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Toy Story 3 Marketing Strategy Used on Disposable Children’s Products

In our household we don’t watch much TV (hubby does-LOL-but the kids and I don’t) . I do on occasion let the kids watch movies and my 2 year does like the Toy Story movie series.

I was shopping the other day in a large department store and was pulled into the special “Toy Story 3” aisle. I hate to admit it but I am a softy when it comes to Toy Story. It is especially cute to hear my son say “Woooody” and “Buuuuzzzz”. I looked up and down the aisle and I did want to purchase a couple of things but held off because by 12 year old daughter said- “Now Mommy, you don’t want to spoil Riley.”(How wise is she? What a great kid!) As I was about to go to the next aisle the end cap was…I couldn’t believe it…Toy Story 3 disposable training pants! ACK! GASP! I couldn’t believe it.

Now this post is not written to “bash” the big boy disposable diaper companies but just to make everyone aware how the power of persuasive marketing can make parents purchase a product. Hypothetically if I didn’t use cloth diapers on Riley and used disposable diapers full time I have to admit that I would be tempted to purchase a package of these training pants. (Just being honest here!) I also have to admit that these big companies do have good marketing strategies (of course I don’t believe in them but do believe they are persuasive). However, because I am educated on “modern cloth diapering and cloth training” I know the following:

  1. My child will train quicker using a cloth product.
  2. My child will not be exposed to any of the ingredients in a main-stream disposable product.
  3. I am being more environmentally conscious.
  4. I will save MONEY!

Of course this list of benefits can go on and on!

Being that marketing tactics and campaigns can influence parent’s buying decisions what do you think we all can do as consumers, retailers, and manufacturer’s to “persuade” parents to switch to cloth diapers and/or cloth training pants? Do you think a more grassroots effort should be made or a marketing strategy implemented that utilizes licensed characters to persuade parents to switch to cloth diaper products?

(Please reply with comments that are constructive and not inflammatory. We appreciate your thoughts!)

By Kelly W.- The Cloth Diaper Whisperer


  1. Brena said...

    My son loves Thomas, and if there were Thomas cloth diapers, I'd use them. I'd use anything that would make changes easier. But even sharks and bumblebees and who knows what would make changes easier. We use GroVia and I love them. But it would be neat if my kids got excited about putting them on.

  2. Nikki said...

    Actually, one thing I like about cloth is the lack of licensed characters! But maybe for trainers…my son has mama-made trainers with dinosaurs on them and he love to put on his "dino undies"!

  3. Nancy said...

    I think the problem is awareness. People that I know don't seem to know about the cloth diapering options that are out there (they picture old fashioned ones/pins/rubber pants.) I think if maybe the "big box stores" where new mommies register would carry AIO and pocket diapers, more people would be inclined to give them a go….

  4. Rita said...

    I agree with Nancy to some degree, but I also like that a lot of CD companies are supporting small businesses by keeping their products out of the big box stores. I'm torn, but I do think if it were more mainstream, people would be more open to it.

    I like the "plain-ness" of solid colored CDs. But I imagine in the future, when my daughter can develop her own opinion, she'll prefer prints and "girly" things — God help me!!

  5. Beth said...

    I think people just don't know about cloth diapers these days. No one realizes how easy they are to use and that there are different varieties for different people.
    Really, the big thing for me is the $$ savings! It's like $17 for a pack of training pants!!! And my son knew they were just diapers, he always just peed in them.

  6. pamnatedog said...

    When i first started out cloth diapering it was on my second child who by the way is going to be 3 and couldnt careless about the potty and all my other friends( non-cloth) are trained. Point is u can get Toy Story Diapers if they are WAHM made. When Savannah was a baby she sported an AIO Tinkerbell diaper i bought on Ebay for like 6 or 7 bucks and it was soo crasy cute. I bought a girly Cars diaper that came with a iron on pic of Mator for a t-shirt. I will admit ive bought a few plain diapers from Ebay that werent the greatest but u can also look for a few on Etsy and get any character on them.

    The other day i showed my daughter a pair of cloth trainers and she said they were ugly, lol i got them from Babys r us, i thought they were cute. Cant do underwear cause she will pee on Tink and get upset so im going to look up some WAHM made Tinkerbell trainers.
    Sorry it was long but also look at the pricing on that box in that store, ur paying more per trainer then what u would pay getting the non-toy story of the same brand.

  7. Stephanie said...

    I think one way to get more moms into cloth is to talk about them and give them as gifts (baby shower). I kept hearing about cloth, and eventually I made the switch for money reasons.

    As for characters, I think more patterns would be good, especially in trainers. My daughter doesn't know many characters that are on things, but she loves her new green diaper.

  8. Rachel S. said...

    If you make your own diapers, the possibilities are endless. I saw a big lineup of Disney prints at Fabric Depot the other day.

