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Intelligent Life Toys Intelligent Life Toys Intelligent Life Toys Intelligent Life Toys Intelligent Life Toys Intelligent Life Toys Intelligent Life Toys Intelligent Life Toys Intelligent Life Toys Intelligent Life Toys Intelligent Life Toys Intelligent Life Toys Intelligent Life Toys

Intelligent Life Toys

When Kim Ten Eick left her longtime career as a corporate attorney to pursue her dream of opening a children’s toy store, she asked us to help develop a name, brand identity, and marketing strategy to promote her new shop. She came to us with an illustration of two alien characters and said she wanted to have a space theme. We named the characters Gleeb and Gloob and created a back story that said they were intergalactic toy researchers on a mission to preserve intelligent life throughout the universe. We named the store Intelligent Life Toys.

The first teaser “newspaper headline” ad described the ficticious landing of the aliens at City Square Park in Marion, but there was no mention of the store. The only clue was the Web address at the end of the ad. Subsequent ads featured large illustrations of the characters and fun, attention getting headlines. At the same time, Kim was driving her Subaru around town with Intelligent Life Toys logo emblazoned across the sides and what looked like two aliens riding in the back seats.

The headlines for the ads and business cards paid homage to beloved science fiction movies like Star Wars and Star Trek. Famous quotes like, “May the force be with you.” became “May the toys be with you.”

We wrote, cast and directed the radio ads with a production studio in North Carolina. Choosing and working with the "alien" voice talent was a lot of fun.

One of the most critical pieces to Intelligent Life Toys’ brand identity was the store front signage. The store is located “on the square” in historic Marion, Iowa, in a 100-year old building. It is surrounded by shops with canvas awnings. In order to reflect the back story of intergalactic toy researchers on a mission to preserve intelligent life throughout the universe and to tie into the neighborhood “awning” theme, we recommended the awning and the trim under the windows be made out of riveted, brushed metal to look like it came from a spaceship. We asked the illustrator to change the spaceship in the logo illustration so it would match the same look.

We created large decals of Gleeb and Gloob and had them placed them on each side of the front door so they could welcome "Earthlings" to their store. The transom above the door included directions for space travelers, indicating which galaxy and planet the store was located on, and the exact longitude and latitude location on Earth.

We also suggested a "Space Cadet" rewards club for children, which Kim set up before the grand opening. Children were given free Intelligent Life Toys t-shirts when they signed up. Within the next few weeks the shirts were popping up everywhere and were a big hit at local schools.