Printing?The Big Book with the Big Job (378 words)
Edited by Brendan Maher
With a one-shot distribution of 56.8 million free-standing inserts in the Sunday paper, the Toys "R" Us Big Toy Book catalog took 85,000 pounds of glue, 11,000 tons of paper and five press sites running for 45 days to make. Pin the enormity of this task with an interactive cover featuring a die-cut cover and slide-out coupon, and the chance for mishap increases.
The toy retailer's 25-year relationship with printer R.R. Donnelley & Sons ensured that the Big Book would go off without a hitch.
"Toys 'R' Us was interested in doing a high-end interactive device for the cover of the Big Book," says Mike Keane, creative supervisor, R.R. Donnelley Direct. The initial brainstorming sessions turned up a festive star-shaped die cut and tape flags for children to pick out their favorite page.
Before anything was put before the Toys "R" Us people, it was run by the managers at the printing facilities. They would, after all, have to press out this complicated cover in the allotted time. Says Keane, "It was imperative that we had the buy-in from our entire team. We wanted the people at Toys 'R' Us to fall in love with it, but we also wanted to be able to produce it."
The toy retailer did fall in love, but not without making a few adjustments. "The tape flag idea was well received, but they said they needed more."
With more than one child per family on average and a huge assortment of gifts in the catalog, Toys "R" Us figured 30 would do. For the sake of space, round stickers with tag lines like, "Cool Toy!" and "Love It!" seemed like a good way to involve kids.
The star-shaped die cut was revamped to a box shape with a barn door that opens to expose a savings coupon. Both coupon and stickers can be pulled by a tab from a sleeve in the cover. All that hits you before you open the 68-page catalog. And what better place to put an involvement device than on the front.
The lesson learned? "Without everyone double checking what each department was doing, it couldn't have been successful," says Keane. "Any glitch would have been cause for disaster with a job this big."