TFE/TFE Licensing, May/June 2022

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Marketing Through Modern Media by Jack Placidi Today’s age of toy advertising has become a wild frontier that’s open to new and exciting possibilities through the world of digital entertainment and online growth. No longer is it limited to the time slots of Saturday morning cartoons, or investing big bucks into television commercials. Some companies have already found their stride through an omnichannel presence, creating their own content via YouTube channels and programming. Others have struck advertising gold bringing on new and creative individuals to expertly create content that goes viral while also highlighting featured products. If you’re wondering how to start a media campaign for a product or service, consider the following ideas that are taking off for many companies today. Hire the Experts Whether you’re introducing a new product line or expanding on a beloved franchise, fans are always going to see through the effort that was put in to the creation of it. For this, you’re going to want to make sure you hire the right people that already fit the bill to that give your ad campaign. “For the fans, by the fans,” can go a long way when it comes to this. Hasbro made job headlines when it was recruiting a Chief TikTok Officer for it’s NERF brand. Ultimately, they hired Sophie Lightning, a longtime NERF fan with over 2 million followers on their personal TikTok account alone. Since the creation of Hasbro’s NERF channel on TikTok last year, they accumulated a following of 500K subscribers that keeps rapidly growing in both community and sales numbers. On a much larger scale, Mattel entrusted it’s Masters of the Universe line to Kevin Smith in creating a televised Netflix series, in part to create hype for the new line of action figures. Not only was the show seen favorably between critics and fans alike, but it helped boost sales of the action figure line. It even ended up winning TOTY’s Action Figure of the Year Award this year. When you entrust the marketing of your brand to people who love it already, you’re already making the optimal first step in making sure it gets the love and attention to detail it deserves.

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Impactful Influencers Another strategy that can really get your product or campaign off the ground in strides is hiring the right influencer whose target audience matches your own. Depending on your budget, you have access to a wide variety from macro to micro influencers. It’s important to do research on the target audience of various influencers. In the way of toys, you’re going to want to find and invest in family-friendly channels and video bloggers. A lot of them are so well experienced in making video and story campaigns for different products that you won’t need to do too much hand holding in the the creative structure. If you’re going for the teen market, WeWearCute has a huge following on TikTok. Looking to hook in parents and families? Give Trinity Sierra a call. You’ll find a huge sea of content creators looking to promote your product, and in turn, increase your sales (most of whom you can find and hire through TTPM Influencer Talent Management!) Embrace the Memes & Jokes All it takes sometimes is one person to find something funny or make a joke about a product and then it could develop into a widespread meme online. My thoughts on this? Whether it was your intention or not, embrace the jokes that come with it. If it increases sales so other people try to imitate videos, no publicity is bad publicity. One example is with Goliath’s Chompin’ Charlie, a game where you shove acorns into a squirrel’s mouth, with each nut making him expressively more uncomfortable. This hilarious factor lead to people making videos and comments about the game (some less tasteful than others) with the result being a game that’s selling out on almost every store front. As of the writing of this article, I still see it regularly unavailable until it restocks. Some games were built purposefully on this kind of naughty nature place (ie: Silly Sausage, Gooey Louie, Toilet Trouble), and when buyers make content of themselves interacting and promoting a product, you’re looking at a wave of fun videos with free advertising. Jack Placidi is the creative director at aNb Media, whose expertise includes years of video content creation and promotion for various toy companies and influencers. For more info, email at

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