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 Post subject: Mattel brainiacs at it again; moms fight back!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:14 am 
Wonderdog
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Apparently it wasn't just JLU that moms are blamed for....

http://blog.sfgate.com/sfmoms/2013/03/13/are-moms-to-blame-for-mattels-stagnant-hot-wheels-sales/

Full article at URL above, but thought it was funny:

To address its “mom” problem, Mattel is making an effort to reach out to moms, who are known to do most of the toy shopping in the house these days. They’re hosting events for mom bloggers and expanding their website to include content explaining the benefits of playing with toy cars (they’re great for hand-eye coordination) and tips on how to play with them (you can use them to play math games). Mattel thinks moms won’t buy a toy unless they understand how it works and see its benefits.

The campaign seems to be backfiring. Some moms are saying they feel insulted.

“It assumes that moms are stupid and that just because we don’t play with Hot Wheels we don’t understand the cars,” Magda Pecsenye, a mother of two and a parenting writer at AskMoxie.org, told Today Moms. “That seems like an enormous leap — to ignorance on the part of the consumer — especially of such a basic product.”

“I’m not a down-on-the-floor mom, so even if I were CEO of Mattel I still wouldn’t be having long play sessions with Hot Wheels with my kids,” Pecsenye added. “It’s not my style. That doesn’t mean I’m ignorant or stupid or need to be ‘educated’ on the product. It’s a toy car. I get it.”

Another mother, Rina Neiman, chimed in and told Today Moms: “[We] can be blamed for many things, and I tell my son that he will eventually blame me for many things in his life, but falling toy sales? Please! Not due to our household, that’s for sure.”

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 Post subject: Re: Mattel brainiacs at it again; moms fight back!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:19 am 
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And BOOM goes the dynamite.

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 Post subject: Re: Mattel brainiacs at it again; moms fight back!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:27 am 
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Quote:
It’s a toy car. I get it.


This made me laugh out loud.


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 Post subject: Re: Mattel brainiacs at it again; moms fight back!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:56 am 
there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident
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This is just plain insulting. Mattel thinks the poor wimmin folk need help raising their children and that the way to do it is to buy their crappy, overpriced toys. This is pretty cynical and stupid even for a business comglomerate.

And ever notice that Mattel always feels the need to blame other people for their own failures? I'm glad they're getting some pushback here. We fanboys seem to just take it. Probably because the few bloggers who DO have toy access could lose it if they burned their bridges. Moms have nothing to lose.

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 Post subject: Re: Mattel brainiacs at it again; moms fight back!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:30 am 
Wonderdog
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Bryan Long wrote:
Quote:
It’s a toy car. I get it.


This made me laugh out loud.


as did I. :mrgreen:

It was posted over at the Hot Wheels site, where the eyerolls were too numerous to count.

One has to guess that Mattel uses the marketing research company of those 3 titans of intellectual prowess, Larry, Moe and Curly.

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 Post subject: Re: Mattel brainiacs at it again; moms fight back!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:53 am 
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Damn you, Autocorrect!
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Fone Bone wrote:
This is just plain insulting.

I just find it incredible that no one at Mattle realized that before this blog was released.

C'mon Mattle, you're insulting the people that buy most of your toys and in the proccess killing off the future fanboys across the nation. EVERYBODY knows that you don't want to upset the moms. :wink:

I say that half jokingly but I seriously think they need to do some immediate back stepping. What were they thinking.


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 Post subject: Re: Mattel brainiacs at it again; moms fight back!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:04 am 
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For Mattel this goes WAY beyond falling toy sales... there is a fundamental disconnect with that company and the rest of the world with respect to toys, assortments, prices, customers and general purchasing patterns (stores, online, etc.) overall.

They truly don't get how severe the landscape has changed. They continue to attempt working within their old-school business model (comfort zone), without trying to resolve what's NOT been working for years (all the way back to JLU assortments/pricing and before).

In order to combat what they think are falling sales (yet really way too high priced product, poor distribution, crappy product, etc.), they look at segments of customers... "collectors" vs "regular customers (moms)" to place blame or target. Why? A customer is a customer at the end of the day. They truly need to develop a new business model, lower base prices and ultimately figure out what doesn't work anymore in 2013, that did in 2003 or earlier.

Mattel needs to stop blaming others basically... and look inward towards their issues and generating solutions.

Good grief,

geoffdude


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 Post subject: Re: Mattel brainiacs at it again; moms fight back!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:24 pm 
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Hot Wheels is about to have its worst year in a longggg time. I see Hot Wheels collectors just leaving tons of stuff. Too many people are in the know they no longer hold the market hostage everyone is out searching for T-hunts and $upas lol. Also this year is the worst for Treasure Hunts and even casting lots of hardcore Hot Wheels guys are cutting back big time, they feel insulted. Mattel does have a very bad disconnect as Geofdude stated very well.

