Easter In Lockdown: Boost for the EMEA Toy Industry?

Generation Media’s Director of International Alex Taylor-Smith looks at the latest developments in lockdown restrictions across Europe, with some top tips to ensure your Easter marketing activity is cutting through effectively.

 

Despite the challenging times we are living through, the outlook for the global toy business this Easter remains strong. This week, online retailers and those offering Click & Collect and delivery options are already seeing a surge in demand, as the traditional Easter Bonanza begins!

 

As an additional boost in the UK, the holiday marks the first time for months that many families and friends will be able to get together, creating even more gifting opportunities.  But as the EU’s vaccination campaign continues to be hit by delays, the same optimism for a potential ‘boosted’ Easter period is not shared by all our friends in the EU, where uncertainty looms alongside stricter lockdowns coming into force once again.

 

As governments act against a third wave, see below our short summary of the latest developments from some of the markets around the EU:

Germany: Current restrictions in movement extended to 18th April, but 5 Day Nationwide Easter lockdown cancelled following wide scale national criticism of the potential short circuit halt.

France: Stricter lockdown measures will be extended across the whole country from Saturday the 3rd April, affective for a minimum of 4 weeks.

Italy: For three days over Easter (3-5 April), there will be a total shutdown across the whole country.

Spain: Under a nationwide curfew until early May 2021. People are only allowed out in that period to go to work, for education, to buy medicine, or care for elderly people or children.

Czech Republic: One of the hardest hit countries in the EU, the Czech Republic has now tightened its lockdown. The new measures include closing nurseries and schools for younger children.

Netherlands: Lockdown rules have been extended until 20 April. The curfew has also been extended, but from 31 March it will start one hour later, from 22:00 until 04:30.

 

With lockdowns back in force across much of Europe, we will have a strong indication of the improvement in local marketing strategies & their effect on the industries performance YoY, as this will be the second Easter period in a row under lockdown conditions., so some ground for comparison.

 

For marketers, acting ‘glocally’ (thinking globally, acting locally) has never been more important.  Here are 3 quick tips to consider when thinking about fine-tuning your Easter EU ‘battle plans’ when it comes to reaching the main purchaser, before switching on the OOO..

 

Sufficiently communicate your products playtime value

For parents that have spent over a year with children largely at home, the perceived playtime value of a toy has never been more important.

It is therefore imperative that brands showcase all the features of their products. To get this right, think about your advertising messages by market, do they demonstrate all of the great features of your product? If not, perhaps upweighting the longer form creatives through your digital activations is a good place to start.

 

Be relevant, socially.

As the world has become less physically social, we have naturally experienced an explosion of online social activity. Brands that excel with their social strategies, are those that demonstrate relevancy to local market nuisances. Are you doing anything differently in your communications following the latest announcements in restrictions by market? If the answer to that is no, perhaps a proactive social boost on Easter Sunday to showcase your awareness of the challenging period is worth considering for long term brand building for one of your brands?

 

Review your E-commerce Investment and Strategy.

Online retail sales have of course risen dramatically, and in most territories, will be the only way to bring new Toys & Games into the home this Easter. With that in mind, ensuring you have a watertight ecommerce strategy has never been so important. Think about what optimisations you will make over this period that will see you get the edge over your competitors? What did you learn from previous lockdowns over Christmas that will give you the advantage to see your Easter sales boost?

 

For more advice on how to strengthen your marketing ‘battle plans’ through a ‘glocal’ lens, please contact myself or another one of the Generation Media team.