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Mattel Thomas & friends™ Play Station experience: Creating engagement and growing a franchise.

During our 6 years working with Mattel we’ve created many live experiences including Thomas’ 'Best Friends Express Bus Tour’ in 2015 which celebrated 70 years of Thomas The Tank Engine. In 2016 Mattel asked us to create an even bigger and better brand experience, to help grow the Thomas & Friends franchise and gain even greater consumer engagement. We also had to get retailers excited about the experience and get them behind the campaign to help drive Thomas & Friends™ toy sales through retailers Smyths and Toys R Us.

A touring interactive Soft play experience.

Our main challenge was to design and create a premium Thomas touring experience, which could be easily set up, dismantled and moved around the country every 24 hours. Inspired by some of the world’s coolest soft play experiences we developed the touring ‘Thomas & Friends Soft Play Team Race’. Through educational and fun inflatable games, children teamed up with Thomas & His Friends in a race for the finish line. The soft play course included engine-themed zones where children learned to help and support one another, before they could reach the finish line together. Children also searched for gold in the ‘coal pit’; got to build engines; had their photos taken with Thomas and had fun with the latest motion gesture technology. At the end of the experience, they posed for photos on the winner’s podium and each received a finishers’ photo certificate, medal and a free gift.

Driving significant awareness and sales across the range.

The Thomas & Friends™ Play Station experience toured the country for a whole month, visiting 8 Smyths stores, 11 Toys ‘R’ Us stores & 3 Shopping Centres. To drive further awareness, a nationwide PR campaign secured valuable editorial coverage in local and regional press, online and in parenting websites. We surpassed our target of 18,110 consumer interactions across the experience and drove 41,588 unique visitors to the Thomas and Friends™ website. The Tour was listed in the events section of (7m reach) and the campaign secured 48 pieces of press coverage.

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