Mattel Taps Tongal in Deal for Fresh Content, Marketing

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American Girl dolls
American Girl dolls Credit: Kate Lilienthal
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Just in time for toy season, Mattel is partnering with Tongal, the creative crowdsourcing firm, on new content beginning next month. Mattel Creations, the content production division developed in March, and Santa Monica, Calif.-based Tongal have entered into a two-year deal where creators from Tongal's community of 120,000 will develop original content for the toymakers brands, which include American Girl, Thomas & Friends and Hot Wheels.

"Our goal with Mattel Creations…is to leverage our vast library of iconic properties to deliver engaging entertainment experiences for children and families across all platforms," said Catherine Balsam-Schwaber, Mattel's chief content officer, via email. "With its unique, global network of creatives, Tongal is uniquely suited to help Mattel advance this strategy."

Mattel will continue to work with BBDO on brand marketing campaigns, the company said.

Tongal plans to develop new series and intellectual property, like video specials and YouTube series, as well as marketing campaign including TV ads. The first work from the collaboration, a behind-the-scenes special on American Girl Melody will air on Amazon Prime Video next month.

Tongal first began working with Mattel six years ago, shortly after the creative company's 2009 founding. The companies have partnered on 10 different Mattel brands. Tongal recently created a Hot Wheels video series, for example, that encouraged competition amongst viewers who could design their own tracks. The series resulted in more than 4 million YouTube views.

"This multi-year deal is an exciting next step in our partnership and reinforces [Mattel's] commitment to creativity," said Rob Salvatore, chief executive of Tongal.

In 2015, Mattel spent $113.5 million on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar Media.

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