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 Post subject: Re: Mattel brainiacs at it again; moms fight back!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:29 pm 
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"And why don’t moms get Hot Wheels? Simple. Mom 'has never played with them' "
...Seriously? :roll:
Whew. I could buy into the idea that little girls don't play with Hot Wheels these days, but in my generation (you know, the generation those 'moms' belong to), everybody played with them. They made noticeably 'girly' cars, and they were one of the few toys my sister and I could typically play with together.

...Nice try, Mattel.

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 Post subject: Re: Mattel brainiacs at it again; moms fight back!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:27 am 
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The more I think about it, the more disgusted I am with this idea. I'd love to hear some of the Mattel defenders try to defend this. Anyone?

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 Post subject: Re: Mattel brainiacs at it again; moms fight back!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:52 am 
Damn you, Autocorrect!
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Sure, why not. I'm sure this is no surprise to anyone but I see no problem with this and it seems the article has taken what Mattel has said to the extreme. Add that to you can't move your mouse 2 inches on a web page these days without finding some whiner baby crying about how someone hurted their feelings and of course reactions like this are going to happen. Such is the timeless art of telling the news these days....sadly.

Mattel isn't trying to call anyone stupid here and anyone who thinks that really needs to buy a clue that a company, any company would do that. Ok, well there are idiots I'm sure in corporations I am sure but it's not like Mattel had a meeting regarding this and said, "Look, we have identified the problem and mothers are stupid so we need to educate them on cars and why they are fun". They are not laying blame on anyone here just as they did not lay blame on mother's for JLU.

They do two things here that are essential to business in both cases.

1. They identify their biggest demographic that has the most buying power, in this case mothers.
2. They put a plan in place to try and market their product to that demographic.

Is this the right course of action to gain sales? Maybe not, time will tell. It certainly doesn't hurt to market your product to the group with the group that does the most shopping. Ohh look, a .99 cent car, that is cheap I'll get little Johnny that is not a bad idea to put in a shoppers head. Would they have better luck going after kids and collectors? Maybe. Trial and error is the name of the game.

I guess the flip side to this would be how to market Barbies to men. Not really the same thing as men aren't your biggest customer base with the most buying power but if Mattel said "well men (unless that is your thing) don't play with dolls and they don't understand how cool it is to change their dresses and comb their hair" I would completely agree with that, because I don't understand why that is fun. I wouldn't feel insulted in the least. It's not calling men stupid. It's just making a statement that is for the most part true. Men don't typically play with dolls just as women do not typically play with cars.

If you feel insulted or find that all you can do is whine about a company, point out how stupid they are and act like you are smarter and can do a better job then they can I'd have 2 things to say on that.

1. Why the hell are you still buying products from a company you so obviously despise? If I was as mad as some people in this thread with a company there is NO WAY i would be spending my $$ on them.

or

2. Go work for them and show them how it is done.

It's always easier to talk about how other people are idiots as opposed to actually doing something about it I guess.

Their revenue has risen steadily each year up Last time I checked it was 6.4 Billion in 2012 and expected to go over 7 Billion in 2014. Their stock is doing pretty well too up over a dollar in Q4 2012.

It's like my favorite economist Thomas Sowell says “One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain”

If you are insulted over this as a mother then keep buying your legos and action figures or maybe take a minute and get down on the floor and play cars with your kid and see if they have fun playing. It isn't about YOU it's about your kid having fun and seeing the joy in that.

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 Post subject: Re: Mattel brainiacs at it again; moms fight back!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:51 am 
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ian5555 wrote:
you can't move your mouse 2 inches on a web page these days without finding some whinerbaby crying about how someone hurted their feelings

Not entirely unlike what you're doing right here.

ian5555 wrote:
Such is the timeless art of telling the news these days....sadly.

This is "news?"
ian5555 wrote:
They are not laying blame on anyone here just as they did not lay blame on mother's for JLU.

I would argue that they kinda are, and they kinda did.

ian5555 wrote:
They do two things here that are essential to business in both cases.

1. They identify their biggest demographic that has the most buying power, in this case mothers.
2. They put a plan in place to try and market their product to that demographic.

Agreed, but I think the thing we're all talking about right here is how clueless and tone-deaf their approach was. Essentially, they are trying to market to people by treating them like the reason they aren't buying product is because they don't understand it. As opposed to, say, taking a good hard look at themselves and figuring out exactly why they aren't reaching the numbers they want. You know, personal responsibility?

ian5555 wrote:
I guess the flip side to this would be how to market Barbies to men. Not really the same thing as men aren't your biggest customer base with the most buying power but if Mattel said "well men (unless that is your thing) don't play with dolls and they don't understand how cool it is to change their dresses and comb their hair" I would completely agree with that, because I don't understand why that is fun. I wouldn't feel insulted in the least. It's not calling men stupid. It's just making a statement that is for the most part true. Men don't typically play with dolls just as women do not typically play with cars.

