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Toys R Us Unboxes “Awwwesome” Toy Story-Style Christmas Ads In October
The giant toy retailer, along with BBDO Worldwide, will advertise early, often and omnichannel to stay top of mind with holiday shoppers.
Oh, yes, you’ve heard right. The Christmas toy-craving season has already begun, with Toys R Us — with help from BBDO Worldwide — drumming up demand with a TV campaign coupled with original digital “unboxing” content and advertising.
As in the popular Pixar Toy Story franchise, the toys — talking, moving toys with personalities — are the stars of the digital campaign. They will continue the “shelf talkers” portion of the TV effort, which aims to show kids what happens at Toys R Us retail locations when they’re closed down for the night.
To give the narrative a digital culture spin, the online videos will tap into the “unboxing” phenomenon, in which fans make videos as they open a new product, commenting on the packaging and every other aspect of the experience. Since the Toys R Us stores are closed when the action takes place, the only ones that can do the unboxing of toys are other toys. As they unwrap their fellow toys, the characters reveal their unique personalities.
Supplementing those videos will be creatives that use time-lapse technology and others that show behind-the-scenes action from the making of the campaign. These videos will be released periodically throughout the holiday shopping season.
The unifying tagline for the efforts is the already-ubiquitous word “Awwwesome,” which kids may associate with another popular movie — the Lego Movie, featuring the catchy theme song “Everything Is Awesome.” On social media, the brand is using the hashtag #AwesomeMoments.
“Awwwesome is central to this year’s campaign, because it speaks not only to our breadth of selection and expertise, but it is exactly what kids see when they walk wide-eyed into a Toys R Us store,” said Rich Lennox, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Toys R Us US, in a statement. “As consumers begin to make decisions on where to shop this holiday season, we wanted to clearly convey the unique value proposition we are offering through strong promotional messages — but ones that are delivered in a fun and engaging way.”
The first online video, more than three minutes in length, takes a page from Ikea in that it’s basically a commercial for the Toys R Us catalog, otherwise known as the Great Big Toys R Us Book of Awesome. That book will be distributed starting in November.
Other TV ads released early online on YouTube tug at the heartstrings, such as “Like Father, Like Daughter,” which also showcases products tied into the upcoming release of the latest Star Wars movie, “The Force Awakens.”
These videos, along with the original online content, will be released throughout the rest of the year on Toys R Us’ social presences, which include accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube — with YouTube serving as the center of the efforts by hosting the videos.
Additionally, Toys R Us will be advertising online through mid-December, deploying premium placements on the home pages of sites like Hulu.com and YouTube.
The sites of the major TV networks — ABC.com, CBS.com, Fox.com and NBC.com — will also run Toys R Us ads online as part of the larger partnership with the broadcasters. On TV, ads will appear on national morning and syndicated talk shows including TODAY, Live with Kelly & Michael, Ellen, Rachael Ray, The Dr. Oz Show, The Fab Life and Steve Harvey. Toys R Us has also purchased air time on cable players like ABC Family, Animal Planet, A&E, BET, Bravo, Discovery Family, E!, Food Network, Hallmark, HGTV, Lifetime, OWN, Oxygen, TBS, TLC and TNT. The “shelf talker” TV spots drive to ToysRUs.com.