Creator of Beanie Babies Just Made Its First-Ever TV Spot, for This Brand-New Product

Meet the Peek-A-Boos

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Beanie Babies, introduced in 1991, were once the hottest toys in the world. Yet they managed to get so popular without benefiting from a single TV commercial (aside from a McDonald's Happy Meals tie-in).

But now, Beanie Babies maker Ty Inc. is launching a new line of plush animals, with a uniquely modern twist—and has hired Leo Burnett to promote the line with the company's first-ever TV spot, beginning with Black Friday this week.

The new plush toys, called Peek-A-Boos, show you how completely—some might say how depressingly—smartphones have come to dominate children's play. The Peek-A-Boos aren't so much toys as toy holders. They're designed to hold phones upright so kids can play on them more easily. (They also have a microfiber bottom that doubles as a screen cleaner.)

The spot itself is memorable, mostly because of the song—a stick-in-your-head tune from music agency Comma that features the product name being repeated over and over. It's almost like a Japanese commercial in its cartoony repetition. And Burnett has no doubt it will win kids over.

"From early on, we felt we had something special," says agency associate creative director Brandon Crockett. "Lots of kids broke into dance during the auditions, and much of what made the final cut was improvised on set. We made an effort to create a song and performances that would appeal not only to kids, but their millennial parents, who were the original Beanie Baby collectors."

Peek-A-Boos will retail for around $5 to $6 each and are available in four styles: Penni the penguin, Chimps the monkey, Uni the unicorn and Pups the dog. The spot will air on national cable and broadcast throughout the holidays. The product will also be promoted in paid social and on Ty's social media channels.

"Kids love plush animals and they love technology, and the Peek-A-Boos change the way they interact with both," says Ty Inc. founder Ty Warner. "Peek-A-Boos appeal to all ages and can hold all phones and mini tablets while playing games, talking on FaceTime or watching videos hands free."


Client: Ty Inc.

Campaign: Peek A Boos

Spot: "Peek A Boo"

Agency: Leo Burnett Chicago

Associate Creative Directors: Brandon Crockett, Angela Paris

Art Director: Jill Solarcyk

Senior Vice President Executive Producer: Denis Giroux

Producer: Kimberly Cowie

Senior Business Manager: Elvena Dowd

Senior Talent Manager: Linda Yuen

Talent Manager: Regina Gomez

Managing Account Director: Catherine Davis

Vice President Account Director: Jennifer Klopf

Account Supervisor: Meredith Metzl

Account Executive: Abu Ngauja

Account Manager: Sue Rickey

Vice President, Senior Attorney: Laura Cooney

Director, Commercial Clearance: Thomas Clark

Production Company: Slim Pictures

Director: Karen Cunningham

Executive Producer: Tom Weissferdt

Producer: Pat Harris

Chad Gray: Office Manager

Post production: Optimus

Producer: Tracy Spera

Editor: Aaron Porzel

Audio Production: Comma

Senior Composer Creative Director: Pete Schmidt

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.