Giggles to Grievances: Target's Risky Strategy with Baby Azai 

6th May 2024 

The recent announcement of Baby Azai's appointment as the "Happiness Director" at a Target store in North Carolina has garnered widespread attention and criticism. 

This move by Target exemplifies the innovative approaches that companies are adopting to enhance customer experience and foster positive brand associations. 

Similar instances of children being featured in customer-facing roles can be observed in various industries worldwide, reflecting a growing trend of utilizing the innocence and charm of young individuals to create welcoming environments for consumers.


By leveraging Baby Azai's natural ability to spread joy and positivity, Target aims to differentiate itself from competitors and strengthen its brand image. 

The Rise of Baby Azai: Transition from Regular Visitor to Honorary Team Member


Baby Azai's journey from a regular visitor to an honorary team member at Target underscores the effectiveness of incorporating children into customer engagement strategies. 

His charming demeanor and friendly interactions with staff and shoppers have endeared him to the community and garnered widespread admiration. 


The appointment of Baby Azai as the "Happiness Director" resonates with similar initiatives undertaken by companies globally to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

From children serving as brand ambassadors to participating in promotional events, businesses across various industries recognize the appeal of incorporating young individuals into their marketing and advertising efforts.

Baby Azai's Impact on Social Media


Baby Azai's newfound role as Target's "Happiness Director" has captivated audiences worldwide, generating significant buzz on social media platforms such as TikTok. 

Target's TikTok video introducing Baby Azai received millions of views and garnered overwhelmingly positive reactions from viewers. 

This viral sensation underscores the power of social media in amplifying the reach of marketing initiatives and fostering community engagement.


By featuring Baby Azai in its promotional campaigns, Target effectively taps into the emotional appeal of childhood innocence and spontaneity. 

However, the viral success of such initiatives also raises ethical considerations regarding the portrayal and participation of children in commercial activities, prompting discussions about responsible marketing practices.


Baby Azai's Influence Beyond the Aisles


Baby Azai's influence extends far beyond the aisles of the store. Through his series of TikTok videos curated by his mother, Mia Thompson, Baby Azai has become an internet sensation, known for his infectious positivity and heartwarming greetings. 

His ability to bring joy to others, whether in person or online, serves as a testament to the universal appeal of genuine human connection.


While Baby Azai's appointment has brought joy to many, it also raises important questions about the ethical implications of using children in marketing and advertising. 

Laws and regulations governing child labor and advertising standards seek to protect minors from exploitation and ensure their welfare in commercial settings.


What the Law Says About Babies in Advertising


The use of babies in advertising raises important legal considerations regarding their portrayal and participation in commercial activities.

In many jurisdictions, laws and regulations govern the use of minors in advertising to protect their welfare and ensure ethical standards are upheld. 

These legal frameworks aim to safeguard children from exploitation and ensure that their involvement in promotional campaigns is conducted in a manner that prioritizes their well-being.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces regulations related to advertising, including those involving children. 

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) establishes guidelines for the collection and use of personal information from children under the age of 13 in online advertising.

Additionally, the FTC's Endorsement Guides require that endorsements by children or other minors accurately reflect their experiences and that any material connections between advertisers and endorsers are disclosed.


Similarly, in the European Union, the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) sets out rules for the protection of minors in audiovisual media services, including advertising.

The AVMSD prohibits the inclusion of advertising that is harmful to minors or that encourages behavior that is harmful to their health or safety. 

Advertisements featuring children must also comply with general principles of fairness, honesty, and social responsibility.

In addition to specific regulations governing advertising featuring children, broader legal principles such as consumer protection laws and laws against deceptive advertising apply.

Advertisers must ensure that their campaigns do not mislead consumers or exploit vulnerable groups, including children.

This includes avoiding tactics that may unduly influence children or encourage them to make purchases without understanding the consequences.

Read also