After penning a book about his inclinations as a young creative, veteran award-winning designer Todd Oldham felt inspired to develop a children’s arts and crafts kit line to help kids “get more creative”. He called it Kid Made Modern. Utilizing Oldham’s long-standing relationship with Target, Kid Made Modern launched in retail stores across the country with several SKUs in 2014. With a limited amount of attention and marketing placed on the product line, the potential for Kid Made Modern wasn’t fully realized, and in 2016 Oldham & Co. asked RLM to be part of the brand’s reintroduction.
The agency’s first step was to conduct a messaging audit. In order to stand out from other arts-centric products for kids, RLM emphasized how KMM was developed by a creative person — ultimately for creatively-minded families. RLM’s strategic positioning was to see Kid Made Modern as a product line that did not judge kids but rather celebrated them. In other words, there is no right or wrong way to use the product—and there are no instructions whatsoever!
Noting there was a turnkey opportunity to attract a new crop of families who sought savvier experiences for their kids, KMM swiftly became an alternative to the conventional Melissa & Doug-like offerings.
RLM helped launch partnerships with stores such as Forty Five Ten (the Dallas upscale retailer); the shop at the Museum of Modern Art, and Barney’s New York, among a host of others.
These relationships placed KMM in locations where discerning parents look for inspiration in their purchasing decisions, and aligned the products with some of the most innovative and design-centric products on the market.
RLM’s media strategy took form after visiting Kid Made Modern’s studio (think Wes Anderson remaking Willy Wonka), where the agency knew immediately that placing key media in the environment where the kits were developed would make the story relatable (and fun). While at the studio, RLM encouraged reporters and editors to find their inner-creativity and dabble in a kit with the KMM team.
With a robust holiday gift guide campaign that saturated regional media in target markets and drove national awareness of Kid Made Modern, RLM was continuously faced with the challenge of overexposing Oldham throughout the campaign. The agency carefully struck the right balance of tastefully utilizing Todd’s backstory for certain features like Vogue, Women’s Wear Daily and Dwell, plus mini-features in New York magazine and O: The Oprah Magazine, while placing the kits in broader coverage that stimulated creativity in newspapers, magazines, and TV shows nationwide.
RLM was a true partner to KMM in building the brand into a disruptive, creative force among the children’s product sector. And as a result of the exposure, Kid Made Modern is in the midst of expanding into several children’s clothing lines, a home line, and a host of other testaments to connecting the dots to Todd Oldham’s passions.