Mattel is conducting a media agency review for both media planning and media buying, which is pretty exciting considering there isn’t a child alive who doesn’t own a Mattel toy of some kind. They own everything, from American Girl to Ninja Turtles – but lately, they’ve been making the most money off of the interstellar cash cow: Star Wars.
Star Wars was the #1 contributor to financial growth in action figure, vehicle, and all other toy sales. Movie-related content also outperformed the market by 9.4% last year.
Interestingly, and seemingly at odds with the Star Wars trend, is a growth in sales of outdoor and sports toys. Then again, if they can make “Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens Jr. Pro Shootout Basketball” – no opportunity is likely to be missed.
And even though dolls come in as the second most popular toy type, Barbie’s market share has been shrinking faster than her cup size.
The old girl’s share of the global dolls and accessories market has been declining since 2009. Mattel dug down to find the reason. It turns out that Millennial parents want more from their children’s’ toys than mere entertainment; they want to give their children toys that reflect a positive body image, and have purpose and meaning.
Mattel is partnering with She Should Run, a nonpartisan group that works to get more women interested in running for public office. Together, they’re packaging dolls with a prompt to download a worksheet intended to get parents and kids talking about leadership (because worksheets are so fun! Who thinks of this stuff?).
Should Mattel go with meaning or movie-driven marketing? Or both?
Millennial Moms will be the ones to decide.
Meet the Millennial Mom
She’s married, with children, college educated, and she’s the current decision maker for the next generation.
See how Millennial Moms’ interests compare with Mattel’s current audience in our pitch brief.
Millennial Moms are health conscious, often business women, travelers and outdoor enthusiasts. But they’re not exactly reading Sylvia Plath, as a rule (but they are reading the entire Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy). They follow Khloe Kardashian, Snooki and Channing Tatum, and they are exceptionally fashion and beauty-conscious.
Within this context, it’s no surprise that Barbie ranks high under Games and Toys for this audience, ten slots above American Girl. And Star Wars isn’t even on the chart. Even the Millennial mother’s movie preferences lean towards romance over action (Romance ranks #1, Action ranks #8 out of 9 – with 9 being documentary films).
So, if Mattel is hitching its wagon to Star Wars and pants-suit-wearing, politically active dolls… they might be barking up the wrong tree.
In fact, there are a number of differences between Mattel’s current audience and Millennial Moms, which indicate to us that there are opportunities to grow Mattel’s business by appealing to what Millennial Moms really want.
Find out more about Mattel and Millennial Moms in our latest pitch brief.