Toys take centre stage in Christmas TV push

Key retailers unveil high profile campaigns, while many suppliers increase their Christmas marketing spend.
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It may be tough on the High Street, but more retailers are using toys than ever before in Christmas TV campaigns this year, while ad spend within the kids TV market is looking buoyant.

John Lewis, Littlewoods, Marks & Spencer, Argos and Toys R Us all kicked off festive TV advertising drives last month, with the first two in particular creating a Twitter and media storm regarding the content.

“I certainly don’t think it’s a bad thing that more retailers are using toys in their adverts,” said LeapFrog’s Robert Dekker. “As long as they don’t use price as a competitive advantage or as a way to exclusively advertise the toys.”

In addition, toy suppliers are either spending more or the same as last year on their Christmas marketing. Jakks, VTech, Wow Stuff, and LeapFrog are some of the firms upping commitment to TV, while Mattel has 15,000 TVRs planned in Q4.

“Suppliers have utilised a mixture of dual targeting spots in family programming to pin down parents during the gifting season, as well as cementing a heavy presence across each of the dedicated kids commercial channels,” Russell Murphy, head of kids at Target Media explained.

“Advertising spend within the kids TV market is looking exceedingly buoyant, with the main sales houses looking at pretty healthy levels of double digit revenue growth across the autumn period.”

Meanwhile, NPD said that toy sales should be around the £1 billion mark for Christmas, on a par with the amount spent in 2010.

Since the John Lewis ad has been airing, the retailer has reported takings of £123.5million, the most it has ever taken in a single week and a two per cent increase compared to last year.

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