Mattel, owner of brands including Barbie, American Girl and Hot Wheels, has announced that it is linking up with LA-based creative crowdsourcing studio Tongal for a multi-year partnership.
While the two companies have partnered together on a number of campaigns in the past – last year, the Tongal community created a Thomas & Friends documentary and two American Girl films – the partnership solidifies their relationship as Mattel looks to ramp up its content output.
According to Mattel, Tongal will be tasked with developing and producing an “amplified slate of content” for the company’s many brands. The studio will also serve as an advisor to the toy juggernaut to help it better define its digital content strategy across all of its brands and channels globally.
Founded in 2009, Tongal is a global network of 120,000 creatives that brands can tap into. Brands can post projects on Tongal, giving creatives the chance to review briefs, ask questions and come up with ideas. Businesses then choose the ideas that they like best and the creatives that submitted those ideas get paid. Filmmakers then pitch brands on how they plan to bring those ideas to life, with winning pitches being guaranteed production dollars. Once the films have been created, the brand chooses the winning film, and the winning filmmaker and top finalists get paid.
“Our partnership with Tongal and its robust network of creators will enable us to build out an innovative, scalable offering of content for all channels and markets around the world,” said Catherine Balsam-Schwaber, Mattel’s chief content officer, in a statement. “Tongal is re-defining the content model and we look forward to working closely with their team to further our brand strategies and build our storytelling platform.”
Under the new partnership, the first project to be produced will be a behind-the-scenes special to complement the Amazon original special 'An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win.' The special is set to premiere on Amazon Prime in November.
Earlier this year, Tongal created a film series featuring Star War ‘Rogue One’ toys. Tongal has also worked with brands including Lego, Nestle and Unilever.