Marketing

Harnessing the Power of Social Media

Make Your Mark
Header Social Media richtig nutzen

Authentic Campaigns and Charitable Donations 

Many American brands are launching social media campaigns to encourage consumers, specifically Millennials and Gen Z, to continue wearing masks for public safety. These social media campaigns contain humor and pop culture references to authentically connect with their target consumers – engaged digital natives tied to their favorite social media platforms.

Mask Buddies, Wild Republic
Mask Buddies, Wild Republic

Wild Republic launched a new Wild Republic Promise to the People initiative. This initiative puts social responsibility in perspective.  Wild Republic was one of the first toy manufacturers to utilize their supply chain resources to provide kid-friendly masks to hospital workers. Their themed animal prints have brought smiles and comfort to Covid patients. Wild Republic Mask Buddies were also designed help kids to feel comfortable wearing a mask, as the seven animal friends come with matching masks for kids and their new plush friend. 

Batman face-coverings for kids, Just Play
Batman face-coverings for kids, Just Play

JUST PLAY created kid-sized, single-use breathable licensed face-coverings featuring characters and properties that kids know and love. They have pledged to reach their 2021 goal of donating one million Children's Face Masks to various organizations across the U.S. The company donates a portion of proceeds of every box of licensed face masks purchased towards providing masks to those in need. 

Shifting Media Viewing Created a New Venue for Visibility 

Entertainment has grown into a cross-platform arena that spans screens of every shape and size. A new wave of toys reflects that shift with fun products inspired by the stars of YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and mobile gaming.

The power of media can’t be understated when it comes to building fandoms around toys. For decades, movies, TV shows, comics and books were the main drivers for kids to purchase toys. This is nothing new – but if a manufacturer’s toy isn’t based on a TV show, movie, comic book or book, then digital platforms can provide the tools needed to build a unique and complimentary brand universe. Effective online and social media marketing campaigns for brands can extend visibility and reinforce and deepen brand loyalty.

Entertainment properties and brands are effective drivers due to their character development and visual storytelling. Interestingly, kids now largely keep up with their favorite TV shows on YouTube, rather than mainstream television. To successfully create your own opportunities with branded content, marketers need to drill down into what kids are looking for from their favorite digital platforms.

 

Ryan’s World World Tour Air Balloon (Bonkers Toys)
Open Gallery
Ryan’s World World Tour Air Balloon (Bonkers Toys)
Vlad and Niki SuperHero Surprise. (Zuru Toys)
Open Gallery
Vlad and Niki SuperHero Surprise. (Zuru Toys)

By studying the communities where kids are spending their time, smart marketers can combine their best elements, and create products and programs that garner fans and inspire fandom.   

Kids in the U.S. are still connecting on YouTube once a day or more, giving companies plenty of digital avenues to explore. Similar trends are found in many countries across the globe. 

Alliances with Video Game Manufacturers 

Physical toy manufacturers have increased their visibility to online audiences by creating alliances with classic video game manufacturers of hardware and software.  

The LEGO Group and Light Brick Studio have teamed up to bring LEGO Builder’s Journey to Xbox series X, Xbox series S, and Xbox ONE. In this video game, the classic LEGO pieces kids love moving around in front of a colorful background to the sound of soothing music in a virtual world. Each challenge showcases 3D LEGO bricks stacked in odd shapes. Players can break down LEGO walls and build new passageways to solve geometric puzzles. Early on, Lego also connected with Minecraft, creating opportunities for fans to build their creations, brick-by-brick, in both the online world and the physical world. 

Jazwares has created a thriving character collectible world, for Roblox fans.  Hasbro has designed Nerf Blasters that replicate the in-game online world tools that Roblox fans want in real life. “

Tap into the metaverse to build immersive, branded game experiences

Roblox is an immersive metaverse experience that offers opportunities for brands to build their own leveraged online brand worlds — and to create rewards for fans who engage with the content. If your brand has a clear brand storyline, content creators can devise appealing ways for kids to tap into that rich content and provide kids with rewards for playing.

Care Bears and Sandbox/ Cloudco Entertainment
Care Bears and Sandbox/ Cloudco Entertainment 

Other brands, such as Care Bears have partnered with SandBox to tap into fan engagement. Sean Gorman, president of Cloudco Entertainment: “Working with The Sandbox team to build an authentic Care-a-Lot in the metaverse will allow Care Bears fans to interact with the world and each other in a fun and imaginative virtual theme park setting.”

Combine YouTube with Brands for Double-the-Value Experiences

Why do kids engage with YouTube? Kids watch YouTube primarily for its influencers, music, and funny clips. It’s an easy-to-watch broadcast platform, where kids want to engage. The Game With Me is an event platform tool built by SuperAwesome to bring influencer fandoms together with their heroes through an in-world Roblox experience. This technology offers kids the exclusive opportunity to safely play Roblox with their favorite influencers on private servers. This is a win-win proposal for super fans. It’s a viable option for brands that want to show up authentically in Roblox and develop brand equity with kids, without needing to build their own game.

ReMix-Kampagne auf Game With Me von L.O.L. Surprise! von MGAE (SuperAwesome)
ReMix-Kampagne auf Game With Me von L.O.L. Surprise! von MGAE (SuperAwesome)

As an example, MGA Entertainment ran a series of Game With Me sessions during a recent L.O.L. Surprise! campaign, Parents were engaged, too, responding because their kids were having fun with the experiences. This type of initiative can cut through the clutter, with a reach that taps into and extends YouTube influencer coverage. And if parents can see a benefit for their kids, they will open their wallets to support their kids’ collective experiences.

Connect on PopJam to Build Digital Reach

PopJam is another tool that provides a rich engagement layer for building digital reach, giving kids the opportunity to co-create content and chat about their favorite things with other fans in a safe and moderated environment.

The latest brand study by SuperAwesome found that companies on PopJam benefited from increased brand loyalty, trust, and intent to purchase. Their study confirms that working cross-platform to leverage multiple elements gives brands the best chance of building effective, fandom-inspiring content campaigns for kids.

SuperAwesome, is a company that powers kids’ internet experiences. Its kid tech platform is used by hundreds of companies to ensure that their digital engagement with kids is safe, private, and compliant with laws such as COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), GDPR-K (General Data Protection Regulation – Kids), CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), and more. The company has been defining standards for the kids’ digital media ecosystem for years and has pioneered many aspects and campaigns within the kids tech space. Both the Game With Me sessions used by MGA Entertainment and PopJam are tools they manage, to provide manufacturers with options for creating online portals, safe kids communities and other kid-directed online programs.

Using Social Media Platforms can help to bridge physical products with online engagement. There are many ways to stay in front of your audiences, and in a fractured cross-platform locked-down world, finding the best tools to promote your brands can help elevate your brand campaigns to new levels. 

Info

Reyne Rice at the Spielwarenmesse Digital 2022

Would you like to learn more about the latest trends? Experience Reyne Rice live at the Spielwarenmesse Digital. She will present from 1:00 to 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, 2 Feb 2022, and Saturday, 5 Feb 2022, her talk “Emerging and Future Trends for 2022 - Focus on Innovations and Sustainability”. You can find the complete programme of talks and information about the speakers here.

Go to the list of the Toy Business Forum talks

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