Pillow Pets Dream Lites — A Marketing Review

It’s no secret that many children are afraid of the dark.

From bogeymen in the closet to monsters under the bed to those strange sounds from other rooms in the house, bed time can be a scary and unfortunately frightful time for children.  And adults.  And the fish in my aquarium.  At least kids can hide under sheets and blankets if they get scared.  What are my fish going to do?  Hide behind some fake scenery?  That’s not nearly as comforting as a protective blanket.

So what can you do to help comfort a child’s fear of the dark?

Take one step out of bed and your feet are MINE!  Ha, ha, ha!

“Take one step out of bed and your feet are MINE!  Ha, ha, ha!

Nightlights are always a popular option.

So is a television or even a jar full of fireflies.  (NOTE — Fireflies need to be replenished each night or the effect stops working.)  With a little creativity and that parenting stuff, there are a variety of options that will help a child sleep better in a darkened room.

Those other options don’t really concern you, right?  You’re here because I’m going to discuss yet another cheesy commercial that I saw recently on TV.  And it’s fun.  Well, at least fun for me.  You’re under no obligation whatsoever to laugh or even crack a smile.

Pillow Pets Dream Lites website --- www.DreamLites.comPillow Pets Dream Lites website — www.DreamLites.com

Getting back on topic, the other day I saw a TV commercial for something called a “Dream Lite” from the makers of the Pillow Pets.  The company claims that the Pillow Pets Dream Lite “helps alleviate fear of the dark.”  Check out the TV commercial on the company’s website and see for yourself if this sounds like a legitimate solution or not.

To me, it seems like the Dream Lite is more of a simple toy rather than useful child sleeping aid.  Let’s take a closer look at the commercial and see some examples.

The Pillow Pets Dream Lites commercial begins with not a problem but rather a solution.  A child begins singing in the background as mom turns out the light and junior pulls out his Dream Lite toy.  Instead of lying down and going to sleep, the child is instead transported to a magical world as stars and shapes are illuminated upon his bedroom ceiling, amusing and keeping the child awake for that much longer.

Dream Lites TV commercial --- Ooooh, stars!

Dream Lites TV commercial — Ooooh!  Stars!

It’s interesting to note how much light is already in the child’s bedroom.  It’s almost like daytime in there.  No wonder the kid isn’t scared!

Dream Lites TV commercial --- Presenting the Pillow Pets Dream Lites!

Dream Lites TV commercial — Presenting the Pillow Pets Dream Lites!

One of the odd things with this product is that the official name isn’t exactly clear.  Depending where you look on the website or see in the commercial, this toy may be called “Pillow Pets Dream Lites,” “Dream Lites,” “DreamLites” (uppercase L, pictured at the end), or even “Dreamlites” (lowercase L, pictured above).  Speaking of spell checking, the marketing team may want to take a second look at the website’s title and correct the spelling error:  “The Offical TV Site of Dream Lites!”

Dream Lites TV commercial --- Sleep well, child, as I, the Fluttery Butterfly, will watch over you each night.

Dream Lites TV commercial — “Sleep well, child, as I, the Fluttery Butterfly, will watch over you every night.”

Once again we see a child in a not-so-dark bedroom.  Either these Dream Lites give off a hell of a lot of light, or perhaps actual sleeping conditions have been slightly exaggerated for this TV commercial.  Maybe we’re not seeing the product in realistic conditions.

Dream Lites TV commercial --- Mommy!  If the Dream Lite is in front of me, and the stars behind me, where's my shadow?

Dream Lites TV commercial — “Mommy!  If the Dream Lite is in front of me and the stars are behind me, where’s my shadow?”

Yes, folks, some of the scenes in the commercial might be rather dishonest as evident here in this scene.  Perhaps everything isn’t so childlike and innocent as portrayed in the TV commercial.  Take note that despite having two of the ladybug Dream Lites in her bedroom, the Ms. Ladybug Dream Lite starry light pattern on the girl’s wall is incorrect from this forced perspective.  The girl may be looking at the real light display on the ceiling, but we’re seeing something else in this scene.

Dream Lites TV commercial --- If you guys don't get to sleep, I'll Dutch oven both of you!

Dream Lites TV commercial — “If you guys don’t get to sleep, I’ll Dutch oven both of you!

Okay, maybe the stereotypical mom didn’t really say that in the TV commercial, but I think that my version is better.  Anybody?  Anybody?  Maybe this wasn’t the best example.  Everybody, forget about this and just move on to the next scene.  Now!  Move it!

Dream Lites TV commercial --- Perhaps the best example of the Dream Lites nightlights.

Dream Lites TV commercial — Perhaps the best example of the Dream Lites nightlights.

