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Posts Tagged ‘Toys’ R’ Us’

Does This ‘Child Abduction’ Spoof Mark the End of ‘Prankvertising?’

A couple of months ago we claimed that “prankvertising” had reached its peak with this crazy South American commercial, in which people watching a video of what looks like a missile strike seem to believe that they are actually watching a missile strike.

Then there was the Toys R’ Us stunt which demonstrated that kids would rather hang out in a big toy store than, say, explore and learn about the natural world. Lots of moms didn’t care for that one.

This spot from Canadian agency john st. (no capitals) mocks the whole phenomenon by claiming “we’re literally searing our brand into their minds” with honest-to-goodness fear.

The answer to our headline is obviously “no”, because it’s true that “most people aren’t paying attention to ads anymore”, and it’s hard to make your brand stand out. But even the people who specialize in creating viral content think the trend has gone on long enough:

Maybe it’s time for a new strategy?

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Backlash Builds Against Retailers Starting Black Friday on Thanksgiving

Over the years, retailers have begun opening earlier and earlier on Black Friday in order to make the most of the biggest shopping day of the year. This bottom line-driven phenomenon is not-so-lovingly known as “Black Friday creep,” conjuring images of something amorphous and sinister rolling slowly through the night to overtake Thanksgiving — and that’s not too far off, really.

Just ask Casey St. Clair, a Target employee whose recent petition to get the retail giant to stay closed on Thanksgiving night (rather than opening with Black Friday deals at 9:00 pm as scheduled) inspired a veritable revolt among retail employees and customers alike.

Her email via Change.org read, in part:

In the last week, over 230,000 people have signed my petition asking my employer, Target, to change its Black Friday shopping hours to let employees have Thanksgiving dinner with our families.

We have real momentum, and this Monday, I’ll be delivering my petition with over 230,000 signatures to Target Headquarters – click here to join us and add your name.

After I was on TV, my manager offered me Thanksgiving day off. But I declined. This isn’t about just me — it’s about respecting one of the few days retail workers have a year to spend time with loved ones.

While Target is certainly not alone in opening on Thanksgiving (Toys “R” Us, Walmart, Sears and KMart will be the first large retail chains to open with Black Friday sales at 8:00 pm), it has received the brunt of the public’s ire thanks to the petition.

Read more

Will Parents Buy into the Toys ‘R’ Us Tabeo?

Parents today must wrestle with a host of questions that their own folks never had to worry about. No longer are sensitive conversation topics limited to determining the most appropriate age for “the talk”, the first date, or that necessary conversation about the perils of peer pressure.

If kids have access to the Internet, the barriers we put up to protect their innocence can instantly break down.

Though many parents already own a digital device they allow their children to play with (given the right circumstances and supervision), brands that cater to children know the power of making a kids’ version of anything, be it an oven, a cell phones or an automatic weapon. Children are an incredibly profitable demographic, and though they like to mimic adults, kids still want their own things.

Toys ‘R’ Us knows this, too. Read more

Toys “R” Us Turns Blue For Autism Speaks

You may have started to see a lot of blue Facebook profile photos pop up on your news feed. As part of its annual fundraiser for Autism Speaks, Toys “R” Us is incorporating the nonprofit’s “Light It Up Blue” awareness campaign into its efforts.

Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us each have apps that will transform a supporter’s profile picture  into a blue autism awareness message. (Sample here.) The profile picture swap began this week; the awareness program began on March 1 and will continue through April 30.

This is the sixth year that Toys “R” Us has supported Autism Speaks. Donations to the cause can be made at Toys “R” Us stores and online. So far, the tally is more than $1.2 million.

Monday April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day. To commemorate the occasion and raise awareness, Autism Speaks asks people to shine a blue light like those seen in prior years at the Empire State Building and the Paris Stock Exchange. This is the organization’s third year with the “Light It Up Blue” campaign.

Amazon Kindle Jumps 216 Spots on NBCU Index

Amazon‘s Kindle has jumped more than 200 spots on the Women at NBCU monthly brand index, which measures the brands most important to women. The October data puts the Kindle at number 170, a huge leap from its previous spot at number 386. The move coincides with the brand’s October campaign, “Buy Once, Read Everywhere,” which introduces new Kindle features. Click the video above for the campaign ad.

Also notable, was Verizon‘s move to number three, attributed to its campaign for the iPad, which became available at Verizon stores last month. AT&T also moved up a spot to number seven because of iPad availability. Taking the top two spots are Walmart and Target, respectively.

Finally, cause marketing made an impact with Hershey’s (which also experienced a Halloween jolt), Toys’ R’ Us, and Walgreens all moving up in a month where they had donations and other charitable programs.