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Toys “R” Us unveils multichannel mobile CRM tactics

September 9, 2010

Toys R Us taps Green Tomato to power its iPhone app

Toys R Us taps Green Tomato to power its iPhone app

Toys “R” Us has launched a new iPhone application that integrates QR codes and content such as videos and rewards into a daily retail shopping experience to enhance its marketing and loyalty initiatives.

Mobile services consultancy Green Tomato Ltd. developed the iPhone application for Toys “R” Us Hong Kong. The Toys “R” Us iPhone application is a consumer engagement tool that blends audio, visuals and rewards with traditional media platforms via mobile bar codes.

“The campaign’s primary target is Toys ‘R’ Us’s 700,000 Star Card Loyalty Program members in Hong Kong,” said Argha Sen, head of marketing and CRM at Toys “R” Us Asia. “The Toys ‘R’ Us iPhone app is designed to complement all our marketing channels and create fun and rewards for the customer.

“Hong Kong people always carry their mobile [device] everywhere, so the iPhone platform provides us a powerful platform to engage our customers wherever they are and provide them significant benefits and fun,” he said.

“We see the iPhone app as a strategic and integral part of our marketing mix.”

Toys “R” Us HK has recently been very active in the social media scene. It has close to 18,000 fans on its Facebook page and its YouTube channel, HKTOYSRUS, is a top 10 most viewed channel in Hong Kong.

App-etite for toys
Customers just use Toys R Us iPhone app to unlock “R codes,” the name of the QR codes branded by Toys “R” Us, printed on product catalogs, outdoor ad panels or in-store point-of-purchase materials.

In-store signage featuring R code

In-store signage featuring R code

When a consumer scans a bar code, the application plays a video promoting the specific toy.

Customers can further earn points and other rewards such as Lego wallpapers by unlocking additional R codes.

With the help of this application, even offline material such as printed catalogs, in-store signage and outdoor bus shelters can be linked to rich online content, for example the videos in the Toys “R” Us YouTube channel, by unlocking the R codes.

The more R codes customers unlock, the more rewards they get, including membership points and free gifts such as Lego wallpapers.

Customers can shake their iPhone to see what rewards they can get. In addition, they can share the content and rewards with friends via Facebook.

Users of the application can find Toys “R” Us stores in Hong Kong through Google Maps.

The free Toys “R” Us iPhone application can be downloaded from the App Store by searching “Toys R Us HK.”

Toy “R” Us will soon roll out more features, including a comprehensive Star Card membership program benefit package and access to product information and mobile coupons.

The Toys “R” Us application was launched in mid-July in Hong Kong, timed for the summer school holidays, and targeting its 700,000 Star Card Loyalty Program members in Hong Kong.

Toys “R” Us committed both above-the-line and below-the-line marketing initiatives in promoting its iPhone application.

The application was advertised to its target audience on Star Members’ eDM, direct mailing, Toys “R” Us Hong Kong’s Web site, Facebook page, YouTube channel, in-store collateral, Summer Toy Catalog with a circulation of 500,000 copies, and outdoor advertisements on 268 bus shelter panels throughout Hong Kong.

Here are bus shelter panels featuring the Toys “R” Us application and an R code:


“The objective of the iPhone campaign is to link up Toys ‘R’ Us’s vast database of video contents to real-life shopping so that the great mini-form of entertainment can directly enhance customers’ in-store experience and eventually lead to more purchases,” said Sammy Wong, business development director of Green Tomato, Hong Kong.

“The iPhone and R code campaign integrates Toys ‘R’ Us’s different communication platforms, including catalogs, outdoor advertising and in-store POPs by leveraging on the powerful and convenient iPhone that becomes part of many customers’ lives,” he said.

“The iPhone app is part of Toys ‘R’ Us’s CRM effort to strengthen the bonding with its Star Card Loyalty Program members.”

Final Take

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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