As a child growing up in the late 90s/early 2000s, looking through the Toys R Us holiday catalog was one of the highlights of my Christmas experience. Flipping through the pages, circling my favorite things, and comparing my choices with my sister’s. I imagine that a lot of people who grew up at the same time as me had a similar ritual, but now that E-commerce is a thing, it’s so much easier for people to just scroll through pages online. Especially on sites like Amazon that has basically anything you could ever think of.
Which is why I was so surprised when this Amazon catalog was sent to our office recently. It’s like a real, old fashioned catalog like the ones back in the day.
It was such a nostalgic feeling flipping through it that I almost felt like I was brought back to those days.
Not only did it have just the right amount of nostalgia, but it also had the perfect amount of more modern, experiential pieces as well.
While the look of the catalog is, for the most part, reminiscent of its predecessor, the way that you shop is modernized like crazy. Instead of having to go in-store or ordering via phone/snail mail, shoppers now have so many different ways to shop digitally. Though they all eventually lead to online shopping, how you get there is more varied.
What I think is cool about this is that although it’s still a very digital experience, and has the convenience that comes with that, the catalog allows for that physical connection that kids definitely still crave.
We all know Mad Libs, and have probably done more than we care to remember, but what a cool idea to put it within the magazine. This is also a smart way to address the parents — it says “sit down with the kids” — letting them know that this book is for them to look at for serious ideas, not just for their children’s daydreams.
There are also stickers that kids can either use to mark their selections, or they can keep them for their sticker collection (I can’t be the only one who had a massive one growing up. I hope.)
And then there are things like this. They are extending the experiential component of their brand by showing that the experience doesn’t have to end once the parents click “Check Out.” This gives the kids an outlet for creativity — and probably some free promo for Amazon when the parents inevitably post pictures of their kids’ creations online.
Well done, Amazon.
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Hannah Michelle Lambert is the Social Media + Events Coordinator at Worthix, as well as the host of the monthly CX News Recap segment. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.