Here we have two boys in their sleeping bags and makeshift tent.  That looks kinda cool, right?  Between them is the Jolly Giraffe Dream Lite casting an array of stars and other shapes on their sheet.  To me, this looks like the best way to use the Dream Lite toy, not as a nightlight, but rather a night entertainment device.  Throw in some music, add a disco ball and there you go!  Party time!  Woohoo!

Dream Lites TV commercial --- Boldly opening the bedroom door, Junior investigates the funny sounds emerging from mommy and daddy's room.

Dream Lites TV commercial — Boldly opening the bedroom door, Junior investigates the funny sounds emerging from mommy and daddy’s room.

Here we have the stereotypical scene of a child going to his parents’ bedroom because he’s scared of the dark.  Not from the monsters of unspeakable horror waiting in the closet or under the bed, but being scared of the darkness itself.  And what will make Junior happy again?  Will just any ordinary nightlight calm the child?  Of course not!  The correct answer is . . .

Dream Lites TV commercial --- Behold!  The starry wall, errr, CEILING compliments of the Dream Lite!

Dream Lites TV commercial — Behold!  The starry ceiling, errr, WALL compliments of the Dream Lite!

The answer, of course, is the DREAM LITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WOW!!!!  AMAZING!!!  HOLY COW!!!

Take note that Junior is staring at a ceiling instead of looking at the starry wall behind him.  What an idiot!  That must be dad’s kid, right?  Mom certainly wouldn’t produce a child that stupid.  Oh, wait a second.  Perhaps this scene isn’t entirely accurate as to the position of the Snuggly Puppy Dream Lite on the kid’s bed.  Maybe he really is looking at a star display on the ceiling and we’re seeing a not-so-creative wall display specific for this TV commercial.

Dream Lites TV commercial --- Oooh!  Pretty!

Dream Lites TV commercial — Oooh!  Pretty!

Once again we see that children love to see stars magically appear on their ceiling.  Oh, if only there was a way to enhance this effect.  What’s that?  Putting glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling and recreating constellations, teaching them some science and astronomy along the way?  Nah.  I’ll stick with the easy way out.  I wouldn’t want the kid to learn anything anyway.  I will say that having a giant ladybug face staring down and smiling is slightly disturbing.

Dream Lites TV commercial --- Sales pitch.

Dream Lites TV commercial — Sales pitch.

At the end of the TV commercial, after seeing all of those happy scenes and hearing that lame song over and over and over again, we’re hit with the sales pitch.  An individual Dream Lite stuffed animal nightlight costs $37.90 when you add in the shipping & handling fees.  Adding a second Dream Lite to the purchase orders saves a few bucks on the cost of the second Dream Lite as well as the S&H fees.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It’s rather interesting that the Dream Lites is being presented as a fun way for children to fall asleep at night.  From the song being played in the background of the commercial to the starry, nighttime background of the website, you get the impression that this is a tool similar to a nightlight.

But in almost every example, we see that children are wide awake, sitting up, and looking up at their ceiling.  They’re NOT lying in bed, under the covers, and looking up while getting sleepy.  The commercial is indirectly selling this product almost as a night toy instead of a tool to conquer a fear of the dark.

It’s also interesting that we don’t see the Dream Lite being used in what I refer to as “realistic” conditions —- notably a dark bedroom.  All of the bedroom scenes were quite bright and certainly nowhere nearly as frightening as what an ordinary bedroom can become in realistic nighttime conditions, especially when the monsters start opening closet doors and crawling out from underneath the bed.  Those glowing red eyes, razor sharp fangs and faint snarling sounds are scary enough to pass through the protective blanket shield and scare the willies out of any child.  Ah, but in those conditions, would a child be brave enough to open the protective shield, reach out to the Dream Lite, and bravely turn it on, bashing the evil back to its point of origin?  I don’t know.  Dark rooms normally stay scary until morning.

Would it have been too hard to actually show a dark bedroom with the Dream Lite producing bright stars on the ceiling, or would that deter too many potential sales?  Perhaps the starry night sky from the Dream Lite looks better in a dimly lit room versus a completely dark one.

Finally, what is the Dream Lite?  Is it a nightlight?  Is it a night toy?  It seems rather conflicting to be both when one helps a child fall asleep while the other helps the child stay awake.

Have no fear, children!  The mighty bulldogs from Starkville will help fight the darkness of the night!

As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one nightlight strong enough to fight off darkness and all evils associated with it.  But that’s just me.  ;-)  Your allegiances may lie elsewhere.

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All of the Pillow Pets Dream Lites TV commercial images were screenshots of a TV promotion available on the company’s website.  For more product information, please visit the company’s website, www.DreamLites.com.

Pillow Pets and Dream Lites are a registered trademarks.

RellimZone.com is not affiliated with Pillow Pets or Dream Lites.

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