The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) engaged Child’s Play Communications to help generate social media buzz to support the organization’s third annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day initiative held on November 10, 2012. The nationwide event helps educate parents on the benefits of shopping locally and celebrates each local toy store’s commitment to the community.
Through a tailored Blogger Ambassador program, blogger outreach campaign, Twitter campaign and web-based editorial program, Child’s Play Communications was able to garner 679 placements and 147,671,536 impressions for ASTRA’s campaign, including links to the organization’s new website yourneighborhoodtoystore.org. Placements included Babble, SheKnows and Lifetime Moms, among others.
Disney Channel approached Child’s Play to build excitement for the launch of the Original Phineas & Ferb Movie, a TV special based on the popular animated series. Child’s Play launched a multi-stage social media effort. First, the agency identified 50 “Blogger Elite,” moms we knew would be most effective in spreading the word. We then chose two mom bloggers to serve as red-carpet reporters as the movie made its debut at a theater in LA. Most exciting were the Child’s Play Party! viewing parties – special events moms held in their homes to generate conversation about the upcoming movie. Child’s Play created a package that included Phineas & Ferb promotional items, as well as decorating and menu ideas and two hours’ worth of brand-themed activities. To top that off, we also hosted two Twitter parties, to run simultaneously with the show’s premiere on East and West Coasts.
The goal was 100 top blogger reviews and 50 live party posts. The end result was 105 top blogger reviews, 53 live party posts and 1300 tweets.
Who will watch your child when you can’t? For moms, few decisions are as important or difficult. Goddard Systems, Inc., the leading childcare franchise in the United States, ran hundreds of locations across the country; however, the company had minimal media visibility in many of the local markets it served. Child’s Play Communications was charged with generating regional media coverage of individual schools. The agency recommended tapping into the timely news hook of preschoolers “learning through play.” To that end, we revamped Goddard’s annual toy test and retitled the results as “Preschooler Approved Toys.” During one week in November, all 20 participating schools conducted a live on-premise evaluation where students interacted with the toys and rated their favorites based on a number of criteria.
Child’s Play Communications conducted a media blitz supporting each local event. Within a one-month period, we secured 42 regional placements in support of the Goddard “Preschooler Approved Toys” test. Total impressions reached 5,980,000.
For over a century, GUND has been creating unique teddy bears and other soft plush toys recognized the world over for their quality and innovation. As part of its program for GUND, Child’s Play Communications created the Top Dog Facebook contest to drawn more attention to the brand’s social media presence, while simultaneously creating brand awareness. Participants could enter their dog across four categories: Most Beautiful Dog, Dog Most Resembling Its Owner, A Face Only a Mother Could Love and Best Dressed. The Grand Prize Winner received a manufactured plush version of their pooch.
Over 53,000 votes were cast. In addition, the contest added thousands of new fans to the GUND Facebook page and created visibility for the brand across multiple media outlets including Babble, USA Today, People.com, top mom blogs and more, for a total of almost 44 million impressions.
Heinz® Vinegar, in partnership with PAAS® Easter Egg Dyeing Kits, asked Child’s Play Communications to help promote the companies’ Easter Egg Decorator app through Child’s Play’s long-established network of mom bloggers, including its top-influencer Blogger Elite. When consumers decorated and shared a virtual Easter egg with family and friends using the free app, Heinz and PAAS donated $1, up to $25,000, to Make-A-Wish®. Child’s Play worked with Heinz and PAAS to create colorful Easter baskets containing the brands’ products, egg decorating tips and fun Easter favorites such as chocolate bunnies, to send to the bloggers. We asked them to try out and share the app, use the PAAS Egg Dyeing Kits and Heinz Vinegar to decorate real-life eggs and display those photos and/or videos on their posts with information about the donation to Make-A-Wish. Within weeks, 93 bloggers posted, including approximately 50 Blogger Elite, generating 4.6 million impressions. Together with online advertising and other PR efforts, there were more than 6,700 shares of the app.
A leader in music for kids and tweens, this entertainment company asked Child’s Play to launch four new projects — a talent search, a revamped Web site, a national stage show and the company’s latest CD – and to create broader visibility and positioning for Kidz Bop as a whole. Our approach was to reach out to media both for articles on the individual projects and for broader corporate stories that featured all developments within one piece. Through a very pro-active media effort, which included our Web Mom Directory and Child’s Play Media Luncheon, the agency created impressive stories about Kidz Bop in leading media, including multiple stories in USA Today, as well as placements in The New York Times, BusinessWeek, a lengthy story in Advertising Age, coverage in major local media such as Crain’s New York, and in regional parenting publications and newspapers.
In the month after the publicity campaign launched, unique visitors to the Web site increased to 650,000 from 173,000 and video streams skyrocketed from 238,000 to 5 million.
K’NEX Brands, one of the world’s largest construction toy companies, prided itself on manufacturing toys domestically, but never promoted the fact. When news hit about a widespread recall of Chinese-made toys, Child’s Play immediately proposed a Made in America campaign. The agency proactively initiated multiple press opportunities, including interviews with K’NEX’s president and tours of the U.S. manufacturing facility. Around the same time, we helped create a major event at Toys R’ Us to recognize the winners of the K’NEXpert Search, a kids’ building contest. Stories resulting from both the Made in U.S.A. and K’NEXpert outreach appeared in major media such as The Wall Street Journal, where a K’NEX profile ran on the front page of the Marketplace section, and USA Today, which featured a story on the front cover of the Money section. Other coverage, including ongoing product stories, appeared in The New York Times, USA Weekend, Associated Press, Bloomberg News, the Philadelphia Business Journal and on The Today Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Fox Business Network, meanwhile, conducted an extensive on-air interview with K’NEX’s president.
