Mattel Toys has the task of reaching the difficult 8 to 12-year target group, better known as the ‘tweens’, and the brand is actively undertaking a dual course of action for doing that. Where it has launched concept stores for its brand Barbie, it is also signing deals with kids’ channels like Cartoon Network and very recently Nick. And the channel officials claim that the dual strategy is working.
Sharing more on the reasons to indulge in such associations with channels, Nanette D’Sa, VP, Marketing, Mattel Toys, expresses, “The Tweens, torn between childhood and teenage, are a fickle audience with fragmented viewership habits and no single medium finely targets them. We are looking at scaling up the number of concept stores this year. At the same time, we have joined hands with both Cartoon Network and the Nick/MTV bouquet to catch this elusive target. This ensures us a 360-degree platform to engage the tween girl.”
D’ Sa explains that research indicates movies, music, fashion and style are very important to this TG, “This is where our recent Nick-MTV tie-up fits in. We make our presence on both the channels. The deal involved airing the movie My Scene Jammin' in Jamaica on Nick. A tune in contest involved girls on MTV. The girls win a chance to be on the Most Wanted with the special episode being aired on MTV. The My Scene Getting Ready range is promoted through a peek into a celebrity closet promoted by My Scene, which goes on air in the month. This integrates programming, My Scene trailers, commercials and music.”
D’Sa explains that the exercise is a comprehensive one to effectively reach the female kids target. The brand claims that the experience with Cartoon Network was a fruitful one. “The Barbie movies on Cartoon Theater delivered one and half times the ratings of most movies on the band, which was the aim, given the popularity of Barbie and the content of the movies. We gave this initiative a complete treatment too and the Barbie princess range of Dolls was launched to coincide with the movies, so - content and play,” elucidates D’Sa.
She explains that content on these channels and the concept stores complement each other. The combination puts the brand in a better position to attract its TG. On the concept store front, she says, “The store is a point of convergence of our all brand offerings. It allows our target to experience the brand wholly. It creates the right environment.” As for what can be expected from the brand in time to come, “We look at innovative means to reach our target audience. Choice of channels and programmes is done with consumer affinity and fit in mind. We have a lot planned for the second half of this year, just watch this space.”