GM Thought of the Week: Innovate, Adapt, React: The 2020 New York Toy Fair

Last week Generation Media headed across the pond for the 117th New York Toy Fair.  The trip literally started on a high, with cocktails on the 41st floor of the Aliz hotel before heading to the Women In Toys ‘Wonder Woman Awards’, which celebrates and recognises the achievements of some of the most inspirational women in the industry.  The next morning it was straight down to business at the Javits Center to meet up with our US Media Partners BPM and contribute to their Media Lounge event. Generation Media MD Lisa Morgan treated delegates to an engaging and enlightening keynote on the children’s industry in the UK and Europe, sparking a lively discussion about what the magic formula is for creating the ideal media plan in a fragmenting and evolving landscape. It swiftly became clear that the US industry is facing similar challenges to those of the UK market, albeit at one step ahead of us.  Did we find the magic formula?  We certainly agreed that data-driven insight and innovation were key ingredients in the media mix.

Innovation was a buzzword across the Fair overall, and it’s clear that manufacturers, as well as media planners, are alert to the need to think differently in order to create toys that resonate with the Glass Generation. There was a huge amount of creativity on display in the toys we saw with many products reflecting the shift in the way kids are viewing content and interacting with technology and digital first’ brands on the rise suggesting that companies are determined to rise to this challenge.

Sadly, coronavirus still casts a shadow of uncertainty over the industry, with many key factories remaining closed at the time of writing. The extent to which this is going to affect Summer and Autumn launches isn’t yet known, but we can be reasonably sure that if production isn’t able to pick back up again soon both manufacturers and retailers could find themselves struggling to fulfil demand.  At Generation Media we are dedicated to responding to whatever developments occur in the children’s landscape, to ensure that campaigns overcome any unexpected hurdles and adapt to changing market conditions as the year continues.