If you are a child between the ages of five and nine, being a toy tester for a job is truly living the dream. The Warehouse and DDB are helping realise this dream for two Kiwi kids through a competition where young entrants upload YouTube videos of themselves reviewing their own toys. Two will be selected as official toy testers.
The campaign is in celebration of The Warehouse’s annual toy sale in early July which The Warehouse says is one of its biggest events of the year.
The young'uns need to upload a short video clip to YouTube, demonstrating with their toys how they would be the ultimate toy tester and discussing what makes them the kid for the job, according to a release issued by The Warehouse.
The Warehouse will then bring the best 20 entrants to Auckland to audition for the top job, where two children will be chosen.
The lucky winners get to take home a bunch of prizes, including a laptop valued at $550, a Panasonic camera, accessories valued at $400, $1,500 cash and $200 worth of toys each month for a year.
The “job” will also include special appearances and being part of campaigns like Halloween as well as testing toys for upcoming launches and Christmas. The winner also gets to appear in a TVC.
As part of the spot is a 30-second TVC calling for entrants and enticing kids with the potential of a short-term career in un-boxing toys, being the envy of every kid in the schoolyard.
A similar initiative was pushed out in 2013 where DDB and Flying Fish created a spot which had kids being interviewed for the toy testing position.
The Warehouse chief executive officer Simon Turner says toy testers are an important part of The Warehouse family, fulfilling a special role, which is also a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“Children are the best judges when it comes to knowing what other children like. They understand what kids are looking for when it comes to toys, so we really value the ‘work’ of our Toy Testers, playing with our new-release toys and offering inspiration to customers who aren’t sure what to buy.”
Retiring toy tester, nine-year-old Evie MacDonald from Christchurch says “I get a surprise box of toys every month and I get to fly to Auckland for photo-shoots and my photos are on The Warehouse website.”
We must admit, we do feel a bit sorry for the retired toy testers. How does one go back to normal life after touching the sun. Perhaps The Warehouse has already considered this and organised a 12-step recovery programme.
YouTube has become a great platform for advertising and endorsing. These days it's a given that brands upload their TVCs to the platform.
The Warehouse is utilising the site to its advantage creating its own unboxing videos, which strangely are an incredibly popular genre on YouTube. According to CNN the most popular versions are for expensive gadgets like iPhones, Xboxes and Playstation consoles but, “Toys of all types are [also] huge, including collectable figurines, Legos and Kinder Egg videos.”
CNN also says since 2010 the number of YouTube clips with “unboxing” in the headline has increased 871 percent, “Last year alone, 2,370 days, or 6.5 years-worth of unboxing footage was uploaded to the site”.
And much like Instagram has become, it’s also a great way to endorse and advertise people, which of course brands have caught onto, linking their services with YouTube stars. For example, New Zealand’s YouTube darling Jamie Curry who was commissioned by Coca-Cola last year to promote its #colouryoursummer campaign. This year she teamed up with Netflix, posting a video called ‘How to Netflix’ on her YouTube channel as part of the marketing push by the SVOD player to expand its reach across Australia and New Zealand.
According to a First report on searching for toys online from November last year, Toyworld gets the most hits in terms of toy-based searches in New Zealand with forty percent rankings based searches. Mighty Ape came in second at 22 percent and The Warehouse came in seventh holding four percent of searches.
Data from Nielsen shows nine percent (350,000 people aged 10-plus) visited a toy store and 15 percent (285,000 people aged 18-plus) bought toys online in New Zealand in the past month.