Earlier this summer a toddler in Louisiana made the news for his uniquely-themed birthday party—it was all about the boy's personal hero. Not Batman, not Captain America, but a personal injury attorney whose catchy commercials the boy was obsessed with. As the boy's mother told The Acadiana Advocate, "Before he could walk or talk, every time the Morris Bart commercial would come on, he was just fixated," she says. "You couldn't talk to him. You couldn't do anything with him. He would just sit and stare at the TV. You could call his name, give him a toy. He didn't care."
While the extent to which his family indulged the boy's interest (a Morris Bart-themed cake, shirt and cardboard cutout) is noteworthy, the boy's interest might not be that unusual. The first song my son Paul ever sang wasn't "Twinkle Twinkle" or the "ABCs" but the jingle for the Chicagoland car dealer Webb Chevrolet (if you listen here you will have to admit it's pretty catchy.) It got to the point where my husband and I would be disappointed when the radio would play a truncated version of the commercial, or psyched if they did the whole thing.
I polled some other parents and found out their kids' particular weird brand loyalties. You never know, maybe the next time your child is having a meltdown one of these logos, videos, songs or stores will change their tune:
Jennifer: My kid was pretty transfixed by infomercials for Jigaloo last time we were at the hardware store.
Anne: My son Jamie was obsessed by the Apple logo from about 17 months old onwards. We had to draw the apple with a bite in it over and over for him. He almost died with pleasure when we took him to the Apple Store in Toronto when he was 19 months old. Not surprisingly, he decided when he was four that his company would be called JOB. He still puts the JOB logo on all his inventions. One day, one of them will work.
Erin: My kids sing: "I am stuck on Band-Aid brand, 'cause Band-Aid's stuck on me!" Over. And over.
Annie: My kid was very into Volkswagen after we bought one when he was not even three. He watched the instructional video many times and could tell us how to do things. He wanted a VW-themed party for his birthday that year. After calling several bakeries that said they could not do it, the House of Fine Chocolate told me to bring in Matchbox cars and they would put them on the cake. I felt kind of like an obnoxious yuppie buying a three-year-old a cake from House of Fine Chocolate, but they solved a problem for me.
Lyz: My four year old loves Target. When she was two every time she saw a Target symbol she'd yell, "Tawget! Dats my bestest place!" Now if she gets wind that I'm going without her, she cries. And filling out her favorite things list for preschool she listed, "princesses, being fancy and going to Target."
Stefanie: My 5 year old begs for us to buy OxiClean every time we go grocery shopping, because "it has the cleaning power of oxygen!!!!!"
Denise: PBS. My daughter started watching a lot of PBS Kids when she was two and eventually I started hearing her talking about "viewers like you." She also started getting excited about spotting the logos of PBS sponsors on billboards ("Look! That's Memorial Healthcare! Like from PBS Kids!").
Kate: My daughter frequently sings "every kiss begins with Kay."
Desiree: My grandson's first song was the tune of the microwave when it's finished heating. Does that count?
Deborah: My kids get irrationally excited about trips to Costco, because at the end I buy them crappy cookies from the vending machine while my husband checks out. They apparently have too few vending machines in their lives.