Earlier this year everyone’s beloved toy retailer, Toys “R” Us, officially shut its doors after 70 years of business. With this market share up for grabs, it’s no surprise that Amazon is ready to take it over.
While top brick and mortar competitors – Walmart and Target – have increased the size of their toy aisles, Amazon has taken a more experiential approach.
This holiday season, Amazon is taking its efforts offline and utilizing a more traditional advertising strategy – print. In an effort to emulate the late Toys “R” Us, Amazon released its first print toy catalog, but in true Amazon fashion, it’s not just an average catalog. Released in November, the 68 page “Holiday of Play” lookbook is filled with this year’s hottest toys and stickers for kids to mark items on their wish list, as well as interactive QR codes that help parents easily add items to their Amazon carts.
While this advertising style is not Amazon’s typical MO, this experience merges the physical and digital worlds for both the child and the parent. Clicking through an overwhelming online gift list pales in comparison to the tangible experience a child gets from flipping through pages of a physical catalog and marking items that catch their eye. Not to mention, the stress-free and seamless integration of QR codes that direct the parent to the exact item marked by their child.
Whether it’s through technology or print, making an experience memorable is something worth recognizing. So while printed toy catalogs may have been labeled “dated” or “irrelevant” in our digital era, Amazon’s “retro” yet refreshed approach might just be the key to capturing the market that Toys “R” Us left behind.