From a young age, children can become physically and emotionally attached to soft toys; the loveable, cuddly teddy bear or stuffed animal or doll. Through play, soft toys can help children understand the world around them and give them a sense of security.
Favourite soft toys are always proudly on display in the child’s bedroom, giving brands an opportunity to stay top of mind in the home.
Therefore, it makes absolute sense that soft toys can be the main feature in marketing campaigns, such as: Monkey from the PG Tips adverts, Monty the Penguin from John Lewis and Birds Eye’s Clarence the Polar Bear. These are proof that soft toys are effective marketing devices, and when used correctly, they can be very powerful.
And yet, can it go too far?
Take John Lewis with Monty, the loveable penguin, for instance. At Christmas they released their advert to the world, together with 30 lines of Penguin merchandise. Parents then found one of the soft toys in the range at £95! After this toy sold out, eBay sellers recognised the demand for the cuddly toy and were then selling them for up to £500!
Dare I say it… Christmas is just over 6 months away, which has me wondering: are we going to see an even bigger merchandising range this year? And at what price? With parents being more advertising-savvy, we may find that parents will see through these extortionate prices.
Or, will we find that the advertising is once again so compelling that the price tag is no longer relevant… even if it is just a toy penguin after all.