The company reported a December over December sales increase of 20%, directly attributed to safe-toy status.
Looking to increase brand awareness and trial of its baby bottles, pacifiers, teethers and oral care products among U.S. moms, Austria-based MAM engaged Child’s Play Communications to implement an integrated campaign encompassing traditional media, social media and word-of-mouth marketing. In a six-month period alone, traditional media results included placements on The Today Show, and in national print publications such as Baby Talk, American Baby, Parents and Ser Padres. Child’s Play sought product reviews from leading mom bloggers and online mom-focused communities, through the agency’s Team Mom and Web Mom networks. The agency also conducted a Social Media Audit, which helped fine tune campaign messaging and identify which social media outlets would be most effective.
To further drive grassroots buzz and sales, Child’s Play reached moms directly through the agency’s proprietary word-of-mouth program, Child’s Play Party! Enlisting moms nationwide to host a “MAM Rock-a-Bye Baby Party,” we provided product samples and party packs for a two-hour in-home brand immersion event.
MEGA Brands chose Child’s Play to drive visits to its new online community, the MEGA Bloks Family Club, create awareness of the scope of MEGA Bloks product lines and identify MEGA Bloks as the leading construction toy brand for families with children of all ages. The agency developed the MEGA Bloks Mom Search, a contest designed to find mom bloggers to regularly post to the Family Club microsite. Hundreds of bloggers applied. Child’s Play also staged a Twitter Party to spread the word about MEGA Bloks and the Club. At the same time, we sent MEGA Bloks samples to other mom bloggers — generating more than 200 brand-focused posts — and tapped into our own Insider Mom Network, comprising mom groups nationwide, to seed 2,000 moms with product samples and information about the MEGA Bloks Family Club. Through a separate outreach effort, Child’s Play worked with moms across the country to comment about the brand in online mom communities.
During this period, membership in the Family Club quickly reached five figures.
Beloved by families in the UK, Peppa Pig, the award-winning animated television series for children ages 2-6, launched in America in 2011 and quickly became a favorite among preschool audiences. In 2012, the brand partnered with Child’s Play Communications to help extend awareness of the show and launch its new collection of licensed products in the toy, DVD and book categories.
Child’s Play developed and executed an integrated PR program targeting traditional media, social media and mommy bloggers. In total, the agency secured 42,484,205 impressions for the brand in print, broadcast and online placements. National coverage included Parenting, Working Mother, Ser Padres, Babble, She Knows, Mom Finds, and The Daily Buzz, among others. In addition, the agency launched and grew the brand’s Facebook page with great success: in just four months, Child’s Play expanded the fan base of the Peppa Pig U.S. Facebook page to 51,000 fans.
Beloved TV show Reading Rainbow taught a generation of kids a love of reading. Show host LeVar Burton and his team asked Child’s Play Communications to help launch the new Reading Rainbow app, to imbue that same passion for the written word among today’s digital kids. Child’s Play created an expansive launch program that include app previews, interviews with Burton, a major media launch event in NYC which the agency organized soup to nuts, as well as pre- and post-launch media outreach for the subscription-based app and a Team Mom and Blogger Elite blogger review program. The agency also managed and developed all content for the new Reading Rainbow Facebook and Twitter pages.
Child’s Play Communications generated results in top media including The New York Times, USA Today (2x), The Wall Street Journal, Time, Forbes, Inc. Parents, Parenting, Mashable, TechCrunch, Techlicious, Wired, Huffington Post, TechMama and many more. In total Child’s Play managed to secure more than 100 media clips within the first week of launch, resulting in almost 2 billion impressions, including followers and fans. The Reading Rainbow app was the #1 Education App within 48 hours in the Apple App store and was the #1 Top Grossing App within the first week of launch.
Summit Toy launched an extensive expansion of its Backyard Safari Outfitters brand, a line of gear designed to help kids get up-close and personal with nature — right in their own backyards. With the goal of carving out a new “nature play” niche for both parents and the toy industry, the company partnered with Child’s Play Communications to generate buzz. The agency launched a multi-faceted program that connected Backyard Safari Outfitters with moms by tapping into the “hot topics” we knew moms cared most about, such as the need for more physical activity among children. The carefully crafted program focused on not just traditional media, but also on social media outlets.
The program was a huge success, generating 211 hits and 26,874,000 impressions for Backyard Safari Outfitters — including two placements on The Today Show. According to Summit, the PR efforts helped increase sales in 2010 by 500% and the brand’s shelf-space and item count at Walmart and Toys ‘R Us grew four-fold.
Media giant Warner Bros. came to Child’s Play Communications to help relaunch the Banana Splits, a 1960s TV show. Along with reaching out to selected, major national press for exclusives, and regional parenting media for additional coverage, we focused our efforts online, tapping into our Team Mom network of mom bloggers.
The Banana Splits launch results included coverage in the popular Coming Attractions section of USA Today, parenting magazines such as LA Family, newspapers ranging from the LA Times to New York’s Newsday, and an online presence in hundreds of top-rated mom-focused Web sites and blogs. Because of our success with this program, Warner Bros. returned to Child’s Play with additional projects throughout the year. The response from Warner Bros.’ Director, Worldwide Public Relations: “We are quite pleased with the results and look forward to working with you again soon.”
The Wildlife Conservation Society, founded in 1895, has the clear mission to save wildlife and wild places across the globe. As part of that mission, WCS manages the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium and other local New York zoos. Child’s Play Communications was commissioned to build regional awareness for Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium events through a Blog Ambassador marketing and ad buy program. Child’s Play hand selected 30 bloggers to be a part of this very special campaign. Bloggers posted about individual events throughout the season to build awareness with local families and increase ticket and membership sales.
In total, the program garnered over 8.5 million impressions from just 30 tri-state area bloggers over a four-month period.