New Zealand Marketing


ZURU Toys is celebratin­g a major achievemen­t this month, reaching an impressive one million followers on Tiktok with its top-selling Mini Brands range.


ZURU Toys tells NZ Marketing that it’s led the way with its Tiktok strategy from its Auckland office. With more than three billion hashtag views and 17 million likes across the Mini Brands channel since its launch in 2019, the locally managed Tiktok account is outperform­ing worldleadi­ng brands such as Apple, Disney and Nike in terms of likes. It wins on the followers front too, collecting more than Adidas, Coca-cola and Levi’s.

Most of ZURU Toys’ marketing functions are based out of Auckland. As part of this, they have an in-house Tiktok team that’s in charge of creating a constant stream of content to keep the Tiktok machine going. Their other successful Tiktok accounts include Bunch O Balloons and X Shot, the latter of which is currently beating industry leader NERF to be the most-liked blaster brand on the platform.

The New Zealand office, headed up by Group CEO Nick Mowbray, is passionate about creating world-leading marketing and communicat­ions campaigns. ZURU Toys lured its head marketer Henry Gordon from the UK, where he’s been mastermind­ing Hasbro marketing for the past decade.

Henry, who leads the global marketing function from his New Zealand office, says of the importance of a solid Tiktok strategy for the brand: “When we started on Tiktok, no brands were effectivel­y harnessing it yet. There wasn’t a playbook on it. We had this great product that had a strong, broad demo from kids — and most importantl­y — through to adult collectors who are prevalent on the platform. We started it with creative content, mixing a proactive calendar with time-sensitive, reactive material to tap into trends, hit the right note and content started going viral.

“But what was most exciting for the team was seeing the influx of user-generated content,” he continues. “This was the most

“When we started on Tiktok, no brands were effectivel­y harnessing it yet. There wasn’t a playbook on it.”

valuable part of the exercise. We were directly connecting with our audience enough for them to create their own.”

ZURU currently produces more than 20 videos per week across its Tiktok accounts, which run alongside targeted advertisin­g. Henry says this was assessed weekly to decide what was working well — and they quickly ditched what wasn’t. This led to a hyper-defined and tailored strategy with a focus on young content creators. He says the goal is to keep ahead of the curve.

“Alongside our in-house Tiktok creators, we also have performanc­e marketers who work directly with Tiktok on new innovation and what’s next for the platform. We believe we’re truly leading the way in this space.”

Consumer demand certainly skyrockete­d. In 2021, Mini Brand ranges held the number one and three top-selling toy spots in all of North America.

This March, the brand announced its partnershi­p with Disney with their Disney Store products, which has launched across the US before being rolled out globally. It has been a runaway success, tapping into the miniature trend and Disney nostalgia.

“Our brands will continue to grow,” says Henry. “We’re truly leading the industry with our marketing, and it’s incredible to be able to harness homegrown talent to do so.”

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