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From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards

Toys"R"Us Toy Box Season 2 Influencer Campaign

Finalist in Retail & E-Commerce

Entered in Multi-Platform Campaign, Branded Content


Toys"R"Us is a dedicated champion of free play, advocating for kids to have the freedom and time for unstructured play driven by their imaginations and inventiveness. To actualize this brand mission, Toys"R"Us first partnered with ABC and Mattel to support reality television show, The Toy Box. In this TV series, passionate toy inventors presented their unique ideas to a panel of judges made up of some of the toughest critics out there...KIDS! At the end of the competition, the winning toy was produced by Mattel and sold exclusively at Toys"R"Us. To promote this partnership, we tasked WHOSAY to design a social campaign that echoed the "kids know best" creative of The Toy Box.

Our campaign objectives were twofold: drive tune-in to the show, and drive sales of the exclusive Toy Box toy. Above all else, our primary KPI for this campaign was to generate sales for Toys"R"Us via click-through and view-through conversions. With the e-commerce market continuously expanding and traditional retailers like Toys"R"Us facing unprecedented competition in this new landscape (due to low barrier-to-entry), this campaign had to generate tangible and measurable business results. In order to achieve those results, we granted WHOSAY the opportunity to leverage our conversion pixel, enabling WHOSAY'S Media Team to track how many engagements with our content then led to purchases on This also allowed WHOSAY's Media Team to optimize with paid media toward the highest value campaign audience.

Strategy and Execution

ABC's reality series The Toy Box champions a "kids know best" POV when it comes to play, so we designed our campaign to follow suit. First, we enlisted 7-year-old social media star and viral sensation, Ava Ryan (katieryan430). With 1.9MM social followers (skewing F25-34), Ava was the perfect influencer to deliver the brand's message. Leveraging Ava's authentic voice and personality, we created a humorous series of platform-agnostic content featuring her that reinforced the show's central theme of kid-approved playthings. Throughout our video content, we juxtaposed situations where kids might not know best (such as getting ready for work and managing the family budget), with instances where they clearly do – having fun and playing with toys!

Our campaign launched with our star talent natively posting photo and video content across all platforms of her digital ecosystem. Next, we sought to further seed content across the social landscape, using ancillary influencer talent to post and share Ava's original content. This ancillary amplification strategy enabled us to better reach our target audience of Moms with kids ages 6-11 through voices they already know and trust.

With all campaign talents' native content live, we then activated a custom distribution strategy targeting various combinations of campaign assets towards each sub-segment of our broader F25-54 audience across social – with the ability to optimize in real time based on clicks (an early indicator of sales lift). WHOSAY used a combination of first-party data and psychographic social targeting to retarget the most engaged consumers with more product-centric creative assets and messaging, driving them down the purchase funnel.


First, Ava's native posts generated a surge of awareness, garnering over 22.5M impressions and 2.2M engagements (including paid). Viewer sentiment was overwhelmingly positive with 85% of the comments reflecting brand affinity, talent love, and enthusiasm for the content. Next, the campaign's ancillary influencer talent extended the native reach of Ava's original content, boosting media metrics with nearly 3.8M impressions and almost 1M engagements.

From a media standpoint, the campaign was already a success. The light-hearted and authentic creative (tailored to Ava's voice and built from the ground up), use of secondary talent to boost content, and optimization strategy successfully over-delivered on all media guarantees. Overall, the campaign generated nearly 26MM impressions (47.06% over-delivery) and over 3MM engagements (292.35% over-delivery), as well as nearly 3M video views – all at an impressive 12.09% engagement rate and a 20.92% video view rate.

However, campaign success was ultimately contingent upon real and measurable e-commerce results. WHOSAY received the conversion pixel which allowed them to track and optimize toward users who engaged with the influencer content and then made purchases on As a result, we were able to calculate the direct, positive impact on sales. The pixel's sales data revealed that our campaign's viewers made a high volume of online purchases – indicating a 607% ROI on our original WHOSAY campaign investment and reaffirming our winning combination of talent, creative, media, and first-party data.


Video for Toys"R"Us Toy Box Season 2 Influencer Campaign

Entrant Company / Organization Name

OMD, The Content Collective, WHOSAY, Toys"R"Us


Entry Credits