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Adding Some Magic to the Factory

The toy retail business is a very different world.

Finding out about it, we have discovered a whole new way of looking at toys, children moms and families.  merchandising is a key word and shopping is the new game. Toys are not just for kids anymore.

Magic Factory is a franchised network of stores in Spain, that sell merchandising items made mostly in China and distributed across the peninsula. It focuses on objects, toys and personal items licensed under major brands like Disney, Warner, King Features Syndicate (Betty Boop), Sanrio, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon & Viacom,  Marvel, and local brands like FCB Barcelona. These shops sell and promote brands featuring music, films, sports and cartoon characters.

Among all these brands Magic Factory has develop a classification based on sales and permanence. Products related to Betty Boop, Hello Kitty and classical Disney characters like Mickey or  the Princesses are considered permanent and basic, somehow essential. Big impact characters like Sponge Bob, Spiderman or Cars,  are strong and versatile and  attract  younger generations. Third category would be short term brands like Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers, Ben 10, Gormiti or Patito Feo (Disney LatAm) that come and go very fast and boost sales for one or two season.

The Nostalgic Grownups : one of the things we first noticed while visiting our client was the massive affluence of  women in their 30´s and 40´s buying items like key chains, lighters, pens and watches, not for their kids or nephews but for themselves. That made me think of  another experience at the Barbie shop in Barcelona, where communications were clearly directed to moms raised with a Barbie instead of kids themselves. Grown ups with strong attachments to brands like Barbie, Hello Kitty, Disney or Betty Boop act as preaching fans to their own children and other grown ups about new products and merchandising

Babyboomers & Young Couples: are also a strong presence in the stores, but as far as we could notice they are looking for ¨safe & standard¨ toys and contents for their actual or future children. this search is evident in the amount of questions they ask prior to buying anything. New babies or small children from young couples seem to be the basic parenthood learning course though commodities.

Housewives & Grandparents: a very different approach was noticed when we asked about experienced parents, they know what their children like, how they would react, how to make it look like a reward or as a tool for negotiating with their children. In this case toys become a powerful tool to trade better grades, commitments

and changes in behavior. Grandparents also earn points providing those toys parents would deny or cannot afford. Power roles and hard negotiation is also present here.

Teenagers are the oldest population in these stores, usually attending in groups and trying to find a symbol of status, identity affirmation or acceptance trough merchandising and commodities. For them the object is not relevant, but the power it gives to their public image.

Thinking about all these facts we created three pieces of communication: 1. shop window videos that include animated images featuring real kids with the main characters and store products, an updatable website where products can be seen as in a catalog linked to a facebook website 3. where all audiences can interact and get news and feedback from their local shop. 1 month of total work, 50 product shots, some backgrounds & wallpapers and a CMS were enough to bring some magic to magic factory.


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