IF I WERE A TOY

ClientSMYTHS TOYS SUPERSTORES
Category A04. Retail, e-Commerce, Restaurants & Fast Food Chains
TitleIF I WERE A TOY
Product/ServiceN/A
Entrant McCANN MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM
Idea Creation McCANN MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM
Production OUTSIDER London, UNITED KINGDOM
Production 2 MPC London, UNITED KINGDOM
Credits
Name Company Position
Becci Nadin & Adam Richarson McCann Manchester Senior Creative Team

The Campaign

We needed an idea kids and parents would love us for. We needed a toy that would go where no toy had gone before. And we needed a track so memorable it would become the playground sensation of 2016. And who better to help us than the most famous Mum on the planet? Beyonce. We took her huge hit single ‘If I were a boy’, and changed one simple letter. ‘If I were a toy’ was born. We re-wrote lyrics, and re-wrote history.

Execution

Within a week of airing the ad, we’d reached over 6 million views on Youtube and created 12 million conversations around the campaign. Not to mention consistent press coverage from launch date which still carries on today. The world praised us for being the first brand to celebrate how kids see play, not how we see it as grown ups.

Tier 2: Praise from press and journalists worldwide. Support from parents. The seal of approval from LGBT communities. A shift in perception & attitudes from other brands. All of our stores now have gender neutral aisles throughout. Tier 3: 5% year on year sales uplift in the UK, 6% in Ireland, translating to an increase of £33.2 million. Without doubt Smyths Toys’ best Christmas to date, and most successful integrated campaign yet.

The Situation

Gender stereotyping as an issue has never been more prominent. From etiquette in schools to equal pay in the work place, it was probably the most PR-able issue for a brand in 2016. And when better to tackle it than before it becomes an issue? Because to kids, it isn’t. We’re all created equal. So we created an ad and a toy, which encouraged a generation to be themselves rather than the confining them to a choice of pink or blue.

The Strategy

Naturally kids were our primary audience, but it was important to keep parents on side. After all, pester power is huge, and Mum and Dad are spending the money. Our media was popular kids channels, the big Saturday night slots plus a heavy online presence. We made sure our toy was dressed to impress, sent him to everyone who’s anyone in the journalism world and the internet did the rest. Almost overnight, it became an online sensation with constant tweets, news articles and views.