How Getting on TV Can Help Boost Your Toy Brand
Back in October, marketing and sales firm Brands With Influence (BWI) teamed up with U.K.’s top manufacturer of plush/licensed plush products, Golden Bear, to unveil a new series of collectible toys, play sets and accessories for girls aged five to nine, called Bush Baby World. Under the new agreement, Golden Bear would produce and distribute the toys globally while BWI would be responsible for all associated licensing, including movie and TV rights.
Last week, BWI and Golden Bear appointed Miranda Larson, writer at major children’s media companies Nickelodeon and Disney, as lead writer for a new animated series centered around the Bush Baby World line.
“We have always believed that this brand would work well across all media,” said Barry Hughes, managing director of Golden Bear in a statement. “We have seen how effective online animation and streaming can be for building brands and driving children’s engagement with toys,” added BWI’s Martin Lowe. “When we developed the Bush Baby proposition we always saw it as a televisual concept. The original toys created by Andrew Coates came with such inherent cheekiness and spirit, it was an obvious step to develop this into an animated series.”
As Toy News reports, BWI sees huge opportunities for Bush Baby World that go beyond just toys and as a fellow kid, baby, and/or toy brand… you should too.
When it comes to your own brand, that is.
As many parents can attest to, toys and television are often incredibly linked – especially in the early stages of childhood. Consumers are quite used to seeing their children’s or their younger siblings’ favorite toys, action figures, and dolls play out on TV. Hasbro’s My Little Pony has been an entertainment franchise practically since the toys were first created in the early ‘80s, earning the brand gross retail sales of over $1 billion in 2015. Mattel’s iconic Barbie brand includes books, apparel, cosmetics, and video games in addition to the many animated films and TV series.
These shows, while largely created to sell their associated products also serve to create an immersive experience for consumers. A licensed TV series can bring a toy to life in a way that a child could never do using just their imagination. These programs add a sensory experience that goes beyond the tactility of being able to see and play each toy.
Get on TV
While reaching out to a company like BWI (or pitching to distribution companies, animation companies or television stations in the hopes they will produce your idea) is certainly an option, what else can an upstart toy brand do to add a licensed TV show in its arsenal of selling tools?
Do it yourself: Ask any Gen Zer – the easiest and fastest way to get on TV (or rather consumers’ computer screens) is Youtube. Youtube makes it incredibly easy to upload and share your very own web series (many popular shows we watch today started out as Youtube web series) and you can easily embed these videos onto your site, or otherwise drive your online shoppers to them. Of course, depending on what type of show you’d like to have, this takes some technical skill, whether it’s yours or through help you have enlisted.
Public Access: Looking into public access is something that many people forget that can actually be a valuable resource. The point of public access to allow a wide spectrum of people the opportunity to share something they’ve created for the entertainment of the general public. Find out what public access channels are available in your area and pitch your idea to them. Keep in mind that most channels have rules about what can and cannot air, and many require that programs be non-commercial, however a business may be able to produce a show about their industry or product as long as it’s not a sales program.
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