  9. Christine said...

    I think Nancy hit the nail on the head!

    It's also cheaper to purchase a box of disposables in a pinch than to get one AIO diaper. If we had realized how easy cloth was from the beginning, we would've started buying cloth and saving up cloth when I was first pregnant. Instead, we bought a diapers every other shopping trip.

    We had a great stash when baby was born. But that stash only lasted about a month. Had we put that money into some good cloth diapers, we would've had an awesome stash of AIOs, pockets, fitteds, etc; and not had to spend anymore money.

    And regarding licensed characters and such … I love the idea of making my own diapers. Then I can put whatever characters I want on my diaper, whether licensed or not. I can make a football fan diaper. Or a favorite animal. Or smiley faces. And not just on the stretchy elastic, I can cover the whole diaper with said fabric.

    YAY for cloth!!!

  10. Mama Bennie said...

    I agree, that the big store should carry them, because Wal Mart, Target, and Babies R Us all carry them online, but you never see them in stores. TLC also does all of those birth shows and all kinds of short informational pieces, maybe one of the networks should do an informational piece on cloth diapers to educate parents to the options that are out there. On another blog I was also reading, they mentioned how you are bombarded with free disposable samples and formula samples and coupons that all conveniently come in a diaper bag sponsored by the formula company. My suggestion was maybe a few of the larger green companies should get together and made some "green bags" for mamas to try out. Just a thought though.

  11. Cari said...

    I think so much of encouraging people to switch is about showing, because as many have said most (I didn't!) don't know what's out there now. I've had a lot of parents ask me more when they see my daughter's diapers. So, having them more widely available would definitely be a start, though I agree with another comment that I like that many CD companies are trying to support smart businesses.

    And for training pants, I can definitely see how having licensed characters or even some of the other cute designs I've see available would help convince parents to try them because their toddler would be excited about it.

  12. Emma said...

    I agree that a lot of people view cloth diapering as old fashioned with pins and rubber pants. I do my best to educate people about new options. I find moms to be very interested.
    I like that my cloth diapers dont have Mickey, Pooh, and Dora on them. It drives me insane to see those characters splashed over every cheap disposable item in a store. I have a few patterned fitted diapers that I am sure my son will love when he is a little older (trains, tanks, lobsters, chickens).
    I am going to a cloth diaper party soon. Like a pampered chief party but for CDs. I think that is a great way for new moms to feel the diapers, learn about them, and try them out. And a group buying mentality never hurts!

  13. Stephanie H. said...

    I would like to see more options when it comes to CD in the big box stores. I found that buying nice AIO, or pockets was out of my price range. I was however determined to cloth diaper so i sewed my own. I think awareness is a very big issue. When we say we cloth diaper people automatically thing of the pins and rubber pants. Then when they see our diapering system they are amazed at how simple and friendly our diapers are to use. I know that if I hadn't done a lot of research just thinking of using the gerber prefolds available at walmart would not have been very impressive.

  14. dannyscotland said...

    I think the most important thing right now is to simply educate parents on the truths of using cloth. Many parents think they're still flat white diapers with pins, and they are freaked out by this (me being one of them). I think that a lot of parents would consider cloth if they knew how great it is now. Grassroots seems to be working, but slowly, so maybe some kind of bigger marketing might be in order. I am personally not a fan of licensed characters on all my child's things, but many parents are, so I don't know on that point. It might be a good idea, though…I'm picturing little embroidered Woodys and princesses on diapers.

  15. Melissa N. said...

    I agree with Nancy and Rita but you can actually add BumGenius, Flip, Kushies, Bumkins, or FuzziBunz to your registries at Target and Babies R Us. But since they are only avaiable online, I personally would rather purchase them from a small company than the big box. But if BabiesRUs and Target (or Wal-Mart) had them on the same aisle as regular diapers then the word would definitely get out to the general public easier. There is something to be said for being able to hold something before buying it.
    I actually picked up 2 brand new FuzziBunz at Target (in store) on sale 50% off because they were a return and since they didn't carry them in store they had slashed the prices to get rid of them.
    I would love to see an ad campaign on TV showing cloth diapers. Even if it was for a week or month where several cloth diaper companies pooled money together to purchase a campaign and spread the cloth diaper love!

  16. girlsmom0406 said...

    I've said it before but I really think the best marketing for cloth diapers would be to have them more visible. Whenever I meet people interested in my cloth they are usually very impressed (usually under the impression that cloth diapers are only prefolds and covers) until they ask the common question, "where do you get them?" and I have to explain that you have to buy them online because no local stores sell them. If you walked down the diaper isle at Target and next to the disposable diapers was a section with modern cloth diapers I am positive there would be more people using cloth. Most people simply don't think of it as an option because it's not shown to them other than the rare occasion they see someone using cloth. One of the best things any company can do for it's product is to make it readily available.

