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Toys “R” Us holiday promo plans include retro ads and QR codes

BY Marianne Wilson

Wayne, N.J. — Toys "R" Us holiday plans mix technology — QR — codes and retro ads that speak to the company’s heritage.

As part of its 2011 holiday advertising campaign, the chain will air a series of themed television commercials designed to showcase the company’s toy expertise and its strengths as a specialty retailer. The commercials include two ads from its archives which celebrate the heritage of the brand. Another group of ads feature products exclusive to Toys “R” Us.

"We believe our holiday marketing campaign speaks strongly to our toy authority position today and with the generations of kids who grew up with the Toys "R" Us brand," said Greg Ahearn, chief marketing officer, Toys "R" Us, U.S.

The first retro ad features children singing the iconic "I’m a Toys "R" Us Kid" jingle as they play with perennial toy favorites like trains, bikes, dolls and more. The spot ends with the updated tagline, "Still the World’s Greatest Toy Store.” In the other, Toys “R” Us mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe takes his family – and viewers – on a trip through an animated world of bright holiday lights.

The ads will begin airing on Oct. 30 on major networks and various cable stations.

In its other big holiday salvo, the Toys “R” Us annual holiday catalog will begin arriving in homes across the nation this weekend. The company has expanded the catalog into the digital realm this year with e-mailed bonus pages of holiday-themed deals and discounts that could not fit in the catalog.

Customers equipped with smartphones that can read quick response (QR) codes will find additional multimedia content about select products within the book. As a bonus, starting on Oct. 28, members of the company’s official Facebook fan page at Facebook.com/Toysrus can browse the entire catalog, clicking “like” on items to share their favorite toys with Facebook friends and family.

Customers can also experience a digital version of ultimate toy shopping guide online at Toysrus.com/HolidayBook beginning Oct. 30.

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Whole Foods supports Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign

BY CSA STAFF

AUSTIN —Whole Foods is supporting Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign with several promotions:

  • Whole Foods will match donations up to $25,000 of funds donated online, WholeFoodsMarket.com/holidays, to the cause;

  • When shoppers purchase gift cards from Nov. 16 through Dec. 31, Whole Foods will donate $1 for every card purchased to No Kid Hungry;

  • When shoppers purchase organic Fuji apples from Nov. 14 through Dec. 25, Whole Foods’ produce partners will donate up to $30,000 to the cause; and

  • When shoppers redeem Hain-Celestial coupons (which owns such brands as Arrowhead Mills, Terra Chips and Celestial Tea) — highlighted in Whole Foods Market’s Whole Deal sales flyer for the holidays — each coupon redeemed will garner a 40-cent donation to No Kid Hungry.

"The No Kid Hungry Campaign has an amazing mission that’s aligned with Whole Foods Market’s core values and we’re honored to team up with shoppers and vendors this holiday season to continue fighting childhood hunger," Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb said. "The approach to ending childhood hunger on the local, regional and national scale makes three meals a day a reality for thousands of children. As with our commitment to the Whole Kids Foundation, which aims to improve children’s nutrition, we believe that every child deserves to be nourished so they can reach their full potential."

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Mall at Short Hills launches interactive holiday experience

BY CSA STAFF

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based Taubman Centers has unveiled a comprehensive holiday program for its Mall at Short Hills, in Short Hills, N.J.

From now through the end of the 2011 holiday season, the mall – which features Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and 160 retailers – is showcasing the season with such offerings as an Ice Palace, a free, multi-sensory exhibit with falling snow, interactive elements, footage of arctic animals and landscapes, an Ice Princess and a visit to Santa Claus.

As guests walk through the 22-ft. Ice Palace, they encounter 6-ft. snow globes featuring Beluga whales and polar bears in BBC video footage. Visitors can leave a handprint on an ice patch and compare its size to a polar bear’s paw. They also can compare their height to a polar bear’s, and try out the imposing Ice Throne that is actually cold to the touch and a unique photo opportunity.

The Ice Palace was designed and produced exclusively for Taubman by Global Experience Specialists. The all-audience video footage is provided courtesy of BBC Worldwide Ltd. and BBC Motion Gallery.

Besides special holiday offers throughout the mall, there are sweepstakes drawings, “Santa Paws” nights for pets, and a holiday concert series that runs throughout November and December.

Click here for more Mall Marketing Spotlights.

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