How BIG W’s Toy Mania AR campaign caused a big uplift in CTR, engagement rates and store visits

By delivering a fun, imaginative experience, the Australian toy store brought toys to life and bridged the online/offline experience.

For Australia’s favourite annual toy sale, Toy Mania, BIG W wanted to create an easy, seamless and fun shopping experience for their consumers – from online to in-store – and take the stress out of buying large outdoor items. 


Aussies spend a lot of time on their phones… A study found that the average Australian spends 5.5 hours a day on their phones, equating to 33% of their waking hours or 17 years of their lifetimes. This digital connection has intensified amid the COVID-19 pandemic – as lockdowns were underway in Australia, families were going outdoors less and instead dedicating more hours to screen time. In 2021 households spent much more time in front of their screens, especially children, who were forced into online learning, in addition to digital play and for recreation.

It’s great to hear kids playing in the backyard, and for homes with extra space there’s a great opportunity to maximise the outdoor setting and get children moving with their very own playground.

But swings, cubby houses and even foldable pools are all big equipment – and visualising how they will look, let alone purchasing them, can be tricky, especially when opportunities to visit stores are limited. Trying to work out how well outdoor toys are going to fit in a well-cared-for backyard can be difficult when one is unable to ‘try them on’ or stage them in the actual space.

For retail giant BIG W, one of Australia’s largest shopping chains, the aim was to take away the stress and instead forge a fun, easy and seamless purchase journey for their consumers – from awareness to consideration and purchase. For ‘Toy Mania’, Australia’s favourite annual toy sale, BIG W and its media agency Dentsu partnered with Yahoo for a holistic campaign that leveraged Yahoo’s suite of ad tech solutions and omnichannel capabilities as it opened up more ways for Aussies to shop.


With this in mind, the campaign sought to:

  1. Create a bespoke AR experience that allows users to visualise and interact with products in 360°, wherever they are, in the comfort of their own home.
  2. Scale in reach with native, display, and custom editorial content through the Yahoo DSP, and BIG W’s website, social and in-store channels.
  3. Allow users to immediately make a purchase within a single click, or visit the BIG W store and shop with confidence.

‘Try before you buy’ – bringing items to life with AR

For Toy Mania, Yahoo’s branded content arm Yahoo Creative Studios worked with BIG W to create bespoke AR Ads, built on the Yahoo Immersive Platform – allowing customers to see how some of BIG W’s items will look like in their yard without leaving their homes.

Upon scanning a WebAR code, users could ‘place’ objects and view them in their real-time location, without any additional app downloads being required. The chance to explore them in a 360° view gave customers the perfect way to ‘try before they buy’. Then if a customer liked what they saw, all they had to do was click to purchase.