Spielwarenmesse: Families playing together

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Marketing

Families playing together

from Maria Costa

The data shows that parents are playing with their kids more than ever! And obviously, the fact that families are spending more entertaining time together is influencing positively the toy industry.


Various toy companies are already implementing some interesting marketing and communication strategies focused on family. This article names a few great examples.

The word “family” for naming and categorizing

Toys for family

There are a number of products that have incorporated the word “family” into their name (e.g. Katamino Family by Gigamic, Sonar Family by Pegasus), while other companies have opted to commercialize new product lines under a sub-mark containing the word “family” as well (e.g. Family fun by Playmobil).

It is interesting to highlight that certain companies and distributors are using the word “family” to categorize products on their websites. For instance, visitors of the Hasbro gaming website have the option to look for products focused on family play. In fact, it is the first option they can find in the banner.

Hasbro Gaming website banner topbar with playing categories and brands.
Hasbro Gaming website banner

Special offers, events and activities for family members

Some distributors are offering promotions that are specifically targeting families. For instance, a clever marketing campaign from Imaginarium called “family days”, with interesting discounts for their club members.

Others are organizing events in which they encourage entertainment for children and adults, enticing them to spend a morning or an afternoon in their stores. This is actually a wonderful service for families trying to find things to do, for instance, on the weekends. No doubt, offering parents and children the possibility to play games, create and develop do-it-yourself activities, and even test toys together in a fun environment, is a well-received marketing strategy.

In a similar way, parents value companies and distributors that present ideas on how to do things together through blogs and even with a YouTube channel. For instance, the Apli Kids Handicrafts blog or the YouTube Channel “Do-it-together” by Flying Tiger Copenhagen.

Do it together painting by Flying Tiger Copenhagen

Targeting specific family members

These kinds of campaigns can also have a great impact if the communication is focused on a child spending time with a specific adult. I mean toys that are promoted as good resources for playing with mom or dad, grand parents or a sibling.

Grandfather and grandson playing with an activity center.
Wesco campaign

Obviously, children can play most games with any of these family members, however, when a product is marketed explicitly for one target, it can appear much more appealing for this specific person. For instance, on Baby Einstein’s website, visitors can click on “Shop Musical Toys” under the image of a dad playing guitar next to his young child and the text “Baby’s favorite bandmate is you, Dad.” This kind of communication puts the idea into dads' minds that with musical toys they can share a good time playing together, with something he loves to do.

Another target group that has a ton of potential is grandparents. The data shows that they are actually spending a lot of time with their grandkids, taking care of them and also playing! That is the reason why some companies are strategically directing their messages to grandparents. Others might not mention grandparents but show them playing with kids in their marketing and communication campaigns.

The tide is high for promoting family play time

It is a great time to create and market toys that promote playing together as a family. There are excellent options to innovate having this idea in mind, and even developing strategies that focus on a concrete family target. Children, and actually everybody involved, will love toys that help them have fun with each other!


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Spielwarenmesse eG.

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Author of this article:

Maria Costa, AIJU

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