Mattel expands its virtual toy wall

The toy maker has teamed up with Walmart to introduce its first-ever OOH ads on GO trains that allow consumers to purchase holiday toys on the spot.

Mattel and Walmart have teamed up to make holiday shopping a little easier with the launch of a Virtual Toy Store that lets consumers do their shopping while they’re on the go.

With media and creative by Brandfire Marketing Group and digital support by Carat, the initiative is targeted at parents and grandparents and lives on OOH takeovers in Toronto’s Union Station, Montreal’s McGill Station and Vancouver’s Waterfront Station. Mattel has also rolled out ads on GO trains, with one exterior train wrap promoting the toy walls and 10 interior takeovers that allow consumers to shop while they’re in transit.

This year’s campaign is an extension of the project launched last year, which had a toy wall in Toronto’s PATH underground walkway at Bay and Front St.

Melissa Farjo, national account manager, Mattel, tells MiC the addition of GO trains to the strategy presented Mattel with a unique opportunity to reach a captive audience, but also adds to the convenience of the activation by allowing consumers to shop without breaking their daily routines.

Each mural or column ad features an array of toys, each with its individual QR code. Consumers need only scan the QR code with their smartphones to be taken to the toy’s webpage where they can then purchase it.

This year, consumers can also use a toy’s unique search code to find it later and buy it on, or visit the Virtual Toy Store microsite to find an extended list of the top 100 toys for the holiday season.

Farjo says that Mattel chose to focus on Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver because the three markets have a large commuter base and a high volume of smartphone users, adding that partnering with Walmart on the initiative allowed the brand to take advantage of the retailer’s expansion of its online shopping portal.

She says that while the Virtual Toy Store is one of many programs that the brand will have in market throughout the holiday season, it’s one of the brand’s largest initiatives in terms of resources and spend.

The Virtual Toy Store will be in market for four weeks, with the Toronto and Vancouver activations running from Nov. 4 to Dec. 2, and the Montreal activation running from Nov. 18 to Dec. 15.