Tongal, Mattel Enter Into Multi-Year Partnership

By Erik Oster 

Mattel Creations, Mattel’s centralized content division, has entered into a multi-year strategic partnership with “crowdsourced studio” Tongal. Tongal will be responsible for digital content strategy as well as content creation, including “the development and production of an amplified slate of content based on Mattel’s library of iconic brands.”

“Mattel Creations is dedicated to discovering new ways to share creative, captivating stories across all platforms. 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,” Mattel chief content officer Catherine Balsam-Schwaber said 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 agreement, Tongal will utilize its creative network to create content across broadcast, digital and social media channels, enhancing Mattel Creation’s content capabilities and digital offerings.

The agreement does not impact Mattel’s relationship with primary creative agency BBDO or affect BBDO’s responsibilities for the brand. In fact, sources tell us Mattel has actually expanded its relationship with the agency.

That said, Tongal head of strategy and client development Vaughan Emsley, who joined Tongal in the newly-created position this August after serving as both global CEO on the P&G business and strategic advisor to global chairman Kevin Roberts with Saatchi & Saatchi recently told Adweek, “Any company with an open source approach like ours is seen by agencies as a competitor.”

BBDO, of course, recently launched its own crowdsourced content offering via AMV BBDO’s Flare Studio.

“Mattel has long been a champion for innovation in storytelling, including being one of the earliest adopters of Tongal over six years ago,” said Tongal CEO Rob Salvatore. “This multi-year deal is an exciting next step in our partnership and reinforces their commitment to creativity. We’re honored to be helping them develop new ways to connect with audiences around the world.”

The first work to emerge from the partnership will be a behind-the-scenes feature designed to complement the Amazon Original special An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win and will premiere some time next month.