Toy maker Hasbro is launching a new children’s brand called Hanazuki. The new brand is based on and driven by the company’s first ever digital cartoon series that debuted this month on YouTube and the YouTube Kids app. The branded series, produced by Hasbro Studios in collaboration with Titmouse Studios, contains 27 11-minute-long episodes and follows the space adventure of Hanazuki and her friends inspired by whimsical characters originally created by two Amsterdam artists.
Hasbro plans to launch a Hanazuki digital app in April, with branded consumer product offerings to follow throughout the year. A toy line inspired by the series will launch this summer featuring over 175 collectible figures and plush items, as well as a wearable device that “enables kids to share their moods.”
What Brands Need To Do
Launching an entire new product line based on a new cartoon series is a pretty ballsy move for toymakers, who typically relies on licensing existing IPs that are proven popular with children to introduce new products. However, the advance in digital video distribution and shifting habit in media consumption have made it possible for a cartoon series on YouTube to attract a sizeable audience to launch a new franchise off. In fact, a recent eMarketer study shows that about half of the U.S. children and teens spend over 3 hours watching YouTube every week.
This example shows that it is time for brands to reconsider their content strategy in the face of shifting media consumption and fragmented audience attention and start take advantage of the zero-cost digital distribution channels like YouTube and Twitch to reach a global audience.
Source: PSFK & Hasbro YouTube
Hasbro launched an iOS app that can bring your Play-Doh creations to life on your smartphone. The company debuted the Play-Doh Touch app, which uses the phone’s camera to scan Play-Doh creations made with its Touch SHAPE TO LIFE STUDIO set and transforms them into animated game characters that kids can play with in the app.
What Brands Should Do
With this app and its accompanying Play-Doh set, Hasbro is taking an innovative approach to driving digital engagement and adding a new dimension to their physical products so as to cater to shifting consumer habits. More brands, especially those in the CPG and entertainment fields, can benefit from adopting a similar approach to leverage today’s mobile devices to enhance their products and marketing experiences.
Header image courtesy of Hasbro press release
3D printing is one of the most buzzed about tech developments in the last year. From 3D printing candy to guns, it seems that the possibilities are endless. Yet, a new report titled Consumer 3D Printing & Scanning: Service Models, Devices & Opportunities 2014-2018 estimates sales of consumer 3D printers to not exceed one million units until 2018, up from the roughly 44,000 estimated sales by the end of this year. Like most nascent tech, consumer education and a lower price point will be critical to adoption. While we’ve seen some novel executions from the likes of Hasbro and Hershey’s which let consumers print their own versions of toys and chocolates respectively, more utilitarian use cases will catalyze uptake.
The Lab connected Hasbro and Initiative with Record Setter for a campaign that launches this week to promote the new Furby. Some of YouTube’s biggest stars are posting world records with Furby that are at times ridiculous but always awesome. Our favorite is the record for “Most Furbys Driven In A Car” which features Dave Days cheuffering 132 animated robotic toys. The clip has over 75,000 views on YouTube in just two days.
Hasbro’s Furby And Attachment Marketing
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