Toys can be a tough sell—there are just so many to choose from. So, it’s important that toy brands distinguish their products from the competition. In promoting its new BOOMco. dart blaster, Mattel Canada Inc.’s “scientifically engineered” line of blaster products, the brand decided to give kids the chance to pick one up and experience the difference through some strategic target practice. The BOOM Tour and Blast Course made its first stop at the CN Tower in Toronto and wraps Aug. 30 at Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls.
The activation hit events, festivals and skate parks across Ontario during the summer, greeting fans with a 10-foot-tall, souped-up branded GMC RXT truck that acted as the activation home base. The footprint includes the Blast Course, a series of stacked box obstacles and targets. Brand ambassadors encourage kids to challenge themselves to complete the course that highlights the product’s “Smart Stick” adhesive technology, enabling the darts to bond to the targets.
Supporting the launch of BOOMco. in Canada is a digital campaign, where fans can interact with the brand on platforms such as YouTube (for blaster-in-action videos and behind the scenes footage) and Instagram (for blaster photos and “visual play inspirations”). On Instagram, specifically, Mattel is issuing monthly challenges to fans that show different ways to play with the blasters. Mobile apps are being released later this year.
“The big thing for us to keep it fun and simple for kids,” says Michael Ng, brand manager, Mattel Canada Inc. “Often times you’re tempted to add features, especially digital, but at the end of the day, it really has to be about kids having fun and creating a scenario and an environment that makes it easy for them to engage with the product.” Agency: TrojanOne, Toronto.