Ways to Play
If there's one thing humanity takes seriously, it's leisure time. Looked at across cultures and age groups, there is an almost uncountable variation in human play, from retired and rich Massachusetts socialites playing a game of polo to a bunch of SoCal tween hoodlums fooling around with a pack of matches and "borrowed" lighter fluid for the first time. All along this long and varied scope of human play (the "polo-to-pyromania" span if you will), at every task and every game and every activity, there are about a billion different invented tools out there to help people with their fun.
Different mallets and stirrups for the same game of polo. Different matches and cross-state fireworks for the same harmless youthful pyromania. Human inventiveness has created so many tools and toys, drilling down to a ridiculous level of detail and ornate quality, all for the sake of having the maximum amount of fun. Awesome if you like having fun, sure, but certainly complicated if you're planning a promotional campaign involving play.
There are more kinds of toys than there are magazine pages in the world, but here are a few different types of toys along with some handy tips on how to best work with them. Because make no mistake, the only thing more serious than fun and games is when fun, games, marketing and money meet.
Capitalizing on the human need to look at and squeeze "cute wittly wubsy-bubsy" things, stuffed animals are excellent promotional toys perfect for a wide range of demographics and purposes.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR:
"The most important thing is how soft a plush animal feels," said Jenny Straub, director of marketing for Vitronic Promotional Group, Mason, Ohio. "The 'fur' should not feel waxy or rough," she explained. She noted too that it can be worthwhile to request samples to check and see how an animal is stuffed. "There are different ways in which an animal can be stuffed," she said. "Some animals are stuffed heavier in the arms and legs, while others have more stuffing in their bellies or backsides."