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How Nerf blasted negative connotations with a YouTube masterclass


By Awards Analyst, writer

December 8, 2022 | 4 min read

PrettyGreen/Hasbro won at The Drum Awards for PR 2022 in the most effective use of data and insights category for Nerf Upload. Here, we find out more about how the toy manufacturer overcame negative parental sentiment toward the toy blasters...


How Nerf blasted away negative connotations with a YouTube masterclass

Building on strong brand awareness to counter a negative perception of the Nerf toy range among parents, Hasbro launched a 'YouTuber Masterclass' to present Nerf guns as a source of content creation.

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Nerf Upload invited 6-9-year-olds to participate in live stream classes which were placed at the heart of a PR and influencer campaign to improve sales and sentiment.

The brief

Countering perceptions that Nerf blasters are 'dangerous' the campaign built on a strong foundation of brand awareness of 87% of parents.

Sidestepping an intransigent cohort of parents (28%) who refuse to purchase a Nerf, Hasbro chose instead to capitalize on pester power in the knowledge that 67% of purchases are made as a result of whining.

To this end, Hasbro set PrettyGreen the challenge of turbocharging the pestering potential of 6-9-year-old boys while tackling head-on the rationale of parents for refusing to let their children play with Nerf.

The idea

Targeting YouTube as the media channel of choice for the target demographic the central idea saw the creation of a Nerf Upload brand experience headed up by well-known creators to get kids psyched for school.

Live-streamed sessions included advice on 'How to unbox your Nerf blaster' and filming advice for how to post trick shots and blaster sessions for all the world to see.

This activity was further bolstered through media partnerships with TimeOut, The Handbook and Evening Standard.

The results

The approach paid off handsomely with 44 items of lifestyle coverage generated as a result, not to mention an online reach of 245m and 14 broadcast interviews.

All in all the Nerf Upload YouTube Masterclasses attracted over 6,000 page views, with over 100 children attending the live in-person show, with a further 1,300 tuning in for the live stream.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for PR 2022. Find out how you can enter now.

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