You can still be a Toys ‘R’ Us Kid

Toys ‘R’ Us back… sort-of…


Tru Kids, the owner of the Toys ‘R’ Us brand is “bringing back the Toys ‘R’ Us brand in a modern way through a strong experiential and content-rich omnichannel concept,” Richard Barry, CEO of Tru Kids, said in a statement.

Learning from its prior mistakes of not embracing technology and a digital transformation, this relaunch is purely digital and content-focused in nature, partnering with Target and Candytopia to help with ecommerce and real-life, memorable experiences.

Dubbed “The Toys R Us Adventure,” the company partnered with Candytopia to create the experiential pop-ups in Chicago and Atlanta and feature more than a dozen interactive play rooms, larger-than-life toys, and installations featuring Geoffrey, the brand’s giraffe mascot.

Why it’s hot: Toys ‘R’ Us’ was the poster child for death by tech, with its rejection of ecommerce and digital transformation. Now the company is trying to show everyone it can learn from its mistakes. The question is, will the nostalgia of Toys ‘R’ Us be enough to drive expensive experiential store visits. It’ll be interesting to see if this attempt at jumping into the digital deep end will have a happy ending. If it does work, will we start seeing the return of other brands who failed to innovate? Blockbuster Video? Tower Records?

Sources: FastCo, Business Insider,, Forbes


Cadbury Chocolate Feeds the Malnourished

In the Philippines, where almost one third of children under five are malnourished, the Cadbury has created a chocolate bar without milk, the Generosity Bar, and is donating the glass and a half to children in need.

The Generosity Bar launched at a pop-up store in a popular Manila mall and for every candy bar purchased, Cadbury redirects the forgone milk to malnourished children through its partnership with NGO Reach Out Feed Philippines.

So far 200,000 glasses of milk have been donated to Filipino children.

Other chocolate brands might struggle to form a meaningful partnership with a malnutrition charity, but Cadbury found a way to make this initiative feel natural and relevant. Rather than use its packaging and platform to just draw attention to the Philippines’ child malnutrition problem or encouraging consumers to make donations, Cadbury enabled its customers to donate simply by buying the product: a win-win for Cadbury, the children and the consumers.

Why it’s hot:

CSR has become a hot topic in the advertising world, but doing it right isn’t always easy as many times brands sometimes lack the ability to put others first. This is a great example of a brand wholly dedicating itself to a cause and providing an easy way for its customers to participate and give back by doing something they already do, eat chocolate.

Source: Glass half full – Contagious I/O

Target + STORY Team Up to Make Curated Holiday Shop

NYC concept store STORY has teamed up with Target to curate a holiday-themed gift shop with carefully curated items to fit eclectic product needs. The store, founded and curated by brand consultant Rachel Shechtman, refreshes its merchandise and store design every four to eight weeks. For the latest theme, “Home for the Holidays,” Shechtman worked hand-in-hand with the team at Target.

“Home for the Holidays” marks a first-of-its-kind collaboration for Target, who has never sold their products like this before. The store features handpicked items and exclusive brands: the collection features U.S.-made goods, give-back gifts and fancy finds for foodies. Highlights include items from the brand’s American-made collaboration with Faribault Woolen Mills, menswear from Merona, and pieces from the upcoming TOMS for Target collection. A selection of Target products from Sonia Kashuk, Cherokee, Archer Farms and others are mixed with gourmet food items from Vosges, beauty products from Birchbox as well as hand-embroidered pieces from Coral and Tusk.


The space was designed to look like a “modern mountain retreat” with help from local artists Nick Bakita and Matthew G. Wells and additional touches including antler chandeliers and mirrored accents from Nate Berkus.


Why It’s Hot

“Home for the Holidays” is an exciting new retail exploration for Target. Thinking about how social media and blogs have created a new demand for “curated experiences,” this campaign is a great first step at trying to translate those trends into effective retail experiences. Pop-Ups may not seem like something new, but retail partners who can make execution of a pop-up flawless and special may enable brands to have more successful out-of-the-box tactics to put their products in new light and new customers’ hands.

Link: PSFK

Marc Jacobs thinks of Social Commerce differently

In February, Marc Jacobs opened a Daisy fragrance pop-up store in Manhattan. But unlike other retail locations, no money was be exchanged. Instead, customers could receive products in exchange for sending tweets, Instagram photos and Facebook posts. Called the Daisy Marc Jacobs Tweet Shop, the concept store is embracing social currency. By snapping photos and posting messages with the hashtag #MJDaisyChain, visitors are awarded with Marc Jacobs-branded gifts when exiting the store. This ranges from perfume and necklaces to even purses (the best Instagram photo of the day will win a handbag). Each visitor then visits the front counter to receive a gift. Its arrival also coincided with the start of New York Fashion Week. Customers who stop into the Tweet Shop can also get free manicures, take selfies in the Daisy photo booth and of course, check out the new line of Daisy products.


Why it’s hot:

Marc Jacobs is thinking about social media in the right (and new) way. Ecommerce and retails brands should no longer be trying to put a dollar value on social media campaigns, especially as analysts can’t seem to get their arms around the valuations of the social media providers themselves. Research companies have been trying to do this–establish the value of, for example, a Facebook Like–for several years, producing widely diverse numbers. Retailers, though, have long caught on to the notion that having a slew of Facebook fans does not necessarily convert into increased sales. Now, increasingly, retailers are catching onto the fact that connecting ROI with content marketing–in which social media plays a key role–is equally as elusive. Read more here.