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Toys R Us begins Imagination Included campaign

Toy retailer Toys R Us Canada has recently begun a new advertising campaign called “Imagination Included.” The campaign was developed by Broken Heart Love Affair of Toronto and is the firms first work for the brand since becoming is agency of record earlier this year. The initiative focuses on the value of imaginary friends to children. According to the company, fewer children now have imaginary friends, reportedly due to an increase in time spent looking at screens and less time spent in imaginative play.

The campaign includes a video called “Mr. Ferguson” which depicts a mother finding that her son no longer remembers his imaginary friend, a fuzzy creature who is seen lying on the floor. The mother calls for assistance from a team of “playmedics,” who arrive and use a variety of toys to revive Mr. Ferguson. The commercial will run in 60-, 30-, 15- and six-second versions as online videos, cinema ads and pre-roll video ads. They will be accompanied by social media content, out-of-home advertising, catalogue ads and in-store materials. Media work is being conducted by Prospect Media Group.

"When a child picks up a toy, it only comes to life through their imagination,” said Allyson Banks, director of marketing at Toys R Us Canada. “As Canada’s dedicated toy and baby retailer, we have the tools to make sure that children can do that. When a child walks through our doors, watching the wonder and amazement in their eyes is like magic, their world of make-believe becomes real. We are focused more than ever on encouraging imaginative play and nurturing this development in children.”

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