Toy shop’s gender-stereotype-challenging advert saw the greatest uplift in ad awareness last month

November 14, 2016, 10:42 AM GMT+0

Smyths Toys recently launched its new advert that challenges gender stereotypes.

The advert features a young cartoon boy who sings his own version of Beyonce’s ‘If I Were a Boy’, whilst he imagines how his life would be if he were a toy. He floats through space as rocket and shares the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca. The ad culminates with the boy dressed as a queen in a pink dress, waving to his subjects from a castle.

The ad has proved popular with consumers. YouGov’s Ad Awareness metric assesses whether someone has seen the brand’s advert over the previous fortnight. It shows that Smyth’s score rose by 13 points over October (from 5% to 18%). Notably, the increase was even more pronounced among those with a child in their house as among this group the score improved to 24%, a rise of 16 points.

As well as being a hit with consumers it has also received critical acclaim. The company has been praised by many for normalising the issue of gender neutrality in advertising, while addressing the issue of what toys children should play with.

So-called “gendered” toys have become a big issue of debate in recent years. We found that half (50%) of people believe that toy manufacturers should make gender specific toys, compared to 36% that think they shouldn’t. There was a clear age divide on the matter; half (50%) of 18-24s say they should not, compared to 29% of those aged 55+ that said the same.

We also found a split among parents themselves. Among those with a child in the house, 44% said should not make gender specific toys and 43% that said they should.

Regardless of the public’s leaning on the subject, it’s clear that Smyth’s advert has caught people’s attention in others ways too. Its overall Awareness score (whether someone has heard of the brand) has also increased while the ad has been running. The score has risen among all respondents by an impressive 10 points, rising from 50% to 60%.

As we approach the Christmas trading period, it’s clear that Smyths are well placed. An imaginative and challenging campaign has helped people notice not just advert but the brand itself.

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