Even grown-ups know that a hairbrush isn’t just for styling hair. It doubles as a microphone perfect for belting out—or pretending to—the latest tunes. Yet adults might be hard pressed to see other uses for a kitchen strainer (bonnet) a lipstick tube (paintbrush) or a broom (guitar) that any child with a decent imagination is able to conjure up—until they see the latest spot from Fisher-Price.
The new commercial, called “See Toys Everywhere,” is the Mattel-owned brand’s latest push to remind kids and grown-ups alike that toys are really all around us—we just have to look for them. In the 30-second spot, which will air on social channels, a child, with a voice similar to that of Peanuts’ Linus, identifies various household objects as different toys—a light switch creates a dance party and a banana becomes a phone—all branded as toys in the familiar red and white labeling we see on Fisher-Price toys.
Fisher-Price worked with Wieden+Kennedy on the new work, part of the brand’s overarching “Let’s Be Kids” multi-year marketing message that began in 2019 with a spot featuring actor John Goodman. Fisher-Price began working with Wieden earlier that year after a lengthy relationship with BBDO. The new push will include a series of Instagram posts in addition to the film—each of which will feature a different object as a toy.
While Mattel brand Barbie has flourished in recent years through reinvention for the modern age, Fisher-Price has struggled to reach the same level of turnaround. In 2020, Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends, which report together, generated worldwide gross billings, not including the impact for sales adjustments, of $1.1 billion, a 6% decline over 2019, though billings for the segment in the fourth quarter increased 9%. In contrast, Barbie billings were up 16% for the year.
Yet Fisher-Price has successfully tapped into some of the trends affecting working parents during the pandemic. Early on, the brand released a “My Home Office” playset designed to help kids mimic their working-from-home parents.