New Plum video series about family travel

Note the emoji

Note the emoji

Over the years I’ve made no secret of my love for Plum Organics.

My kids—all three of them, if you can believe it—are addicted to the puffs, and Baby G guzzles at least one (if not two) pouches every day. Little R was a maniac about Shredz, Plum’s nod to Big League Chew. And every now and again, L likes to devour some Mighty Snack Bars, which basically are Plum’s answer to granola bars.

I’ve written about Plum. I’ve visited their offices. I’ve interviewed their founder and (former) CEO. In short, I’m a Plum fanboy, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

But even if I weren’t such a zealot, I’d *still* love the company’s new online video campaign.

Dubbed #TeamParent, the social media campaign uses texting as a way to show how two spouses rely on Plum to make family travel easier. The latest video focuses on having enough snacks to survive a plane trip with a baby. Another video in the series focuses on leveraging snacks to overcome a cranky toddler during a road trip. A third video revolves around snacks as a way to avoid a park meltdown—something to which every parent can relate (even those who don’t travel that much).

While the videos themselves represent a brilliant perspective on how real-world parents interact about their kids, the comments on the videos offer an entirely different kind of education, providing insight to how those same real-world parents feel about the way the campaign represents them.

Even if you don’t travel with your kids, you’ll appreciate the new campaign. But for those of you who do travel with your little ones, the videos take on even more significance.

Don’t take my word for it; see for yourself. I dare you to watch without smiling.

Taking the kids with you, even when they stay home

My phone, after L decorated it

My phone, after L decorated it

Most of my travel time these days is split between family trips (for this blog and additional outlets) and solo trips (to fulfill other assignments). When the kids come with me, it’s easy to monitor how they’re experiencing and internalizing our travel. When they stay home, however, this process becomes a bit more challenging.

Powerwoman and I have tried a number of solutions to overcome this hurdle. When she went to England with her oldest sister to celebrate their dad’s 70th birthday last year, she wrote the girls (just the big ones at that time) separate letters for them to open each day she was gone. When I traveled to Maui on behalf of Expedia last spring, I Skyped with the girls once a day so they could see palm trees and “feel” and “smell” the tropical breeze.

Both of these strategies seemed to work well. The letters, though asynchronous, enabled the girls to feel like as if were connecting with their mom even though she was halfway across the world. The Skype sessions were more interactive, though the kids’ attention spans always were shorter than I’d hoped.

On my next trip, for which I leave Thursday, I’m going to try something new: Text messages with photos.

This new approach is a direct appeal to spark additional interaction—L has become a wonderful writer and enjoys pecking out texts and emojis in response. The way we’ve planned it, I’ll send texts and images once a day. L will respond to hers directly. R will tell L what to type in response to the ones earmarked for her.

I’m eager to see how the girls respond to the texts. I’m headed to Vegas, a place I’ve covered as a beat for their entire lives, so they are particularly interested in the pictures I send back. (To be specific, they are interested in pictures of the private pool in our kick-ass suite, the giant televisions in the sports book, the bingo hall, and pictures of Daddy playing poker. This is what happens when your dad covers gambling.)

Normally I’d say this setup encourages way more screen time than I like my kids to have. In this case, however, I think the additional screen time actually may be a good facilitator for the kids to experience my travel vicariously.

The goal of all of this is to spark the same sort of curiosity that we spark when we travel with them. So long as the texts accomplish that, I’ll be happy.

How do you interact with your kids when you travel and they stay home?

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