Kids and Wrestling: by Kevin Kelly

Discussion in 'Columns Lounge' started by TheOneBigWill, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. TheOneBigWill

    TheOneBigWill [This Space for Rent]

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    Kids and Wrestling by Kevin Kelly:

    So, the WWE is targeting children, eh? In other great news, cult leaders unite to say polygamy prevents cavities and the White House says the surge in Iraq is working. To say I’m skeptical…well, maybe a little.

    Seems a new marketing initiative inside the Walls of Titan is aimed at gaining the eyes and allowances of the 6-10 year old set. They’re going to create a new WWE Kids Magazine and find other ways to go after the kids in your neighborhood elementary school. I wonder how many of the zillions of executives they have now in the WWE used to work for “Big Tobacco”. Why not unite the two and have John Cena ride to the ring on top of Joe Camel?

    As bizarre as the concept of wrestling targeting kids, it’s been tried before. After the New Generation nearly bankrupted the company and then turned into the Attitude Era, the company tried to go back and target kids again. It was a laughable disaster. To anyone inside the Walls of Titan reading this, go to someone who’s been with the company more that ten years and ask if they remember “Krozor”? Let’s take you back to early 1997 and the Company Meeting held at a non-distinguished hotel in downtown Stamford, which is the worst town I have ever been in.

    Jim Cornette and I sat in the back of the room as some old guy, who was an outsider hired for large coin, got up and began a video presentation. The audio on the tape was unmistakable. It was the theme from “2001-A Space Odyssey”. Yes, Ric Flair’s theme! And right as WCW was stomping us in the ratings! So, of course, Corney and me both let out a “Whoooo!” at the right point of the song. 400 people in a room and two assholes gotta ruin it! Goddamn that was funny!

    Jimmy and I are practically pissing our pants we are laughing so hard as the preview of “Krozor” rolls along. Apparently the Undertaker is going to be in space and fight monsters or some nonsense in this comic book. There was more but it’s hard to focus on the screen when you are crying from laughter. The preview ends… stunned silence followed by polite applause. It was awkward, like if your babysitter asked you and your wife to review her newest porn movie. You feel obligated to like it but it was wrong on so many levels.

    Needless to say, “Krozor” only lasted one preview issue in the WWF Magazine and soon, Vince Russo got his clutches on creative and that was that for targeting kids. Now, what the WWE got was the most lucrative period in industry history so what they wasted on the vomit-inducing space comic wasn’t missed. And we still had our fair share of “youngin’s” at shows… most with their little middle fingers in the air, mouthing swear words they hear from Momma and Daddy.

    So, will this latest marketing initiative last or be productive? No and no but at least polygamists and George W. Bush won’t be the only ones wrong.

    Should kids be targeted by the WWE? Should the WWE adjust their target marketing to an older group? And what kind of slogan can they use for this child-friendly campaign? I suggest "WWE--We're more than just steroids and silicone!" I bet you have better suggestions than that. Let's hear them in the forum.
     
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  2. John87

    John87 Teh Mexican :D

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    Is it just me, or does it feels as though WWE is trying to shut out the older fans with this kids thing? why try to target kids when the kids get into WWE anyways, REGARDLESS! haha i mean they do and they dont even have to know about it at first. when a younger cousin of mine turned 3, me and my brother had him into wrestling before he knew it was even a sport. Theres really no reason to target the kids when they will end up finding out on their own. and does Vince and the corporation at Titan believe that by using this targeting kids, think that some youngin is just gonna cream its pants and drool when it sees a WWE kids magazine? NO! its gonna take time the damn kid isnt gonna be like DOUBLE DOUBLE EEEEE YEAH!!!! so this target thing is gonna blow. and didnt you say it failed a first time anyways?
     
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  3. wzkevinkelly

    wzkevinkelly New Member

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    Well sure. You never have to spend money or time to get little kids to like wrestling. Problem is that if you "cater" to them, like you said, it shuts out older fans who like unnecessary blood, boobs and violence.
     
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  4. Lil Wes

    Lil Wes All Eyez On Me

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    It seems to me they have been targeting them for quiet awhile since WWE turned to absolute shit around 2005. I look at RAW as nothing more than a kids show, you got superheros, faces winning all the goddamn time, heels made out to look like chumps, good talent being job out by the old, hornswoggle, kiddy comedy, squashes etc.

    It's crap for the older fans. Nowadays the fanbase is kiddies and women anyways, so why continue to target them? Kids will watch regardless, and as long as John Cena keeps wrestling with a boner and shirt off. Women will too.

    Bring back some attitude, this shit is boring.
     
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  5. Shadowmancer

    Shadowmancer I am The Last Baron

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    If wrestling with a Boner gets you over with Women how come Rene Dupree never got that over.

    If they want to have a kids based show then they should have a kids based show and not have RAW and ECW be overpopulated with Kiddie things Smackdown has been kid friendly since it has been on "free" TV. And with Rey Rey.
     
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  6. Remasked Kane

    Remasked Kane Dark Match Jobber

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    Nothing wrong with some kid's marketing, just overdoing it is the problem.

    It's not that marketing to kid's is what will fail, it's just how WWE will do it that will be the issue.

    I think if they were to drop ECW and get a Saturday morning timeslot with new matches plus 'kid-friendly' recap and specials (like SuperStars/LiveWire used to be), that'd be okay. If they turn Raw/Smackdown into 'kid's shows', that would be crap. It would just depend how they do it. There is nothing wrong with toning down some of the excessive sex/violence on, say, Smackdown while it's on from 8:00 to 9:00 (they don't draw much money with all that sexual stuff anymore, anyhow), but WWE still needs to know that males 18-34 have a lot of disposable income and that's always going to be their target market...
     
