The reason Thomas has lasted so long is that it keeps adjusting to changing modes of communication. I had my turn to change the brand’s strategy just as Thomas was recalled for lead paint. While the recall blunted our marketing campaign, we were able to obtain parent’s email addresses as replacements were fulfilled. Over the next 6 months, we kept parents informed and slowly turned the story back to building the brand.
Digital engagement became a big part of the Thomas strategy. We launched the “Parent’s Station” Website to provide useful product information, the date of Thomas related activities, etc. But it also provided parents ideas for using the Thomas stories to help kids learn and improve skills.
To keep the brand relevant with kids, we delivered Thomas’ comeback story on the technology that kids were using, laptops, desktops, and repurposed TV. The Thomas and Friends YouTube channel grew to over 140 million views.
“Thomas & Friends On The Big Screen” came chugging onto theater screens with a feature length movie, shown at select theaters nationwide. We devised a trading card promotion for the specialty retailer channel to support the film, driving an additional $1M+ sales.
Deliverables: Multi-channel integrated marketing: Web, microsites and Web sponsorships, paid and organic search, online display, social media, public relations, sponsored email, national print and FSIs, television.