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Emotion Key to Leo's Toys Debut


Agency's Dual-Branding Approach Targets Both Kids and Parents
CHICAGO--Leo Burnett attempts to evoke an emotional connection between children and Toys 'R' Us in its first campaign for the retailer.
"Toys 'R' Us occupies a unique place in a kid's heart," said Burnett senior vice president and managing creative director Jonathan Hoffman.
Burnett won the $70 million business in May. Its inaugural campaign's two-pronged approach targets kids and parents with different television executions. While the retailer already appeals to children more than discount rivals Target Stores, Kmart and Wal-Mart, it saw a "major opportunity" to convince parents that shopping at Toys 'R' Us was important for their children, said Warren Kornblum, chief marketing officer at the Paramus, N.J.-based client.
"We want to say this is about the kid," Kornblum said. "What should compensate for the convenience factor [of other retailers] is the richer experience you will have with your child."
One adult-targeted spot shows a boy running with a toy airplane. "Of all the journeys you'll take your kids on, just remember, flights of fancy could be the most important," says a voiceover. The spot ends with the tiny plane landing in front of a Toys 'R' Us, and the tag, "It's all for them."
Other adult-oriented spots show children dreaming about Toys 'R' Us and a girl who gets a toy reward for successful toilet training. The latter ad was developed after planners discovered many parents used trips to Toys 'R' Us as a reward for their children, Hoffman said.
"A lot of [this campaign] is written from real experience," he added.
A spot aimed at children depicts a boy who is allowed to choose "one thing" on a trip to Toys 'R' Us; he chooses the entire store. The tag for that spot is changed to read, "It's all for you."
The campaign, which broke over the weekend, will be followed by product-oriented ads later this fall. Brand-oriented work is expected to continue throughout the year.
"Toys 'R' Us needs to be more than a seasonal store," Kornblum said.