2020 was a complicated and challenging year in many parts of our business. When it came to planning our annual Mattel Licensing Summit, where we host an afternoon event in Joburg, Durban and Cape Town to present our plans for the following year to our retail and licensed partners. We needed to innovate and come up with a new way to present our brand plans for 2021. Faced with many challenges when we began brainstorming ideas in May; no physical Events could take place because of COVID, Data Costs & unstable Internet connection, streaming videos on Zoom is difficult with sound and video, loadshedding, people’s time and capacity for an event; and enthusiasm to take part in the reinvented Summit.

First we created a Web app that is easy to navigate – we worked with Crips Events to create the platform and manage the event. The platform hosted video content and brand strategies for each of the Mattel & HIT Entertainment brands we represent. We included pages such as polls, quizzes and surveys to gain additional insight, as well as a blog page to share additional information. Once the guests had viewed all the content, they were able to download all the content.

We briefed Crisp Events to work with an animator and a voice over artist, who used the brand information and style guides to create animated content for our brands that runs for 2-3 minutes each. Allowing the content to be easy and fun to watch for the guests, and the run time of the event to be an hour and a half – as opposed to the 3 hour long physical event we usually offer.

In order to share Best Practice product from 2020 and inspiration across all the brands for 2021, attendees were able to click through and download a Look Book. This also included marketing plans that could be accompany product launches in 2021.

Each year we invite a guest speaker to share upcoming trends, research and ideas. This year, Martin Badia – The Lead Designer for Mattel EMEA – shared insights into what the ‘New Normal’ looks like after COVID19. Using the visual reference from a trend pack and Barbie Guides, we animated the content and Martin’s video to share 5 minutes of insight and inspiration with our attendees.

Each guest that attended the event received a gift that was delivered to their office. The gift included a Rose Gold Barbie Moon Bag, a Branded Calendar across all the brands and a Thank You note. This was packaged in a branded box with branded Barbie tissue paper to thank them for taking the time to attend the Mattel Virtual Licensing Summit.

This year has been challenging in so many ways, and we needed to reinvent the way we run the Summit and create excitement and innovation, and inspire our partners. When we first started working on this project it seemed like a near impossible task, but with enough determination, a talented and dedicated partner we were able to pioneer how BHL can run virtual events in the future.