Ads for Charity Program a Success

More than a quarter of a million dollars worth of toys were donated over the past seven weeks in the first-ever online Toys for Tots holiday drive, sponsored by online toy store eToys and Visa U.S.A.

Toys for Tots is the annual Marine Corps campaign.

With a click of a mouse, online shoppers were able to contribute toys that the Marines delivered Christmas week to underprivileged children nationwide. Toys donated online with a Visa card were available from eToys at 50 percent off the regular eToys retail price.

“This was an exciting and rewarding campaign for eToys, Visa and the Marines,” said Joe Vause, vice president of electronic commerce for Visa U.S.A. “We’re very pleased that more consumers this year discovered not only the convenience of online shopping, but also the convenience of online charity.”

About 15,000 toys were donated during the drive, nearly 10,000 (a value of $170,000) from consumers taking advantage of the eToys half-off pricing, with Visa donating the remainder.

“As a retailer of children’s products, supporting children’s charities is very important to us,” said Toby Lenk, chief executive officer of eToys. “It was especially fulfilling to team with Visa and the Marines to bring the 51-year- old Toys for Tots program to the Internet.”

Some of the more popular items donated were Little Tikes Count n’ Catch Fish, Giant Art Case and the Ballerina doll.

In an ad campaign launched Nov. 1, eToys also became the first online merchant to be featured in Visa’s “It’s Everywhere You Want to Be” advertising campaign. With a “Night Before Christmas” theme, the campaign illustrated the ease of online shopping and Visa’s role as the link for merchants and consumers.

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