Play-Doh Goes to Grey

Grey Advertising has won Hasbro’s global image assignment for Play-Doh, the nation’s top-selling brand of modeling material. Play-Doh had been at TBWA/Chiat/Day for just four months.
Billings on the business are an estimated $5 million in the U.S. and another $5 million globally, sources said.
Lorrie Browning, vice president of marketing at Hasbro, said Play-Doh was shifted because the company wants to align U.S. product work at its main roster shops, Griffin Bacal (which handled Play-Doh for six years before it went to TBWA/C/D here), Grey and Jordan McGrath Case & Partners/Euro RSCG, all in New York.
“We had no problems with TBWA/ Chiat/Day or Griffin Bacal,” Browning said.
Play-Doh is the second Hasbro win this year for Grey, which landed the estimated $20 million account for Star Wars Micro Machines play sets. Grey’s work for the client already includes Parker Brothers games, Playskool toys, Batman and other Star Wars-licensed products.
Griffin’s work, which carries the tagline, “Anything goes with Play-Doh,” is still airing in some markets.
TBWA/C/D, which handled the brand in Europe, landed domestic duties for Play-Doh in March. It developed a global campaign for the Play-Doh Spaghetti Playshop and a spring TV spot with the tagline: “Ideas in your hand.” Browning said that Hasbro was deciding whether the campaign will continue.
The Pawtucket, R.I.-based client spent $4 million on domestic media for Play-Doh in 1998 and $1 million from January to March, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
“We appreciate this terrific vote of confidence in our partnership,” said Ed Meyer, chairman, president and chief executive of Grey. “We’re delighted to be part of Hasbro’s growth initiatives for Play-Doh, a brand that’s become an icon of childhood around the globe.”