Coles launches new collectables campaign

Date : 30 July 2020

Nick Miles

Head of Insight - Asia Pacific

Coles has introduced a new collectables campaign called Little Treehouse, offering miniature books to kids for every AU$30 spent in-store or online.

Sustainable and educational focus

The new promotion sees the retailer partner with author Andy Griffiths and illustrator Terry Denton to offer a series of 24 mini novels called Little Treehouse, with stories based on characters from their Treehouse Collection. Coles has said that the move away from collectable plastic toys, which its past collectable promotions have focused on, was intentional given the negative publicity it received due to the use of plastics. Coles will also be selling collectable cases for the books costing AU$5 and all books will be available for purchase, priced between AU$4-8. As part of the campaign, Coles is also encouraging kids to enter a picture storybook competition and develop their own fictional book. Every entry will see a book donated to remote indigenous communities.

Helping society through the pandemic

Coles has had some great success with its collectables campaigns in recent years, with this campaign following on from the Stikeez collectables promotion that is ran in early 2020. Despite COVID-19, the new promotion had been in the pipeline before the pandemic and although not ideal timing, Coles believes that the mini books will be helpful for adults and children who are experiencing lockdown and increased time at home.

Collectables craze continues downunder

The craze of collectable promotions in Australia has been running for a number of years and these have taken multiple forms including Coles’ AFL Mirco-Figures back in 2014 and Little Shop and Stikeez more recently. While Woolworths has also run campaigns such as Aussie Animals, Lion King Ooshies and Discovery Garden towards the end of 2019. They continue to resonate with customers, with past campaigns having a clear impact on sales performance.

What do we think?

Both retailers have evolved collectables to be both fun, educational, and now socially responsible. Many retailers globally have pulled back on promotional activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. A further boost to sales driven by this activity will lead to even tougher comparable trading periods next year, but given the promotion was already scheduled Coles has decided to push ahead.

It also clearly has visions to run further collectable campaigns going forward. Coles chief marketing officer, Lisa Ronson, commented, “There's a lot of these collectible type campaigns to look to around the world, and we're constantly drawing inspiration from overseas. We should be doing those sorts of things to make sure we're constantly raising the bar with our own customer base."