  17. Suzy said...

    My sons are in undies and love to pick out their favorite character, but my daughter who is in diapers and starting potty training could care less. She does like to wear her pink ones when available, but I think as long as she feels protected she is a happy camper. I think that if characters were on diapers it would be more for me not so much her and the new baby on the way.

  18. Karen said...

    While characters for diapers might be fine, I'm against characters on trainers, or pull-ups. My reasoning? When my son is ready to start potty-training, I'm going to get simple trainers. Solid color or maybe white. I then I'm going to go out and buy super-cool underwear with whoever he loves at the time. (Mickey, dinos, cars, whatever!) And then I'm going to show him his super-cool undies and tell them he can have them when he goes pee in the potty. Will this work? I don't know. I've never potty-trained anyone before.

  19. Karen said...

    OMG, I love that idea of a "green bag" in the hospital, Mama Bennie!! How happy I would have been to get a little diaper bag with a NB size cloth diaper, or pre-fold/cover, and maybe a couple cloth wipes/sprays. Then people could get to experience how easy it is. Hmmm…maybe include some flushable liners too for those first few days…

  20. Sarah J. said...

    I just recently saw a Nightlight segment entitled "Diaper Wars." The objective of the disposable companies is to get as many contracts with hospitals as possible because their research found a mother's loyalty to a particular brand starts there. It would be awesome to have the same pull with cloth. At least offer the option or talk about it in the birthing classes so more people know how much cloth diapering has changed! They have lactation specialists and should add cloth diaper specialists too! :o)

  21. Well, I think maybe one of the most effective things is to change people's minds one person at a time. I am about to have my first baby and use cloth diapers, and when people ask me about it, I definitely want to portray it in a positive light. I think if everyone who uses cloth does that, more people's minds will change about it! Just my 2 cents!


  22. Tammy said...

    I think the licensed characters on cloth diapers/training pants wouldn't hurt one bit. I agree with Nikki that I personally like the lack of licensed characters. However, if it helps get cloth diapers main stream, I am all for it.

    I think there is a lack of knowledge of what cloth diapering is currently. Moms only know that their moms hated cloth diapers because of the cleaning and hassle. If hospitals or OBGYN offices offered classes in cloth diapers, and all the new advances, I think there would be a huge number of converters. There are classes for birthing, breastfeeding and infant care why not cloth diapering.

    I also know women who are fanatical about characters like Pooh or Mickey. If there was a cloth diaper lines with these characters, I think that they would give them some serious thought.

    Cloth diaper education really has to be a grassroots and main stream effort. Celebrities using cloth will also help.

  23. Shelly said...

    Yuck! Aposies are gross….to me, anyway;-)

  24. I don't think prints on diapers will ultimately be the decision maker for someone on the fence between cloth and disposables. I think the biggest thing noncloth diaperers need to be shown is how EASY it is to cloth diaper. I've has many friends ask me about washing the diapers and they are surprised with how easy it is that they go home to talk to their husbands about the switch.

    As for characters. I don't like putting my child in anything with characters on it. Maybe when she's potty training I'd be ok with cloth diapers with her fav character on it to help her enthusiasm.

  25. Hannah said...

    I would love more fun prints available in cloth diapers (well, covers, since I use mostly prefolds and covers). I am not a big fan of the licensed characters, though.

    I try to let people see my little guys diapers as often as possible and let them know how glad I am to be using cloth diapers.

  26. Lynn said...

    my daughters 5 months and im switching to cloth for the monetary benefits–and i think theyre much cuter than huggies pooh bear. 🙂

    as a side note, my daughter has a large purple mark on her leg "crease" where her diaper lies. it wasnt there when she was born, but a few days after it showed up, and has been there ever since. her doctor said its just a birthmark after i expressed concern about it. but my sister said her daughter had it, too, and went away after potty training. todays only day number 3 in cloth, and its going away! its not a birthmark, most definitely. my friends mom said my friend had that when she was little, too, and it ended up being an allergic reaction to disposables and they switched to cloth because of it. guess there was a hidden reason to switch! [god relly knows what hes doing when he directs us a certain way, huh?] 🙂

  27. Sarahjenne said...

    I didn't really mind character advertising before, but this post has me re-thinking that. I kind of wish some of the bigger CD manufacturers and retailers would get on TV and in the more mainstream magazines to raise awareness. I don't know if they necessarily need to use licensed characters, though.

  28. Alycia said...

    I think above everything else we need to get cloth diapers in stores. If people strolled down a local Target aisle and saw a display of bumGenius or Fuzzibuns or any other type of cloth they'd at least have to check it out. Even if they didn't buy that day it would put the product in their mind. Maybe a TV commercial too! Licensed characters would def. help, but I'm so tired of seeing Pooh and Toy Story and Cars over everything. I love cloth for their unique prints and colors, not for their branding. But it would get the kids wanting them, which isn't a bad thing I guess!

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