Mattel Promo, Case study COMEBACK OF THE YEAR by F&H Public Relations

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Industry Toys
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Germany
Agency F&H Public Relations
Art Director Susanne Beck
Released December 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Launch or Re-launch
Advertiser: MATTEL
Product/Service: RE-LAUNCH OF KEN
Senior Manager Public Relations: Dr. Stephanie Wegener (Mattel)
Associate PR Representative: Silke Baumann (Mattel)
Associate PR Representative: Anne Esau (Mattel)
Art Director: Susanne Beck
PR Consultant: Michelle Schatte (F&H Public Relations)
Junior PR Consultant: Jacqueline Schneider (F&H Public Relations)
Media placement: Press Releases - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - 11. November 2010
Media placement: Personal Media Relation Following Exclusive Shooting - GQ (10 Pages) - 11. November 2010
Media placement: Live Event & Press Release - Wall Street Journal - 02. February 2011
Media placement: Live Event & Press Release - Hello! Canada - 02. February 2011
Media placement: Live Event & Press Release - BBC - 02. February 2011
Media placement: Live Event & Press Release - Reuters - 02. February 2011
Media placement: Live Event & Press Release - Bloomberg - 02. February 2011
Media placement: Live Event & Press Release - ZDF Morgenmagazin - 14. February 2011
Media placement: Live Event & Press Release - Bild - 14. February 2011
Media placement: Live Event & Press Release - RTL - 14. February 2011

Summary of the Campaign
Due to Kens 50th anniversary and his 7 year absence from the toy shelves, Ken wanted to celebrate his ultimate comeback and reunion with Barbie. After an intensive media relation it became apparent that the major challenge was, no one knew that “he was gone” and who would care that a figure the size of 30.5 cm returns to the toy shelves!

As a result, for a long term repositioning as the ultimate dream date, a comprehensive PR storytelling and provocative engaging campaign with fun elements for Ken had to be developed.

With national awareness and with weekly report coverage throughout all media categories (February & March 2011), a positive image transfer of Ken should reconnect young and old fans.

The solution bring Ken to real life - hot “Kens”, great outfits and even more fun occasions:
• Charming Ken with roses at the editorial offices.
• 5 Kens representing each decade and first unveiling of the new Ken 2011 at the International Nuremberg toy fair.
• Ultimate emotional staging of the reunion with Barbie on Valentine’s day.

Sensational interest of media and fantastic press coverage within 6 weeks:
Reach: 161.2 Million people
Media equivalent value: 4.5 Million Euro
Barbie segment up: 35,4%.

The Situation
You can have a dream man fall from the sky or find them neatly lined up on toy shop shelves. After 7 years of absence, Ken wanted to get back on the toy shelves and fight for his true love Barbie, who left him in 2004.

Due to an intensive media relation with desk interviews in 2010 it became apparent, that neither the absence of Ken, nor the separation of Barbie was present in the mind of opinion influencers.

The young fans of Barbie weren’t interested and knew nothing about Barbie’s "best" accessory – that had to change.

The Goal
Young and old fans alike should, once again, perceive Ken not only as the embodiment of a loyal friend, dream prince or bridegroom, but also as a trendsetter, fashion icon and therefore a natural necessity of the Barbie play world.

Mattel wanted to use his 50th anniversary to celebrate the Comeback of the Year, reinstate his image as the Ultimate Dream Date and restage the Barbie and Ken love story.

The objective was to create national awareness with weekly report coverage throughout all media categories (February & March 2011) and achieve an emotional rebranding of Ken.

The Strategy

Due to the challenges Ken had to be brought to life. These events had to be different, outrageous, engaging, fun, news worthy so that one thing is absolutely clear: "Ken is back."

Pared with an intensive individual media relations strategy the objectives of extensive coverage had to be achieved:
- Tightly scheduled events with manifold and extraordinary reporting events.
- Permanent publicity through sensational, storytelling pictures.
- Provision of interesting stories, facts and figures for a varied report coverage.
- Event staging for core messages at special places for strong pictures.
- Presentation of charismatic interview partner.
- Permanent link to the Ken products in the market.

Ken should regain the clear positioning as the ultimate dream date. With the reunion of Barbie and Ken as the "ultimate it-couple", Barbie should play an essential role in the coverage and experience a new and interesting appearance in the spotlight.

Following an intensive preparation-phase, the “quiet-countdown” started with long-term and personal media relation by visiting key media partners. Exclusive press-kits with different storyboards and fun gadgets have been developed to engage and communicate with the different media-outlets.

To bring Ken to life, hot "Kens" had to be found, great outfits sewed, lots of roses for the girls bought and more fun occasions designed such as:
- an ultimate charm-campaign with personal visits of Ken at key media partners (December 2010),
- a journey through 5 decades and the official unveil of the new Ken in front of the world press at the International Nuremberg Toy Fair (2nd February 2011),
- celebration of the reunion from Barbie and Ken at the most luxury department store in Germany. While in the meantime "messengers of love" brought personalised love-cards, press material and the toy "She said yes" to key media partners. (14th February 2011).

Documented Results
The positive repositioning and his comeback has been achieved by 100%, beyond national borders. The key messages have been leveraged extensively. The coverage has been 330% higher than in the previous month.

Live blogs on Kens media tour, Calls from magazines "I am dating Ken now", full page coverage on Kens comeback in newspapers, massive TV coverage on Nuremberg toy fair and live interviews, Radio stations asking their audience to support Ken, live voting on Facebook if Barbie should take Ken back etc.

6 weeks of coverage in numbers (Germany only):

Reach 161.2 Million people (every other German.)

Mediavalue: 4.5 Million Euro
ROI: 1:61
Barbie segment up: 35.4 %

Highlights: RTL, Pro7, ARD Tagesthemen, ZDF Morgenmagazin & Mittagsmagazin, NTV, Sat1, Pro7, GQ (10pages), Bild, Jolie, Handelsblatt, Cosmopolitan, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Welt, Süddeutsche

Highlights International: Wall Street Journal, Hello, BBC, Reuters, Sky, Bloomberg, Asia One, JimTV (Belgium), RTL4 (Holland), TV2 (Denmark)