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  7. jts1031

    jts1031 Guest

    When has it not been marketed toward kids? Walk through Toys R Us and you'll see pegs of WWE figures, rings and playsets, and kids belts. Even the Championship belt reproductions come in a kid's size. They'll just be more obvious about it in the future...
     
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  8. Mighty NorCal

    Mighty NorCal SHALL WE BEGIN?

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    If they absolutely MUST have something primarily based towards children, its pretty obviously should be SD! since its on Network TV. I think you should cater to your WHOLE audience, and make the other shows more adult oriented, and on later at night, and one more targeted towards kids, and on earlier at night. I mean how many small children in that age group are even allowed to stay up late enough to watch all of RAW?? Or ECW?? Those facts right there sorta debunk this whole notion really...How can you give any kind of weight to this rumor when the shows and PPVs take place much later than children of the supposed target audience can generally stay up to watch??? Sounds like more WZ news site "facts" to me. :rolleyes:
     
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  9. TheRealDC

    TheRealDC Getting Noticed By Management

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    The biggest quarrel I have with the magazine itself, is the direct marketing. Sure everyone has made good points, especially the one about Toys "R" Us. The marketing has always been present. But, this is a more direct approach, and most people see it as a threat to "dumb down" the wrestling. When in fact... it has nothing to do with that. Because if memory serves me well... E.C.W. (I'm talking the Paul Heyman, 4:20 RVD, and Sabu neck break days here) they had action figures as well. I even have an ECW show taped that has a commercial for them (youtube it, its probably there). Action figures aren't that bad though, as some full grown men, still to this day, collect them. I myself am guilty of buying a couple action figures, and actually playing with them, granted I'm almost 23 so I find humor in making my Spawn action figure pretend to beat off in the face of my drunken passed out friend, thats amusing to me, but not my point. People with money, buy things. Its a well known fact.

    However, when does the notion of money come in to play... if Little Timmy only makes $10 a week for allowance. He has to save up to get the stuff he wants, its a parenting tool that is used to get kids ready. Kids usually earn the stuff they are given, at least thats how I was brought up. It just meant more if your earned it, because there was no guilt involved. If you did your chores, and worked, you get rewarded. This sat you up for the workplace. And Evolution into adulthood followed in tow.

    Now, after that little tirade I want to bring it together. Let's get a little hypothetical...
    --I'm part of a company, that has been accused (directly or indirectly) with the deaths of athletes due to substance abuse, suicide, and/or murder.
    --I am part of a company that has been accused (directly or indirectly) with the deaths of young kids imitating my company's employees actions.
    --I am part of a company that has been accused (directly or indirectly) with the manners in which some young kids conduct themselves.
    --I'm part of a company that uses violence as its key selling point.
    --I'm part of a company thats use of women is borderline degrading towards feminist women, including... the exploitation of said women belonging to my company exposing themselves in adult oriented magazines. And, I will advertise said adult oriented magazine containing my company's female employee, on my TV show.
    --I am part of a company in which accidents are frequent, due to the supply and demand of innovation as well as the supply and demand for physical specimens that can take a fall from greater heights then what would normally be considered "un-survivable".
    --I am part of a company whose top stars quality, is to take a beating, but come back and win against all odds.
    --I am part of a company whose biggest stable, at one point in time, used a catch phrase that implied the sexual act of ******io.
    --I am part of a company that is obligated to use the ratings system provided that anything I am about to show on my TV, may be offensive to some viewers.

    NOW... does it really sound like I should be marketing, purposely, towards little kids. Marketing is marketing, no matter which way you look at it. Thats all it ever is. You have no say in who should be seeing your advertisements, (unless they have a pornographic rating). You can't tell a kid that sees your action figures in Toys R Us, not to purchase this. Because your not directly marketing towards him. For all you can be concerned, the father would be the likely suspect about who got the child into wrestling in the first place. Thats not your fault. HOWEVER, if you start to directly marketing, to kids, by dolling up your product as a kids product, your not only asking for trouble, your begging for it now. I don't know if this is a cry by WWE to the media for a pat on the back. But its not going to work. Its going to fail. It's doomed to fail. The reason it failed the last time, isn't because of the direct marketing, it was a shitty idea, lol. A WWE Kid's magazine, on paper, sounds like a good idea. But when it comes to the actual product, its FAR, FAR FAR FAR AWAY from childhood safe.

    Rather then take this course of action in their marketing, WWE should leave it to the adults to judge whether or not their product is ok for their children to view. That, my friends, is taking the high road. Market, and leave it to the grown ups to judge. But, for WWE to try to market their product to get little Timmy to buy into it, that is just wrong. WWE, will never be McDonalds. WWE will never be Disney. WWE will never be Nickelodeon. WWE will never be a kids show. While some could consider wrestlings "Golden Age" as a market towards kids, often those times were dark in themselves. Any positive message that WWE could have put out to kids, is long gone. Those days cannot be brought back. Once they went into the Attitude Era, the proverbial "Shit" hit the fan. There is no looking back. I'm sorry. John Cena, is not the new Hulk Hogan.

    WWE Kids Magazine is like the tobacco companies putting their warnings on the boxes. "This is not good for you.". And much to the same effect, WWE should have an age rating. Because violence can cause death, or serious injury, just like a cigarette can cause death or cancer. Think about it.
     
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