Attention Toys and Games Marketers: Is it time for Tums or Veuve Clicquot?

by The Bloom Report | 17 Aug 2023

Industry Commentary, Op-Ed


We’re in August, line reviews have started; holiday is fast approaching; product is set or scheduled to set; and you must sell-in and sell-through.  What is a marketer to do to break through, grab category market share, make 2023 pop, and set the stage for a winning 2024?


What are you doing to seize today and better your bottom line tomorrow?  Do you have a plan? Are you diving in to tackle the year ahead?  Are you pulling back in precaution and hoping your product sells through in a sea of products; or that the power of your license drives home the numbers you have been banking on? Are you doubling down, leveraging a rarely seen window of opportunity, and laying down a conquesting campaign to take advantage of cut competitive skus and a shifting planogram? What are you doing, beyond hope, to drive success?


Hope is good, calculated optimism is better, but a winning strategy is best. Today is your day to drive unprecedented growth for tomorrow. Exciting times are ahead.  But how you choose to market your brand today can spell the difference between a Tums year or a year of celebration with a bottle of bubbly. 


Power In Planning.

By now, you should have creative assets in hand and your media campaign should be planned to kick off in the coming weeks or months, influenced by your objectives, campaign goals, and strategy. If not, now is the time to get started. Your planning strategy should be directly tied to your product, audience, unit counts you must move, budget, buyer expectations, competitive set, and several critical factors.  


How you execute your media investment today will likely make a difference to your outcome tomorrow. 


Added to the cauldron of uncertainty: Will holiday shopping start early this year, or a slow walk into the week or two leading into Christmas - much like it did last year? We can guess…but we don’t know for sure. What was once a given (a flight pattern tied to the consumer shopping index) is no longer bankable. So, we must be prepared to propel product sell-through, whether shopping comes early or kicks in late.  


Plan Your Buy.  Buy Your Plan.

Drive early messaging to get momentum stirring, quench the thirst of your retail partners, and earn that coveted spot on the holiday shopping list. Or, you might hold tight and save your media might for late October into December, when the merchandise meets the money.  Consider your options.


Your media mix and investment, your social messaging, and the platforms and partners you have selected to deliver your messaging must land the reach and frequency you need to drive through national inventory levels. Study your consumer and where and when that consumer is consuming their media.  Get your media budget in line to deliver against your sales goals.  Analyze your media mix, and your anticipated media metrics and ROAS, based on historical benchmarking, to garner the ROI that is crucial to this year’s success.   


Your media mix, and your media math, matter. It is a headline to an industry article I wrote years ago that is as true today as it was yesterday. 


A great read comes to mind. It was titled, “A whack on the side of the head.” It talked about problem-solving and how to turn a challenge upside down to get to a solution that may not have been so obvious. Easy, obvious, buddy-buddy media choices are not always the best approach when planning your tactical media mix. Do not sell yourself short when so much is riding on the line. Don’t give your power away. Don’t believe everything you hear, as most sellers are selling something, and that something may or may not be best for you.  Ask yourself the right questions. Take the time to analyze your media plan and to understand what BPMS likes to call, “the why behind the buy.” Turn your plan upside down and give it a shake. Revisit your partners to ensure your dollar impacts the market and that you are being as efficient, effective, and targeted as possible. Listen to the research and the data and lean into your experience and the experience of your trusted partners. Dollars wasted are valuable impressions lost. 


Make this year a Veuve Clicquot year!



David Becker, President, Blue Plate Media Services


David Becker has worked collaboratively with leading toy, game, and entertainment companies, and iconic characters you know and love, helping to grow their respective brands and IP in North America and around the globe. David has over 30 years of experience in advertising and branding across a range of industries - from play, entertainment, electronics, and education to apparel, publishing, licensing, and consumer package goods. David has dedicated his career to helping emerging, mid-range to mature companies impact the market through smart thinking and a “collaborativecross-screen approach to brand building". A founding partner of Blue Plate Media Services, David works closely in the category of “play” to help drive retailer sell-in and consumer sell-through.  


Blue Plate Media Services is a leading, global, full-service media planning and buying agency and advocate for helping toy and youth marketers understand and navigate the shifting media mindscape when connecting with Kids and Families.  Celebrating a quarter century of best-in-play, and a 20-year affinity partnership with The Toy Association, BPMS helps youth marketers plan and buy smart, strategic media and maximize spending and audience engagement across screens and relevant consumer platforms. For more information on Blue Plate Media Services, email  Or contact David Becker (908) 918-0202; to schedule a get-acquainted meeting.


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