CHAPTER 16Are You Just a Little Bit Boring?

Considering how long it is since either of your authors could be said to have had young children, the memories are remarkably fresh: those distant days when we were actually better at football than our sons; when if you wanted to talk about something that wasn't for their ears all you had to do was spell, not say, the key words; when £1 a week was more than enough pocket money.

Not many of our memories of our children in those days are to do with brands and marketing, and even fewer are to do with financial services. But some are. For people with our particular professional interests, one unexpectedly fascinating and thought-provoking experience, back in those early years, was to see awareness and perceptions of brands form in their minds – and not just brands intended for young children like Haribo and Nickelodeon, but a lot of remarkably grownup brands too.

Of course the brands that made the biggest impact soonest were the ones that, in one way or another, were personally relevant to them. We'd like to make it clear for the record that neither of our families were frequent visitors to McDonald's, but Chloe, Sarah, Felix, James and Oliver could all spot those golden arches at a range of half a mile or more by the age of three. But there were others where, even though the relevance was marginal, awareness was still strong. By the time they were a little older – maybe 5 – they could have recognised airline liveries, particularly BA ...

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