• 10.21.15

Toys R Us Has A Toy Story Of Its Own In Fun New Holiday Ad Campaign

Optimus Prime gets surprised, while Barbie and Ken get lost.

It’s not even Halloween yet so you know what that means–the holiday commercial season is upon us! As soon as that last pumpkin is smashed in the middle of the street, Christmas carols and other holiday tunes will start playing non-stop in malls around the world. Talk all you want about tradition, food, culture and song, but we all know the holiday season is fundamentally about toys. As such, Toys R Us has launched its new campaign to stoke the hopes of children everywhere.


The ads were created by agency BBDO Atlanta and all three hark back, even if indirectly, to scenes from classic kid flicks. Two of the spots–dubbed “Shelf Talkers”–take place at the store, the first with Optimus Prime having a Buzz Lightyear-like revelation, then Barbie and Ken take a spin around the store like Mr. Potato Head and the gang in Toy Story 2. In the third spot, a couple of kids do something nice for a very Old Man Marley-ish neighbor.

While new “Shelf Talker” spots will be released throughout the holiday season featuring other popular toys, the brand will also be posting original videos on YouTube, combining “Shelf Talkers” with the insanely popular concept of unboxing videos. Kids will be able to watch some of their favorite toys release each other from their packaging, showcasing the unique features and personalities of the toys in what sounds like Christmas morning meets Escape from Alcatraz.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.