Slowdown continues, but has it reached the nadir?

The number of campaigns on TV throughout the summer has continued in a downward direction. From 89 in May, 76 in June and 63 in July. The overall spend figure has obviously paralleled that trend down to £1.3m from £2.2m last month. Only 17 firms registered TV campaigns this month.
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Mattel maintains its usual placing at the top of the spend chart with a share of just over 25 per cent, ahead of Hasbro on just under 20 per cent. Summer usually throws up some anomalies as the price of airtime decreases but it’s still somewhat surprising to see a craze specialist such as the The In Thing, in third place ahead of the likes of Vivid, Bandai and Character, with a spend share of nearly 12 per cent after backing its Mandy Mix Up Doll, Gelli Baff and Bionic Putty products with TV campaigns. Clearly it has been able to secure the kind of deals which are simply outside its budget at busier times of year.

Outside of that top three and back among the more usual candidates Vivid’s campaigns for, among others, its Wall E and Prince Caspian products, give it a share of just over 10 per cent. Martin Yaffe makes an appearance thanks to its big spending on its Fireman Sam and Bob The Builder products. It’s a sign of the firm’s growing confidence and range that it is starting to make spend regularly and spend big on its strong line-up of pre-school licensed lines.

It’s rare that we have a toy retailer appear among the suppliers but publicity-shy Irish retailer Smyths is quietly continuing its drive into the UK with new store openings around the London area and has been backing it with relevant announcements.

If advertising patterns mirror last year, we may see some pick up next month as we head round the curve into the final, crucial, last quarter. It has been a disastrous month weather-wise and that is not going to reflect well in the number of outdoor toy executions on air. However, it was the same last year and the August figures showed the industry beginning to rub the sleep out of its eyes. It’s a different year, a different high street but we will soon find out how confident suppliers are starting to feel about the rest of the year and how much they have to spend.

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