HobbyTown USA

Situation:

What do you do when your core consumer base is well into their Golden Years and subsequent generations have not been primed to step in when your loyal customers are gone?

HobbyTown was facing such a dilemma.  As the world’s largest hobby and specialty toy retailer, they had a strong consumer base among older, life-long hobbyists, but the company was struggling to instill that same passion for model building in younger generations.

 

Challenge:

Promote hobby modeling to more youthful demographics while maintaining the core consumer base.

Original Focus:

Our original intent was to motivate kids to get off their devices and get excited about model ships and RC planes.  We quickly found that iPads and video games were not the problem because, in fact, kids LOVE the toys and sets in HobbyTown.  Rocket ships, remote control drones, model Star Destroyers, and working train sets - what kid wouldn’t want to play with this stuff?

And we thought, there are so many benefits to these hobbies, parents are going to be thrilled!

They are both a creative outlet and an educational tool which can instill in children a passion for science, engineering, research, history, and strategic thinking while enabling them to ignite their curiosity and imagination.

So we asked ourselves, why aren’t parents taking their kids to HobbyTown?

Insight:

The problem - it takes two.  These hobbies are huge investments of time, money, and energy.  Parents are quick to dismiss them as too much mess and hassle in already hectic households.  In fact, many modelers themselves take a break from their hobby when they have young kids.

So without a source of guidance, complicated kits can be intimidating and invite failure. It is very difficult for a child to get into modeling and succeed alone.

 

Solution:

The answer was to unite these kids eager to build, learn, and play with the existing consumer group - their grandparents.

PRIMARY TARGET: GRANDPA

Nowadays grandparents are living longer, staying active longer, and being more active in the lives of their grandchildren.  Grandpa may find it hard to connect with his grandchildren in the digital age but the important thing is he has the time and patience to invest in play time in a way the parents are often unable.

SECONDARY TARGET: DAD

We don’t want to ignore fathers because we still see a similar opportunity with dads in search of connections with their children.  Fathers can show affection very differently than mothers.  It’s not always as overt as a declaration; it can sometimes be as subtle as a day of quiet building side by side.

Our strategy was to instill a love for modeling in a new generation by fostering the friendship between children and their fathers and grandfathers.

HobbyTown not only believes in the importance of strong male role models in a child’s life, but also the tremendous value of a warm relationship between a father and child. Since its founding in 1985, HobbyTown has understood modeling’s ability to unite generations and has been a champion for the transformative effect building, flying, and creating together has on a family. Modeling goes far beyond simple play.  It provides eager fathers and grandfathers the inroad they seek to stronger relationships with their children and grandchildren.

Out of home ads were made out of balsa wood and designed to double as airplane model kits.

Out of home ads were made out of balsa wood and designed to double as airplane model kits.

Also came in a nautical variation.

Also came in a nautical variation.


with Emily Uram (AD), Gabe Sherman (CW), Trong Nguyen (CW), Christine Pizzo (CT), and Trey Keeler (CBM).