Our Work

An in depth look at the Furby Relaunch, 2005

Background:

Following its launch in 1998, Furby was the ‘must have’ toy, selling over 40 million units worldwide. Mason Williams were tasked with relaunching the toy in the UK in 2005.

Brief:

Relaunch the talking robotic toy in the UK nearly 10 years after its initial debut, positioning the new Furby as the hottest 2005 toy. The brief also included a widening of target audience, extending to boys rather than exclusively the 1998 audience of girls 4+.

Challenges:

A huge hit in the 1990s Furby was no longer fashionable. It was also bought almost exclusively for girls so there was a job to be done growing the audience.

Our Response:

Mason Williams positioned the second coming of Furby as a totally new innovation and a story not to be missed; a story that would excite journalists and high profile celebrities. The campaign was kicked off on the ITV 1 Nigella Show, an exclusive feature announcing Furby’s return with priceless footage of Nigella Lawson playing with the toy and demonstrating the new voice features.

The new, clever, bilingual Furby was demonstrated to 80 journalists at Hasbro’s ‘ Christmas in July’ media event, delivering press coverage across the board. With was supported by an exclusive competition in The Funday Times (supplement in The Times) to find the best speakers of Furby’s second language ‘Furbish’. Winner were invited to the international launch event at the UN in New York, an event through which we secured full page features in The Times, The Sun and a DPS in The Funday Times. To specifically target boys we took Rampage (magazine for 7 – 12 year old boys) to Hasbro HQ in Rhode Island, USA, for an exclusive behind-the-scenes feature on Furby.

The campaign also saw 300 competition winners on the red carpet at a private VIP screening of the Furby Island DVD at The Odeon, Leicester Square, generating mass competition coverage nationwide and 300 brand ambassadors taking Furby back to the school playground.

In less than four months Furby was in the ‘Hot Dozen’ toys list, the prime influencer in consumer Christmas spending habits.

Results:

  • Nationals x 50
  • Regionals x 292
  • TV x 19
  • Radio x 153
  • Magazines x 26
  • OTS 337,494,500
  • EAV £1,758,927
  • ROI 25:1

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