Mattel, the well-known toy brand popular for making the “Hot Wheels” franchise and other highly sought after toys, is shifting even more focus to digital through an extended partnership with AT&T-owned Fullscreen, a multi-channel network. With the new partnership Mattel hopes to start consistently delivering viral content on YouTube.
The two companies are no strangers. Fullscreen has been managing Mattel’s YouTube Page since 2013, but now the two are coming together to create Fullscreen Family, which will feature a family-focused collection of brand-safe channels for third-party advertisers on YouTube and other digital platforms.
Through the partnership, Mattel is increasing the amount of premium kids and family content by 61%, and plans to reach an estimated 800 million monthly video viewers. Mattel also intends to develop deeper relationships with top online influencers in the kids and family space.
“Digital marketing is the primary way that you’re going to convert viewers, and it’s the primary way to unite your consumer with your brand,” says Damon Berger, VP of global strategic partnerships at Fullscreen.
“We’re looking at all categories right now. We want to expand the brand footprint and we want to be able to cover all types of categories and tell Hot Wheels stories in many different ways, so we’re not really dedicated to a specific category,” says Isaac Quiroga, director of digital entertainment at Mattel.
Additionally, the pair is creating a new Hot Wheels Digital Content Innovation Team, which will utilize Fullscreen’s top creators to make content for the boy-skewing brand’s online fans.
Mattel has made it clear that TV advertising is still a part of its budget and strategy, but it will be shifting ad dollars away from linear. At the beginning of the month Business Insider reported that the toymaker was executing its first upfront ad spending commitment to YouTube Kids. The company says its digital ad spending has jumped by 40% over this past year.
“We’re shifting the investment for sure because we do want to test these different digital forums and see what they can deliver for us,” says Quiroga. “So we will continue to increase our investment in digital until we find that saturation point.”
In 2016, Mattel gained two million new subscribers across its channels, while surpassing 67 million views for its 300-plus toy reviews and unboxing videos.