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Redan Publishing has worked with the likes of LEGO in the past and has an expansive children’s portfolio which includes Sparkle World, Ponies & Co and Fun- To-Learn Peppa Pig. Billy Langsworthy finds out from joint MD Julie Jones how print offers toy companies direct interaction with their target audience and how well the medium compliments online campaigns

Kids Media Special: Prints Charming

What does print as a medium offer toy companies?

Done properly, print offers the opportunity to interact with your audience by inviting children to take part in activities on the page and spend some time (often with parental input) thinking creatively about the product. It also offers editorial endorsement, as parents of young children often buy magazines because they trust their content and if a product is appearing in a favourite magazine, this is often seen as a valued endorsement of that brand/toy.

What opportunities does print have for toy companies alongside adverts?

Product sampling, reviews and competitions are all excellent ways to gain coverage and generate a buzz around a new product line or brand.

Can you give me any examples of toy companies you have worked with in the past and the campaigns you worked with them on?

LEGO are particularly creative with their print campaigns. Sparkle World is currently half way through an innovative advertorial campaign for LEGO Friends which includes some fantastic activities tailored to seasonal opportunities and bespoke extras like reward stickers.

Is there anything you feel print can offer toy companies that other media cannot?

Editorial endorsement and the opportunity to capture the child’s imagination and to engage them in spending some time interacting with the product on the page. Radio and TV ads are generally talked over or fast forwarded through.

But if you have an interesting activity or advertorial slant to your print advertising, children and parents will take time to get involved.

Children tend to collect and treasure their magazines too, so the advert is never thrown away. Plus they will often go back to them so the ad has a much longer life.

Can print work effectively together with other media on toy campaigns?

Absolutely. We work really well with online campaigns through the use of QR codes and by printing secret codes and passwords that drive traffic to websites. It’s not just about TV these days.

Budget for campaigns aimed at children should ideally be split across all media.

The overall result would be much more effective as children are consuming all sorts of media which they dip in and out of without really thinking that they are consuming different types.

In a nutshell, why should toy companies embrace print?

Given the right design treatment, print adverts can capture a child’s imagination and become an invaluable way to recruit readers as brand ambassadors and create a genuine buzz about desirable new toys. They can point to online campaigns and help to re-enforce TV advertising by going beyond the basic sell. They are also relatively cheap by comparison.

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