Value of Play Task Force Making Progress; Development of Campaign to Commence

June 9, 2014 | As previously reported, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) is taking inspiration from the famous “Got Milk” campaign to create a new program that will remind consumers about the value of play and the vital role that toys – the tools of play – have in a child’s development. 

A Value of Play Task Force appointed by John Gessert and chaired by Drew Brazer of LEGO Systems, along with John Barbor of LeapFrog and Manuel Torres of Nickelodeon, is leading the project.  Over the past few months, the team has been collecting and synthesizing an extensive collection of research from several professional groups, subject matter experts and play-focused organizations.  The next step will be to develop a platform of messages that can be delivered via advertising, publicity and social media to millennial parents and consumers.

“TIA is organizing this project on behalf of the entire toy industry, but we will be relying heavily upon the marketing experts in our member companies to help develop messages and a campaign strategy that individual brands will be willing to support,” said Carter Keithley, TIA president and CEO.  “Our priority goal is to remind the public of the importance of toys and play for all children, but we would certainly be pleased to see a carryover effect of increased toy giving throughout the entire year!”

To assist in developing the messaging and strategy, the Task Group is extending invitations to creative professionals from several TIA member companies to come together for a Communications Summit in late July.  

The session will be “part brainstorming – part strategy development – and part consensus-building experiment,” said Drew Brazer, Task Group chair.  “This is the first time since the “Power of Play” campaign was developed in the late 1990s that we’ve brought together TIA member companies to work together on a single play-focused cause.” 

During the Communications Summit, participants will be asked to share during the Summit any experiences – both what HAS and HAS NOT worked in the past – when trying to engage parents on non-brand-specific play-related topics, timelines, implementation options and related resource requirements.  

“We will take our direction from the creative talents in the toy industry,” added Keithley.  “We want to hear directly from the professionals who know how to reach our target audiences.  We need messages that will be clear … that will get parents to make a conscious effort to support more play time for their kids … and that companies will be proud to support within their own campaigns.” 

Interested parties can contact TIA’s Jackie Retzer for more information on the Value of Play Campaign and opportunities to participate and provide input.