Case Studies

2015 People Award Winner - A1 Toys & Children's Classic Concerts

Project story

In 2014-15 specialist retailer A1 Toys super-powered their long-term niche partnership with Children’s Classic Concerts. CCC’s season-opener, “Monsters’ Ball”, was a strictly spooktacular success; high-impact A1 Toys-sponsored  visuals left the 2000-strong audience spellbound, while social media campaigns, competitions and a trolley dash at A1 Toys increased PR, brand awareness and digital traffic for both companies.  CCC’s Glasgow ASN schools tour provided opportunities for further joint social engagement - with A1 props and CCC music, disadvantaged young participants felt like superheroes.

CCC’s Hallowe’en extravaganza and opening concert of the 2014-15 season was “The Monsters’ Ball”; performed at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and at the Usher Hall to a total audience of 2,000.  Advance publicity with A1 branding included email campaigns,  direct mailings, mass leaflet distribution, poster campaigns in both cities, preview editorial in The List, online marketing through GRCH, Usher Hall, and Children’s Classic Concerts websites as well as on social media. A1 Toys’ logo was displayed in concert halls and their support was acknowledged live by the presenters and greeted with enthusiastic audience applause.  Every member of the audience received a free programme with A1 Toys branding which incorporated a competition quiz (with prizes donated by A1) that allowed CCC to gather valuable feedback from the audience about the experience of attending “The Monsters’ Ball”. 

Children were invited to attend dressed in ‘their freaky finest’ and the best costumes were rewarded with goodie bag prizes supplied by A1 Toys and a phenomenal grand prize – the chance to trolley dash through an A1 Toys store to the tune of £250!  The overall winner, 7 year old Maddie McGregor, came to the ball as Valka from How to Train Your Dragon – she was a vision in paper mâché and really stood out from the crowd. In the video (link below) A1 Toys’ staff can be seen giving her a helping hand and willing her on. A1 Toys were thrilled and enjoyed fantastic exposure both in-store and online.

In a pioneering move, the 2014-15 season saw the partnership extend into another vital strand of work; reaching young people with Additional Support Needs, their carers and teachers and bringing the concert hall experience directly to them in school. Building on the success on the concert platform, A1 were keen to be involved in CCC’s wider grassroots community work and deepen engagement with marginalised young people and they threw themselves into our comic themed project offering up superhero costumes, props and the now infamous life-sized Iron Man figure which certainly captured the imaginations of our enthusiastic participants!

Arts/cultural organisation story

A1 Toys’ fun family image was a match made in heaven for CCC and the opportunity to use the spectacular resources at A1’s fingertips opened up a world of on-stage possibilities. The partnership has opened up new channels of communication with audience members and generated huge excitement for the opening season concerts. In particular, the generous trolley dash prize donated by A1 Toys has been invaluable in stimulating social media activity in the lead up to the concert and adding excitement to the foyer areas prior to the concerts.

The judging panel for the costume competition included A1 Toys partner Gail Burns and CCC Chair Lady Joyce Caplan and allowed Gail and Joyce the rare opportunity to chat to audience members one to one as they came to the judging table. At the trolley dash event, CCC staff and A1 Toys staff worked together to ensure the afternoon ran smoothly and A1 Toys staff commented on how much our pop-up concert had encouraged new customers into the store. The whole event was a thoroughly positive experience for staff, musicians, customers, and of course, the lucky competition winner!

Business story

Association with excellence and a presence in the wider Scottish Arts scene fits A1 Toys’ strategy to emphasise the high quality of our specialist business and its connection to the Arts. Dramatic presence at a well-attended major live event provides a dynamic demonstration of A1 Toys’ expertise, raising brand awareness to their target market in a new context.

Reaching a wider audience has been a key strategy in the partnership in 2014-15 and A1Toys were delighted to be able to extend the sponsorship of CCC to include in-kind support for their work in Additional Support Needs schools in Glasgow. By providing costumes, props and prizes, they were able to add an extra layer of accessibility and break down barriers with the participants, which was instrumental in the success of the performances.

Arts sponsorship is now a part of A1 Toys’ strategic marketing plan and future cash and in-kind support for CCC has been pledged to support the ‘Magic and Monsters’ concerts in Glasgow and Edinburgh in October/November 2015 and ASN tour in Spring 2016. A1Toys hope that the partnership will continue to grow and expand in the future particularly as CCC develop new digital marketing and social media strands to reach even wider audiences.

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