Search results on Google reveal that consumers miss the toy retailer Toys R Us. From April 1 through November 25, 2018, consumers searched on the keywords “toys r us” 73 million times, according to data from Kantar Media.
This is the first holiday season in more than 60 years without the Toys R Us brand. Retailers may not consider capitalizing on the keyword term.
Google does allow brands to bid on the brand search terms of other advertisers, but few retailers and brands are taking advantage of the term. They can’t use the brand name within the ad copy, but advertising on the brand name is fair game for any advertisers.
“When you see 9 million searches per month for that brand, and no one is taking advantage of it, it seems like a missed opportunity,” said Jim Leichenko, director of marketing at Kantar Media.
Leichenko did notice one advertiser, a financial assistance fund for Toys R Us employees from the company’s owners. Bain Capital and KKR put together a $20 million “hardship” fund to support former employees. The companies advertised on the keywords for three days to let people know.
Kroger, the grocery store, also opened Toys R Us pop-up shops in 600 of their stores highlighting about 35 products unique to the Toys R Us store. “It could have been an opportunity for them to drive people into the grocery store,” Leichenko said.
One of the only advertisers, other than Toys R Us, to advertise on its branded keywords in the last 12 months was Amazon in November 2017.
At that time Toys R Us captured 98.8% of all U.S. Google clicks on their brand name for the month.