Spreading Holiday Cheer

A toy company increases year over year sales by 71% by promoting giving over getting.




Tegu launched with industry praise for their unique toys, beautiful design, and social mission, but all that praise wasn’t driving the e-commerce sales Tegu needed in order to meet business goals. FiveStone believed the toy, design, and mission of Tegu could work together to create a standout opportunity for the holiday season.


How can we generate excitement about the Tegu brand in order to increase holiday sales year-over-year, while staying true to the ethos of the brand?

Tegu fosters the natural curiosity of a child with magnetic, wooden blocks. From the first “click-clack” sound of two blocks sticking together, something magical happens as kids’ imaginations realize the unlimited potential of building.

Tegu believes (as do we!) that every child possesses the unhindered ability to build, create, and imagine. When kids are left to play on their own those towering block cities and backyard tree forts aren’t just imaginations gone wild, they are actual pathways to their future. 

In the world of Tegu there is no difference between playing and learning. 


Making a difference from the beginning

When brothers Will and Chris Haughey decided to start a company in 2007, they knew they wanted to be different and revitalize the Honduran economy. They asked themselves, “Could we create a for-profit company based in Honduras that would foster a positive social impact through business?”

So that is what they did. Tegu established a fully independent toy factory outside Tegucigalpa to make a statement: we’re in Honduras by choice and we’re here to stay. By paying employees a living wage and prioritizing long-term career growth and development rather than simple task-based jobs, Tegu is bringing world-class employment standards to Central America.

The same attention influences the materials used to make the toys. Harvested responsibly, wood is the most sustainable material available. That's why Tegu works with local Honduran cooperatives who individually hand pick each mature tree for use. Tegu works to ensure these resources are not just around for your children, but your grandchildren and future generations to come.


How Can Design Thinking Shape a Marketing Campaign?

When working with a company like Tegu it’s important the marketing aligns with the social mission of the company. If not, consumers will feel a disconnect between a company trying to do good in the world and the same old marketing tactics.

Our starting hypothesis forced us to look at existing Tegu systems and work to make things easier for the user. To validate our thinking we created a real-time, custom dashboard for executive review of key analytics. The dashboard allowed the team to see what was and wasn’t working as we made incremental improvements to the shopping experience and tested new audience messaging. 

This foundational work allowed us to move into the holiday season with confidence that the purchasing flow would support the marketing effort.

As the holiday season ramped up we created a campaign that would increase sales on the site. 

"We chose to spread holiday cheer instead of holiday coupons."

The Tegu Elf

Parents face an enormous amount of pressure during the holiday season to find the latest, greatest toy and fulfill societal demands. We wanted to turn that on its head. Like Tegu, we believe the holiday season is best spent thinking about others. So, how can these seemingly contradictory ideas co-exist?

To push back against the consumptive mindset, FiveStone created a campaign based on giving and not getting. We chose to spread holiday cheer instead of holiday coupons.

The campaign focused on the Tegu Elf; a fun-loving and delightfully-mischievous little character (although he prefers the much more politically correct term “elfish”) who lives at Tegu. In the Tegu spirit, his mischief is always in the spirit of goodwill. When he sees someone having a bad day, he takes it upon himself to fix it.

During the holiday season the Tegu Elf hacked into orders and added extra Tegu products into random packages. And, in keeping true to the social side of the Tegu business, the Elf also sent non-Tegu items to people in need. The Elf looked for special hashtags (like #TeguElf) or other Tegu mentions on any social media outlets. If the Elf spotted someone in need of cheer, the Elf would send out special gifts like Tegu product or a Seamless dinner to a mom having a bad day.

FiveStone played the part of strategist, creative director, marketing manager, project manager, planner, and social media specialist for the campaign. In the end, the entire team had a lot of fun, the Tegu community was both strengthened and encouraged, and Tegu products flew off the shelves.

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“Tegu, you should be commended for going above and beyond what everyone expected! It is wonderful to see a company with a HUGE and generous HEART!!”
Tegu Customer


We set a record for most sales in one day at We then broke that record three days later.

In addition to promoting the brand values of generosity and fun to hundreds of thousands of people on social channels, we also...




Produced a 71% increase in revenue during the same three-week period the year prior.


Reduced Spending

Reduced digital marketing spend year on year by 60% without any decrease in conversions.


gained Facebook Fans

Increased Facebook fans by 100%, while increasing social reach and engagement multiple times over.


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