The Late Late Toy Show – Love it or Hate it?

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Since it first hit our television screens in 1975, the Late Late Toy Show has become an Irish Christmas tradition.

The live two and a half hour programme hosted by RTÉ personality Ryan Tubridy, sees children from across the country play and talk about the toys that they currently love. For families, the Late Late Toy Show has always signified the official start of the Christmas season, with many rushing to have the tree up for the night.

This year more than 1.6 million viewers tuned in across the weekend to watch Tubridy’s portrayal of The Wizard of Oz’s Scarecrow, as well as Saoibh Lonergan, Lucy Hoban, Caillín Joe McDonald, Cuckoo’s Nest, Emmie O’Neill and Billy Brady and more make their Toy Show debut.

As it’s the most watched programme of the year, people tend to have strong opinions of the children’s show.

Starting with the man of the hour, love him or hate him, 2022 is Tubridy’s 14th successive year hosting the toy show. Over the past number of years, the toy show has seemed to reel away from live demonstrations of the toys, with the children almost accessories of the programme and Ryan being central to it. Not once this year was there a mention of how much the toys cost, where they could be purchased and who they would be perfect for – kind of taking away from the point of the programme.

There’s no question about the loyalty of the viewers with the Irish public raising over four million euro over the course of the weekend for the Toy Show charity appeal. Following its creation in 2020, the Toy Show appeal year on year raises huge sums of money for children’s charities around Ireland.

While the programme itself is undoubtedly entertaining, the live Twitter feed can’t be beaten. This year, even brands jumped on board with Ryanair and Aer Lingus competing for the likes as Aron Gibbons from Westport, Mayo gave a live flight demonstration on air. As you can see both brands took a very different approach, with Ryanair causing a few more laughs.

So, do you love it or hate it?

In a way this is an irrelevant question because however you feel about the show it attracts a huge audience and people love talking about it. I think the most important aspect of it from a marketing point of view is the consistency, and this consistency leads to nostalgia and it suddenly becomes something we all end up marking our calendar by.

Getting anyone to change their habits is a difficult thing to achieve, but once you do that it can result in a customer for life.

Creating a special event that you can recreate year after year (month after month, week after week or even day after day) to allow people to form a habit with you and your business mightn’t be the worst idea ever!

1975, RTE – “How about we do a Toy Show instead of our normal chat show?

I wonder who said yes, let’s do it!

Every nostalgic thing we do, had to have a first time...

Heather

Heather Lordan is Account Executive at Fuzion Communications, full service marketing and PR agency, with offices in Cork and Dublin.

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