Exclusive: A look at pre-Christmas marketing

Published on: 4th September 2023

Toy World looks at how the marketing space continues to evolve and how toy companies can ensure they’re continuing to reach kids where they watch and play.

Toy World caught up with SuperAwesome, KidsKnowBest, Generation Media and Havas Entertainment, to share with our readers how companies can get the most out of their marketing and advertising strategies in the lead up to Christmas.

According to Rob Lough, chief brand officer/co-founder at KidsKnowBest, the discussion surrounding digital vs. social vs. TV is over. The advertising industry, he says, has adapted to the fragmentation that once had so many second guessing, and though the space remains complex, it has matured in recent years: there hasn’t been a breakout platform like TikTok or Roblox in the last 12 months, though the likes of BeReal and Threads have tried.

Be that as it may, the fragmentation that exists, the ongoing decline in linear TV (one of our experts suggests it will account for less than 30% of toy brand spending in Q4 2023) and increased scrutiny on metrics such as Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) and marketing effectiveness mean getting on kids’ wish lists is arguably more challenging, yet more crucial, than ever before. Charlie Brownless, head of Toys and Entertainment at SuperAwesome, says he’s seeing toy brands react to this by taking fewer, bigger bets. Smaller properties are having to rely more heavily on organic coverage, with more emphasis being placed on big IPs to drive toy companies’ bottom lines.

When asked what changes he’s seeing in the space, Jonathan Chambers, director of Investment at Generation Media, says it’s noteworthy that no one has mentioned the word ‘metaverse’ in the past 12 months. “This indicates that brands have decided not to jump into the metaverse en masse, like we saw them do with the explosion of influencers a few years back. Instead, they’re choosing to continue the developing effective gaming strategies used in the market for several years now. We expect gaming to continue its growth trajectory, and – dependent on target audience – rival the likes of linear and connected TV for budget.”

This is just a sneak peek of the information-packed article in our September issue. To read the full feature, click here.

You can also find the full digital edition of the September issue here.


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