What Made Me Smileby Katie Foth on 02/28/18
One of the joys of working with children is watching their humor develop. For a young child, humor is typically simple. If I point to my nose (a label they know well) and call it my ear, they giggle. Playing dumb is rather fun: "Oh, that's my nose, not my ear? Oh, then this must be my ear!" (I point to my eye). More giggles. Eventually, one of the kids tells me that I am all mixed up. We laugh, and the game is over.
One of the boys in my class has picked up on this humor and tries to trick me into thinking my peas are blue. He laughs when I smile and tell him he can't fool me. My peas are green! He's the one all mixed up. Yet look at the picture above! Someone must have found (or made) blue peas. I'm not telling Dylan!
A few days ago, I enjoyed the simple humor of mislabeling from a different angle. Teachers at Park Place Children's Center are encouraged to sit down and eat lunch with the children to model manners and increase conversation. Rather than consume the children's milk, I brought a beverage for myself that day. I set my bottle next to my plate and announced, "Look what I have! I brought vitamin water to drink."
One of the boys looked at me strangely. "Spiderman water?" he asked.
This particular child loves pretending to be a superhero like Spiderman. Spiderman must have been on his mind. And one must admit that the cadences of "Spiderman" and "Vitamin" sound a bit similar.
I smiled and said, "No. My water is red like Spiderman, but it's VITAMIN water. Do you think Spiderman drinks vitamin water to keep himself strong and healthy?"
A confused look passed over his face. I'm guessing VITAMIN was a new word for him, and he had no idea what it meant. I didn't try to explain.
His confusion prompted me to think differently about vitamin water. Note the picture of Spiderman above. Do you see a mouth? Peter Parker may drink, but Spiderman must apparently rehydrate differently. But if there were vitamin water that gave Spiderman his "spidy" powers, I'd probably buy some and try it. Wouldn't you?
Some enterprising marketer has missed an opportunity!