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Toys R Us Rebrands With “Today We Play”

The new brand positioning includes Play Labs, more efficient e-commerce and pop-up events galore.

Toys R Us has announced new brand positioning that centers around the concept of kids at play. The company says the rebranding has been in the works for awhile; however, it has finally come to fruition in the same month the company filed for bankruptcy. An opportunity for the struggling toy chain to turn over a new leaf? Perhaps.

The new branding campaign, ‘Today We Play,” was inspired by today’s children experiencing too much stress due to packed schedules of structured activities. (Recess is cancelled, games are called “learning activities,” playdates are scheduled and sports are over-competitive.) In response, Toys R Us is positioning its 1,200 toy stores as places for kids to play freely.

The idea was developed in partnership with BBDO and led by Chief Marketing Officer Carla Hassan, who joined the company in February from PepsiCo. The campaign’s message is anchored by a commercial produced by Shawn Levy,  director of the film Night at the Museum and the Netflix television series Stranger Things.

This fall, Toys R Us will launch Play Labs at 42 stores for kids and parents to play with toys of the holiday season before purchasing them. With that, the company has opened new positions for “Seasonal Toy Demonstrators” to show curious customers how toys work.

Toys R Us will also be visiting select college campuses this fall with a van filled with toys for students to reminisce and play.

For the first time ever, the retailer participated in New York Comic Con with a shoppable booth for fans. The booth served as the official first-look at “Fan Vault,” the new in-store collector experience. They also placed a massive pop-up Etch A Sketch in the Fulton Street subway station in NYC earlier this month to promote awareness for the rebranding.

In a blog post, the company claims “We’re just getting started.” Throughout the holiday season more announcements will be made, including information about a new app that brings the stores to life and “a special partnership with New York City’s famous Christmastime #squad.”


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