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Toys R Us disperses holiday cheer with branded Snapchat geofilters

Toys R Us is rolling out branded geofilters on Snapchat for the first time, pointing to the bigger role that in-store mobile engagement will play during the 2015 holiday shopping season. 

The filters began appearing on consumers? smartphones earlier this week, and will be available through December. Shoppers that have their location settings enabled will be able to swipe their finger across the Snapchat screen to access the filters, which include cartoon renderings of giraffe mascot Geoffrey as well as holiday mistletoe.

?Since introducing the all-new marketing campaign, ?AWWWESOME,? we have been delighted with the consumer response,? said Cheryl O?Brien, public relations manager at Toys R Us, Wayne, NJ. ?We have incredibly passionate fans across all of our social channels and we wanted to continue to provide them with exclusive content and alternate ways to experience ?AWWWESOME? with Toys R Us all season long.

?Snapchat is just one of the latest emerging platforms attracting our shoppers, and we?re excited to collaborate with them to bring the magic of the campaign in-store and into the palm of their hands.?

Multichannel approaches
Toys R Us is angling for an omnichannel approach for this year?s holiday marketing campaign after recognizing that so many of its customers enjoy engaging with the brand through a variety of digital channels. Additionally, some individuals begin browsing potential gifts on one device and complete the purchase on another.

Several weeks ago, Toys R Us ramped up for the high-traffic winter shopping period by introducing its newest marketing campaign, which places mobile at the forefront via exclusive content on the brand?s social media channels and playlists on YouTube featuring behind-the-scenes content (see story).

Branded geofilters are a smart move for the brand, as many parents shopping with their children will likely be willing to snap a few photos while in-store and emblazon them with Geoffrey the giraffe or other holiday-themed cartoons.

If consumers then share these photos to their public Snapchat stories, a large audience of other consumers can easily be reached.

?The brand new filters are available now through the month of December and will rotate all season long,? Ms. O?Brien said. ?For the first time since joining the platform, @ToysRUsOfficial will offer customers filters ranging from the sentimental ?I don?t want to grow up? jingle to frames including letters to Santa, holiday mistletoe and even Geoffrey in a sleigh.?

The branded will be updating its official Snapchat channel with fresh content throughout the holiday season, including snapshots of the trendiest toys, seasonal event news and doorbuster deals.

The promise of relevant content will also be an attractive incentive to prompt mobile users to add Toys R Us on Snapchat.

Testing mobile?s limits
Toys R Us has been engaging in a significant mobile push recently, proven by its increased focus on mobile commerce.

This past August, Toys R Us tapped visual search company Slyce to enable consumers to take a picture of a receipt, catalog or newspaper coupon and generate a mobile-optimized version to store in the retailer?s application, driving cross-screen marketing and retargeting opportunities (see story).

However, the brand has also realized that social media is an imperative strategy to leverage, especially when attempting to beat out competitors for the largest share of consumers? wallets this winter season.

 ?We leverage social media as a platform to interact with customers in meaningful, two-way communication, and that includes being present on the latest emerging platforms such as Snapchat,? Ms. O?Brien said.

?It enables us to provide our followers with current, relevant information quickly and easily, whether it?s showcasing new products, such items on our 2015 Holiday Hot Toy List, raising awareness for one of our many charitable campaigns like Toys for Tots, or bringing them ?AWWWESOME? moments in-store through unique, original content.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Marketer, New York