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How ACA Should Handle Toys R Us Commercial

By now you may have seen the Toys R Us commercial that has many camp folks up in arms. The commercial even prompted the American Camp Association to ask its members to write to Toys R Us expressing our concern that the ad “seems to belittle a nature experience in favor of a trip to a store.”

Here’s the video if you haven’t seen it.

Now if you’re unhappy with this commercial, and you think sending a letter would help, by all means go for it!  I’m certainly not a fan of this ad by any means.

But my additional position is this: Rather than complaining about the ad and calling more attention to it (which is EXACTLY what Toys R Us wants us to do), why not do something more constructive like highlighting the benefits of nature experiences (basically giving Toys R Us a taste of its own medicine) with ACA’s own ad next spring?

ACA should respond by developing and promoting its own ad, showing kids sitting around like couch potatoes in a dark room with glazed eyes playing video games or something. 

Then, cut to mom telling the kids they have a big-time opportunity to enjoy fun outdoor activities in nature this summer with other kids their age and cool camp counselors (and then you show scenic shots of kids rock climbing, hiking, learning about animals, etc.). And then you also show these kids going bizerk with excitement for their upcoming camp experience and all that. 

That’s how I’d handle this, anyway. I think a response like this would benefit all of us. Agree? Disagree? What do you think?

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