Creating a Marketing Frenzy

Learning Goals

Students will demonstrate:

  • an understanding of the ways in which marketers use hype to sell products
  • an awareness of how customers respond to marketing hype
  • awareness of the elements that make a product desirable

Gotta Have It!

  1. Recall any "must have" toys over the past few years.
  2. What made these toys so popular?
  3. Why did so many children want them?

Characteristics of a "must have" toy...

  1. Create a profile of the characteristics of a "gotta have it" toy. (e.g., supply and demand - "if it's difficult to get a hold of, those who have it feel really special)

Follow Up!

  1. Do you think that the time of year is important in building excitement around a particular toy?
  2. When are you most likely to have a consumer frenzy around a toy? Why might this happen?
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Tickle Me Elmo


  1. Do you think your parents are susceptible to this kind of consumer frenzy? What kinds of things might they be frantic to get?
  2. In your opinion, how long does a consumer frenzy last? What are some indicators that a toy might be losing its appeal?
  3. What is the difference between a fad and a trend? Provide examples of toys that have been fads, and toys that represent a trend (as in the difference between toys that are "one-hit wonders", and toys that inspire imitation and stand the test of time).
  4. Does this sort of frenzy apply to other things, such as music, celebrities or movies?
  5. What is the downside of consumer frenzies? What is the problem about putting so much emphasis on things and what we own?
  6. Can you do anything to avoid getting caught up in this? What would you suggest to a friend?

Create a Marketing Sensation


Devise a marketing strategy for a new toy that will involve arousing media attention. List some imaginative ways that you can think of to get exposure for your toy.


Investigate other frenzied toy-buying fads and find out how those trends got started.

Project Due: Friday February 26th, 2016