Continuing a year packed with new product rollouts and diversification efforts, Mattel Inc. has announced a two-year partnership with Santa Monica crowdsourced marketing and creative content company Tongal.
Under the agreement, Mattel Creations, a division of the El Segundo toy company, will work with Tongal to tap its pool of 120,000 creative professionals to produce marketing campaigns and original content promoting Mattel brands and products. The toymaker would not disclose the details of the financial arrangement with Tongal.
Tongal, which also works with major toy companies Hasbro Inc. and Lego Group, functions as a facilitator, allowing companies to solicit ideas from a pool of writers, animators, and producers, then pick their top choices from which filmmakers develop storyboards and scripts for final consideration.
“Tongal is redefining the content model and we look forward to working closely with their team to further our brand strategies and build our storytelling platform,” Catherine Balsam-Schwaber, Mattel’s chief content officer, said in a statement.
The first project Tongal and Mattel will collaborate on is a behind-the-scenes video special to accompany Mattel’s Amazon original movie, “An American Girl Story –Melody 1963: Love Has to Win.”
“Mattel has a long history of embracing innovation and creativity to build brands and franchises that are relevant in people’s lives and across generations,” said Tongal Chief Executive Rob Salvatore in an email. “We’re honored to be working with them to pioneer this new approach to content creation.”
Mattel’s American Girl brand has been one of the company’s most reliable sources of revenue, with 2016 third-quarter gross sales for the line of products reaching $125.5 million, up 14 percent from the same period last year. This comes in stark contrast with Barbie sales, which have alternated between stagnant and sinking over the last decade or so, only to recently begin to recover when Mattel debuted a new line of ethnically diverse dolls with a range of body types this year.
Overall, the company reported flat sales worldwide in the third quarter of 2016, with adjusted operating income of $324.1 million. Some household names, however, such as Barbie and Fisher-Price, joined American Girl in seeing gross sales rise globally.
“In the third quarter, we continued to make solid progress against our strategic priorities, and we are pleased with our momentum as we head into the holiday season,” said Christopher Sinclair, chairman and chief executive of Mattel, in a news release.
In 2014, Mattel took a hit when the company lost a battle with Hasbro over the lucrative rights to produce toys for Disney’s hit movie “Frozen.” Earlier this year, however, Mattel released action figures and toy replicas to accompany the newest “Ghostbusters” movie and reported that as of July sales of the products had exceeded expectations.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.
Stories You May Also Be Interested In
- Living Doll
- Toymaker Aims to Make Play for Chinese Market
- Barbie Has to Flex Her Muscles for Mattel to Boost Share Value
- Barbie Stage Show Aims to Boost Brand
- 3-D Printers Could Shape Future for Toymaker
- Hasbro-Mattel Merger Rumors Cause Tremors In Toyland
- Frozen Out of Disney, Mattel Looks to Universal
- Mattel Profit Falls