New Research: The Genius of Play Delivers Value for the Industry by Impacting Moms

January 28, 2019 | New research by The Genius of Play, The Toy Association’s initiative to raise awareness about play’s critical role in child development, revealed that moms’ attitudes toward toys and play have been positively affected by the campaign. Moms who are familiar with The Genius of Play showed a higher appreciation for and a stronger intent to purchase toys for their children. They also demonstrated a more positive view of play in general and their willingness to encourage more of it.

“As we approach The Genius of Play’s fourth anniversary, this powerful research validates that our vision to elevate play and the role of toys through an integrated marketing communication effort is working,” said Ken Seiter, The Toy Association’s executive vice president of marketing communications. “We are pleased to see that as a result of our efforts moms are more likely to encourage playtime, show a stronger intent to purchase toys, and are more likely to view toys as a way to enhance child development.”

The Genius of Play commissioned ConsumerQuest, an independent strategic marketing research firm, to measure the cumulative impact that its value of play campaign has had on mothers’ mindsets toward play, attitudes toward toys, and actual purchase and social behaviors for toys. ConsumerQuest surveyed more than 1,000 moms with children between the ages of two and eight in two waves, in May 2018 and in October 2018.

Key findings from the research included:

  • Moms who recall The Genius of Play messages intend to spend 44 percent more money on toys, games, and other play-related items ($631 vs. $439 annually), and shop for them more often than those who do not recall the campaign.
  • Four in five mothers (80 percent) who recall the campaign or its elements acknowledge a positive impact of different Genius of Play assets on their appreciation of toys and games for their child.
  • Two-thirds of moms “will definitely/probably” spend more money on future purchases of toys and games than had they not seen The Genius of Play promotional materials.
  • Moms who recall one of The Genius of Play’s recent public service announcements (PSA) are “significantly” more likely to name giving children toys as a way to enhance their development.
  • Moms who recall Genius of Play advertising are significantly more likely to agree with statements about the importance of playing “in all kinds of different ways” (75 percent), as well as for learning social skills (67 percent), and that playing with toys increases creativity (60 percent).
  • The majority of mothers surveyed (81 percent) claim that the campaign’s creative elements have influenced them to encourage/allow more play. Among this group, 82 percent “will definitely/probably” allow more time for play.

Seiter added: “The research suggests that our message is a highly-effective marketing tool. As we kick off 2019, stay tuned for some exciting news in the coming weeks about how we plan to amplify our message about the importance of play to parents, educators, and the media.”

A summary of key insights from the research is available to download online. Toy companies are encouraged to use the free resources available through The Genius of Play assets page, including play facts and social media assets, in their communications with consumers to further amplify the campaign’s impact.