Toys R Us Imagination Included

Toys R Us Canada came up with a sweet campaign with their Imagination Included commercial. It features Mr. Ferguson, (previously Mr. Bobo), a kid’s imaginary friend lying on the floor and barely conscious. We see a bored kid sitting despondent on the couch, apparently oblivious to Mr. Ferguson’s condition. Seeing this, the parents call in the cracker jack team from Toys R Us who revive Mr. Ferguson and then in the end, the boy and Mr. Ferguson scamper off to play.

From the campaign: A recent UK study revealed that 72% fewer kids have imaginary friends than 5 years ago. Maybe it’s the increase in screen time. Or the rise in overly scheduled, rigidly structured play. Whatever it is, their disappearance has us worried. You see, at Toys ‘R’ Us, our job is to nourish kids’ imaginations. So let’s bring back Imaginary Friends. Heck, let’s even bring back Imaginary Enemies. As long as kids are using their powers of make-believe, we’re all for it.

Anyhoo, it’s a campaign that I can get behind, since I was a kid who always played outside with my imagination, with my real and imaginary friends.

Legacy Effects tasked me out to help design Mr. Ferguson. At first the direction was to make him more of a dog character, but then the creatives wanted to push him towards a mashup of animals.

Here is where the designs led us, starting with the final design:


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