Toy retailer demands attention in the run up to Christmas with an orchestra performing classical pieces with their toys
To promote the importance of play as part of its 20th anniversary in the Spanish market, the company set out to create a classical concert — performed entirely on toy instruments by professional musicians.
Prior to the concert, the musicians from the Madrid Metropolitan Orchestra went to the Toys'R'Us store to find their most suitable instrument from the broad range of products. Composer Alejandro Vivas edited Maurice Ravel's Bolero to make it suitable for toy instruments, working with over 160 professional musicians who spent two months rehearsing the piece.
Toys'R'Us were looking to remind customers of their expertise in toy-making and reduce price sensitivity in the face of cheaper hypermarket chains. They wanted to raise awareness of their core message of bringing children and parents together in the run up to Christmas, when 72% of their annual sales take place.
On a Saturday in late November 2011, the toy instrument concert was hosted at Madrid's National Auditorium, which saw the entire orchestra take to toy versions of their instruments and other sound-inducing toys like squeezable pillows, water pistols and light-sabers to perform the piece.
More than 2,300 children and grown-ups attended the one-off concert. It was covered across TV and online.
This is an effective way for the toy retailer to get noticed by its core audience ahead of the busiest time of the year.
It also cleverly links the company's product with the message that a little playtime is important and isn't limited to children. However, rather than focus purely on the PR side of the campaign,an on-going effort after the event itself could have offered parents and children the opportunity to showcase their own creations of further adapted pieces of music and sustain the promotional effort post-concert.