the Haring brand? You bet.

Marketing to children without really selling to them at all. Ingenious. And while we don't mean to say that this site was built to sell product, it builds an audience and the boutique site is close by.

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