Virginia Bianco-Mathis
University professor, author

Virginia Bianco-Mathis

Business department chair of management programs at Marymount University and author of two books on executive coaching.


Woozy and rich

Q: Is it delightful or depressing that David DeVore has been able to turn a YouTube video of his woozy 7-year-old son into a six-figure business? Is this just another version of stage parenting or something more troubling? How do you think the marketing will affect DeVore's son when he gets older?

At this point in time, I do not think the DeVore situation is an indication of something "more troubling."

The age of "America's Funniest Videos," in combination with social media venues, has opened up yet another business opportunity. This is a perfect example of new social marketing and will probably be used as a case study in many business classes.

True, this has that questionable aspect of exploiting a minor, but no harm has been done. A portion of the money has gone to charity and the rest to David's college fund.

For those of us paying high college bills, we wish we came up with our own "David After Dentist." David is not being asked to be something he's not, nor is he personally being paraded and pushed like some child actors or beauty contestants. He's making a few appearances, riding on planes, and enjoying a bit of celebrity status.

But he still gets up and goes to school every day with his brother and neighborhood friends. This is one of those unique video opportunities where a dad had the marketing savvy to make something of it.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis  |  April 12, 2010; 12:00 AM ET  | Category:  Parenting Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I'm glad you brought up American's Funniest Videos. This is new version of the parents winning the grand prize. To say that he is exploited is, in a word, dumb. Pick up a dictionary and look up the entry for exploited; this child will BENEFIT directly from this video and subsequent marketing. This will give him the opportunity to pay for college, possibly in full. If he has siblings they will benefit from this as well, since their parents will have more money to use on their education as well. At its worst this is probably the most benevolent case of child exploitation ever recorded, at least his parents aren't living vicariously through him as the wack-job pagent parents are. At its worst it is a man who understands capitalism and knows how to exploit IT.

Posted by: booerns14 | April 14, 2010 8:54 AM
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You seem a little woozy yourself. Let Dad market his own self being hilarious under the influence instead of holding his son up as the object of ridicule. Even that has reputation consequences that trickle.

Posted by: SarahBB | April 14, 2010 8:20 AM
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