- Slinky, the 75-year-old walking spring toy marketed by Just Play, is making its social media debut with a campaign seeking a new jingle, according to a news release.
- The effort, Slinky's first with agency Red Tettemer O'Connell + Partners (RTO+P), is running across TikTok and Instagram and employs a mix of influencer marketing and word-of-mouth tactics. Thirty-second video ads showcase archival footage of Slinky's jingle TV ads from 50 years ago intercut with adults playing with the toy today.
- The spots direct viewers to a SoundCloud page featuring assets of the jingle that they can remix into their own tune and post online with the hashtag #SlinkyRemix and a mention of the @original_slinky handle. Select fans will receive a pack of Slinky gear, while a single winner will see their jingle played in a national advertising campaign.
Slinky is making the jump to digital and social media with a marketing push centered on crowdsourcing a new jingle. The Just Play legacy brand is betting that consumers will have nostalgia for its past advertisements, including the black-and-white TV spots that play a central role in the #SlinkyRemix videos on Instagram and TikTok.
"Our goal here was to interweave old and new, coupling vintage footage from new creators and an old favorite song with a new sound to remind those young and old that this toy is back and better than ever," said Steve Red, president and co-chief creative officer at RTO+P, in a press statement.
Launching for National Slinky Day today (Aug. 30), the campaign is running on apps with predominantly young user bases that were born well after Slinky's mid-century debut and might not be familiar with the ads being referenced. Still, the brand is applying more modern tactics like influencer marketing that could help close the generation gap. Adding interactive elements through SoundCloud could also drum up interest as fans vie to get their remixes showcased in national ads.
Slinky has been ramping up for the campaign in the past week with teaser posts on social media. A TikTok video published over the weekend promises "big things from a true original" and has generated over 241,000 views at press time. Engagement for the same post on Instagram is significantly lower. Slinky has struck paid partnerships on TikTok to drive more submissions to its contest.
While Slinky does not have an established social media presence, there are plenty of enthusiast creators who post content related to the toy. A search for "slinky" on TikTok surfaces videos with hundreds of thousands hits, including explainers on how the toy works and actual slinkies in action. One influencer partner on the #SlinkyRemix campaign, "Slinky Josh" Jacobs (@slinkyjosh), has over 345,000 followers.
If Slinky can tap into that creator culture, it could see more viral potential while ingratiating itself with a younger base of consumers whose purchase decisions are increasingly informed by social media trends. Other toy marketers have taken a similar route in their bids to reach Gen Z. Nerf, the toy blaster line marketed by Hasbro, joined TikTok earlier this year and put out the call for a temporary Chief TikTok Officer who could help it engage fans and collaborate on marketing strategy. The brand eventually hired one of the more popular enthusiast accounts on the platform, @Nerfers101.