5 Key Elements Of A Successful Toy TV Commercial

5 Key Elements of A Successful Toy TV Commercial

Toy marketing campaigns are multi-faceted and multimedia, but at the core of most campaigns for hit toy products listed in national retail chains you will still find the TVC as the central marketing tactic. The reality is that while TV is not as effective as it once was, it is still effective for toy companies to pour $millions into buying TV media spots.

There are a number of reasons why TVCs were so powerful historically, and why they remain a much-used marketing tactic. Firstly, kids’ media spots on TV are substantially cheaper than adult targeted media spots, which gives our industry an advantage over other consumer product industries. Secondly targeting is easy because there are typically multiple specialist kids’ TV channels in most countries as well as timeslots for children’s programming on terrestrial TV. Thirdly, and this is the least palatable of the reasons for the effectiveness of TV advertising to children – children are very suggestable and don’t filter out advertising to quite the same extent as children. Finally, while TV audiences may not be quite what they once were, they can still be significant and tend to offer fairly good value in terms of cost versus reach overall.

In terms of the TV advert itself, there are typically 5 key elements:

  1. A Great TV Advertisable Product – a really strong product feature or features is one of the fundamental features of successful toy TVCs. Something which can be made to look really ‘WOW’ to a child of the target age in a few seconds of footage is perfect. If your operating model is to TV advertise your major product launches, then you should be only selecting and developing those products which are well suited to TV advertising.
  2. Tonality & style fitting the product – if you look at a typical TV commercial for an action-oriented product you will observe a dynamic tone of voice and camera work. The whole impression the advert gives will be of speed, dynamism and excitement, which is exactly the type of feeling this type of toy is designed to give to children who are interested in this type of product (the target market for this type of product is normally boys, whether that is socially acceptable or not!). On the flip side, if you look at a Plush toy which is all about being soft and cuddly, then the entire feel of the TVC will be softer and will make you feel ‘fluffy’.
  3. Heavy focus on the product – ignore those advertising moguls looking to win awards for great story telling and avant garde production. For decades toys have been sold off the back of a simple formula: set the scene, show the WOW features of the product and communicate a few bullet points on top of additional ‘WOW’ features. Above all you need a strong product shot at the end of the advert clearly showing the product packaging and not just the toy itself so that people watching the advert can clearly recognise the product if they see it in your TVC first and then later see it on shelf.
  4. Where to buy/call to action – the key commercial call to action should include where the products can be bought, but manage the list of retailers with care, those who are not included may not thank you!
  5. Website & social media destinations for more information – it takes very little production effort and will not detract even a little from the core message of the advert to add a Brand URL or a social media identity. You can add a URL along the bottom of the advert throughout or put it all in the end scene. Why wouldn’t you draw your consumer further into your brand and your brand communication levels? You’re paying for hundreds of thousands of eyeballs to look at your TVC, why not maximise the impact? If you don’t drive a sale you may recruit a kid into your brand which can be more valuable over time.


We run a Consultancy business for toy companies. We work with major toy companies through to start ups and one person bands. For more information on how we help toy companies grow their distribution around the world: https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/blog/toy-co-growth-booster-program/

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