With Tubular, we were able to gain an understanding of what else was going on outside of our own YouTube analytics and stay on the cutting edge of content creation.

Isaac Quiroga, Director of Video Engagement, Mattel

In 2019, Kids Entertainment has generated more views (183B) on YouTube than Sports (38B) and Gaming (116B) combined. With that enormous scale, how can a business stay relevant with their audiences in today’s attention economy?

Global toy brand Mattel did just that by harnessing the power of social video intelligence to know what their fans wanted to watch, play with, and buy. As a result, they were the fifth most-watched brand in the world in 2018. 

But don’t take our word for it, Mattel’s average monthly performance on Facebook speaks for itself:


Source: Tubular Labs

The key to their success? According to Isaac Quiroga, Director of Video Engagement at Mattel, “We looked at what types of formats were resonating with a particular audience segment and would create videos in many of these formats and then test them. It’s impossible to know how audiences will react to content without testing and iteration.” 

Creating videos that audiences love with smart content strategies

At the end of the day, creators are trying to deliver the best content experiences through high-quality videos. 

One aspect of quality that Mattel prides itself in is strong storytelling, which is incredibly important for IP-driven brands. They start with character and story and ultimately create products to extend that storyline. “So we get to create a cast of characters that we ultimately get to put in our content and unlock kids imaginations,” said Quiroga. 

Related story: What brands can learn from Barbie's social video success

But good stories alone aren’t enough to cut through today’s highly competitive content marketplace. In order to stand above the field, the world’s leading media, agency, and brand Creators use data to inform intelligent content-strategies, and Mattel is no different.  


For a while, they focused on views, as they were the main indicator of audience interest and purchase intent. It didn’t matter if it was paid or organic views, either — all of it seemed to be working.

But their approach would eventually evolve after their insights team found that engagements are more compelling to a specific property’s audience. “[Engagements] are a better indicator of how audiences interact with content. We adjusted our approach at that point, and figured out which viewership to engagement ratios we had to achieve to reach our goals,” said Quiroga. 

Webinar: Key Lessons From Mattel - Building & Scaling an Audience-Driven Video Program

The brand publisher: a paradigm shift

Every month, 22M publishers upload almost 100M videos online, resulting in about 1.5 trillion views and 30 billion engagementsIn order to differentiate themselves, brands must adapt to audience preferences by becoming storytellers-first. This begins with a simple paradigm shift: brands need to think like media companies. 

Mattel’s team of YouTube strategists, marketers and creatives publish a constant stream of first-class video content, have a footprint in all social-video arenas, and consistently monitor key performance indicators from views to watch time. Their content strategy is much like a living organism, everchanging based on audience feedback. 

D2C content experiences on digital video give consumers unlimited opportunities to remain engaged with the brands they love. By creatively leveraging these channels, brands can level the playing field with established media channels, growing and retaining passionate audiences of their own, provided they know how.

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