A Holiday of Play
Play

A Holiday of Play

Unwrapping Amazon's first-ever holiday gift lookbook.


Last holiday season, millions of Amazon customers were surprised to find our first-ever printed holiday gift lookbook, A Holiday of Play, waiting inside their mailboxes. Featuring 68 pages of gift ideas and toy-filled joy, we introduced a new, yet nostalgic experience to our customers and their families, proving that print still thrives in the digital age.


Packed with the season’s hottest toys from Barbie to Harry Potter, A Holiday of Play combined traditional print marketing with mobile shopping technology for a new way to (re)connect with our customers and (re)capture the memorable tradition of sitting down at the table and making a wish list, together. For us, it's exciting to make online shopping easier for parents, especially when they can skip a trip to the store during the holiday rush, but it's even more exciting to find new ways of making the holidays a bit more magical for families.


Amazon customers very much appreciated seeing this particular holiday tradition carried on, too. Toy and gift discovery can happen in many different ways, but the feeling as families flip through, sticker, and dog-ear a holiday print gift guide hasn't gone away.



Putting the 'look' in our lookbook

Ensuring a page-turning experience required thoughtful pagination organized by category, brand, and Amazon's covetable list of Top Toys. The lookbook showcased over 400 of the most sought-after toys through a combination of product and editorial photography featuring a diverse cast of joyful kid models. By using editorial lifestyle photography, we were able to capture the genuine excitement and energy of kids playing with their shiny new toys in cozy home settings. We even crafted cardboard forts and elements using Amazon boxes to highlight the creativity and playfulness of our brand.

The lookbook showcased over 400 of the most sought-after toys through a combination of product and editorial photography featuring a diverse cast of joyful kid models.


For extra holiday spirit, we incorporated a wintry color palette containing pops of icy turquoise and shades of cool blue, then trimmed each page with vibrant giftwrap-inspired patterns. Along with illustrations to call attention to notable toys, we used simple product photography shot on white backgrounds that helped bring toys to life.

A HOLIDAY OF PLAY LOOKBOOK

Playing with cardboard elements

1 / 7

Bringing families together through nostalgia & innovation

We wanted to capture the feeling of surprise and delight, so we looked for ways families could interact with our lookbook. In the front of the book, we included a tree-shaped wish list where families could jot down their top picks, as well as a holiday sticker sheet that could be used to bookmark favorite toys and other gifts.

In the front of the book, we included a tree-shaped wish list where families could jot down their top picks, as well as a holiday sticker sheet that could be used to bookmark favorite toys and other gifts. 


Making a seamless transition from the print to digital shopping experience was key for our customers. Unlike catalogs, the prices of our toys are not listed so that we can provide customers with the most up-to-date and competitive prices on our website. Instead, we provided easy-to-find URLs that brought customers to our online Holiday Toy List, integrated image search, and SmileCodes for many of the products. Customers were also instructed on how to quickly scan our lookbook with the camera search feature of the Amazon App, which sent shoppers directly from the page to the product or category. 


Amazon-exclusive toys, individually marked with red dots, proved to be hot-ticket items. The catalog was also available for download (onsite and Kindle) and distributed in Amazon Bookstores and select Amazon pop-up shops across the country during the holiday season. We also included an exclusive coupon code that encouraged Amazon customers to shop for select toys on our website.



Some very merry customer comments

Amazon customer feedback was positive and created experiences with the brands and products featured in the lookbook.

 

  • "We received the physical paper copy in the mail, LOVED IT! Our 7 year old son shopped with us for days looking over and over through this mail magazine! He used it to write Santa his wish list! Thank you Amazon!!!! – The Roberts Family
  • "My 2 y/o and I loved going through the catalog and putting stickers by the toys he wanted. So much fun!" – MEF
  • "We loved our holiday catalog. It was nice to see my daughter go through each page so happily. I also enjoyed the book. My daughter wants me to make her a cardboard tv now so she can let her imagination run wild as she pretends to be on tv. I’m sure I’ll get a box big enough from amazon to accommodate this task." – D.R. Wirth
  • "The kids and grandchildren will enjoy looking over this Christmas toy list. Even the big kids will enjoy making their Santa wish list!" – Tullover
  • "A nicely themed holiday toy book with great gift ideas for all the young or just young at heart" – HoosierDaddy
  • "Thank you Amazon for sending this to my house!! My children love it! Not only does it give me an idea of what toys they are interested in but it makes me nostalgic thinking of when I was a kid circling toys from former Toys-R-US catalog." – Amazon Customer
  • "My kids absolutely loved this book!! My 3 year old carried it around and studied it for weeks! well done!" – Jennifer A. Hamlin
  • "Thank you for this wonderful book, you made it so easier to do my Christmas shopping this year and in one day." – Kindle Customer



Making our vendors' spirits bright

Initial feedback from the toy brands was awesome.


  • “I just received copies of the toy book. It was like a block of gold arrived in my office. Looks amazing, from quality to layout to lifestyle shots.”
  • “Feedback here is that the book ‘looks like a piece of art’. Awesome photos/images and good layout.” 
  • “The books arrived and the quality is by far the best Toy Book ever published. The bound book and sticker page deliver both quality and innovation. Your team should definitely be proud.”
  • “Best Toy Book ever!”


We're excited to see our first-ever printed holiday gift lookbook come to life, and to have seen all the smiles it brought to our customers’ faces through an unforgettable customer experience. From the working team, we’re eager to continue our journey of learning and being curious that inspires our design process and motivates us to raise the bar. We look forward to the next holiday season, as further innovations and new learnings guide us into the next chapter.



Check out the entire Holiday of Play lookbook...