At the same time, I've been meaning to make some insect repellent out of essential oils. Today, I sat down and did it while they were doing their homework. Naturally, JED wanted to know what I was doing and wanted to help. While doing that, I asked if they wanted to come up with a name for the repellent I was making. That was how it started. JED, Jordan and Evan especially, wanted to 'invent' a new product to sell (In one of the books, Fudge as a pre-schooler obsesses about how he can make money). So we started talking about how to go about doing that.
With my sketchy knowledge about advertising, I talked them through the 3 phases.
1. Create the product.
2. Market the product.
3. Sell the product.
Phase 1- Create the product.
1. We talked about the important features of what we were doing. We were going to create insect repellent. It would be made from essential oils. It would keep away mosquitoes and bugs. We needed a name for it. They came up with Monster Bug Spray and put it to a vote. It was a unanimous decision (Unanimous, a word they learnt from the book)
Here's the recipe.
- 14 oz of witch hazel
- 15 drops of citronella oil
- 12 drops of lavender oil
- 15 drops of lemongrass oil
- 15 drops of tea tree oil
They were little apothecaries. They dripped the oils with a little pipette and Muffin helped me pour the mixture into smaller bottles. They loved the smells of the oils wafting. They loved being the testers as I smeared overflowed drops onto them. Muffin made labels for the bottles carefully including a picture of a monster on each one before sticking them on.
Once we were done, Jordan and Evan insisted we start trying to sell it.
Phase 2- Market it.
I told them that people would only buy a product if they knew about it. So they had to advertise it and convince people that they needed it and how their lives would be much worse if they didn't. Jordan suggested making a poster to place outside our house (print media). Evan suggested making a video and posting it on Facebook (audio-visual and social media) so people knew about it.
They wrote out the ad so that they wouldn't forget the lines. I added suggestions.
1. Speak in short sentences.
2. Make it catchy.
3. Have a slogan. (I had to explain what a slogan was so I showed them Nike's Just Do It and MacD's I'm lovin' it! slogans)
I give them credit for trying to incorporate all that into the script including a slogan at the end.
"Monster Bug Spray! Keeps the bugs away!"
Then they set up the scene for the advertisement. They moved in chairs and turned on the lights. Jordan wore a For Sale T-shirt and a wink. Evan, more introverted, gamely played her assistant but chimed in with a smile here and a word there. All I had to do was video it. So I did, trying my best not to let my giggles wobble the phone too much.
Phase 3- Sell it.
This is where we're at currently. Jordan's poster advertised that our current promotion was "Buy 1, Get 2 Free" whittled down from "Buy 1, Get 3 Free" which I told them would make us no money and we'd probably lose money that way.
We're going to put up the poster on our main door to attract customers apparently. Its attraction is that it's natural and home made by the family. I'm to put the video on FB (They've learnt of the existence of FB) so that the people who don't live around us will know about it and come from all over the world to buy it. (Fat hope.)
I'm not sure how many bottles we'll sell if any. I told JED that we'd have to trial it first to make sure it did indeed keep the bugs away (otherwise our advertisements would be lying) and the Health authorities would probably want to check that we didn't put anything bad in it. But whatever it is, we have a Beta version now.
Their first product and ad campaign, Monster Bug Spray ©️JED coming to a chemist near you, all in a day's work. I don't think we'll win a Clio Award though.