Honestly, I think the reality is that parents buy the toys their kids want unless there's a good reason not to. If my daughter wants a doll, and I feel she deserves to have it, and the price is fair, I'll buy the doll. I could care less if I can relate to it, I just want her to get the maximum enjoyment from my toy dollar. So again, maybe the reason Mattel isn't selling Hot Wheels is because Hot Wheels aren't appealing to kids in the current environment? Nah, that couldn't be it.

ian5555 wrote:
If you feel insulted or find that all you can do is whine about a company, point out how stupid they are and act like you are smarter and can do a better job then they can I'd have 2 things to say on that.

1. Why the hell are you still buying products from a company you so obviously despise? If I was as mad as some people in this thread there is NO WAY i would be spending my $$ on them.

or

2. Go work for them and show them how it is done.

Insulted, whining, despising... You're making some big jumps here, as you often tend to do. I'm pretty sure we're all just observing and commenting. Maybe the reason we're not all sending resumes to Mattel is because we don't actually care quite as much as you seem to think we do.

ian5555 wrote:
Their revenue has risen steadily each year up Last time I checked it was 6.4 Billion in 2012 and expected to go over 7 Billion in 2014. Their stock is doing pretty well too up over a dollar in Q4 2012.

And yet they're still whining about their low sales numbers! If they don't like it, maybe they should do something about it! Like get out of the toy business and start a hedge fund!

ian5555 wrote:
If you are insulted over this as a mother then keep buying your legos and action figures or maybe take a minute and get down on the floor and play cars with your kid and see if they have fun playing. It isn't about YOU it's about your kid having fun.

Look, the moms aren't asking for this. It's Mattel who sees this as a problem and is trying to reach out to the moms here. And they're going about it all wrong, as evidenced by the comments section attached to the article. If you're insulting the people you're reaching out to,that's a problem. That's what the conversation we're having here is all about, moreso than our personal feelings.

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 Post subject: Re: Mattel brainiacs at it again; moms fight back!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:03 am 
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Has Mattel considered that $1 billion (BTW, nothing to sneeze at) may be the ceiling for their toy cars segment?

This is a PR blunder by Mattel. They could've worded their responses better, no doubt. Instead of "what they aren't doing (i.e. moms)" they should've gone with "what we as a company could do / need to do" to "answer" the question of stagnant sales.

At least the blame game isn't restricted to their consumers of action figures. I guess it's across the board.

I honestly didn't realize Hot Wheels & Matchbox were both Mattel brands. Perhaps that's a problem in of itself.


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 Post subject: Re: Mattel brainiacs at it again; moms fight back!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:23 am 
Damn you, Autocorrect!
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ed case wrote:
Not entirely unlike what you're doing right here.


How is that like I am doing here? No one hurt my feelings so this is not a pot kettle black situation but nice try.

ed case wrote:
This is "news?"


It is a news site. Sorry, I thought the SFGate News was a dead give away.


ed case wrote:
I would argue that they kinda are, and they kinda did.


Ok, where did Mattel say that? They identified a problem (sales), made an assessment of how to increase them (mom's don't play with cars, they are a large demographic of buyers, let's try to get them to buy our product) and of why it is a problem and offered a solution (Marketing plan geared towards moms). I fail to see where Mattel is pointing the finger and saying it is the Mom's fault. Maybe the author is and that confuses you.


ed case wrote:
Agreed, but I think the thing we're all talking about right here is how clueless and tone-deaf their approach was. Essentially, they are trying to market to people by treating them like the reason they aren't buying product is because they don't understand it. As opposed to, say, taking a good hard look at themselves and figuring out exactly why they aren't reaching the numbers they want. You know, personal responsibility?


Why is it clueless? If I have product A and I want to increase sales I do 2 things. I identify a group with buying power and I devise a marketing strategy to get their $$$. In addition where does Mattel say mom's do not "understand" cars?

What I read was, mom's don't play with cars from the Mattel quote not that they don't "understand them". The author said that, not Mattel.


ed case wrote:
Honestly, I think the reality is that parents buy the toys their kids want unless there's a good reason not to. If my daughter wants a doll, and I feel she deserves to have it, and the price is fair, I'll buy the doll. I could care less if I can relate to it, I just want her to get the maximum enjoyment from my toy dollar. So again, maybe the reason Mattel isn't selling Hot Wheels is because Hot Wheels aren't appealing to kids in the current environment? Nah, that couldn't be it.


Good points, there are all kinds of parents but yes I think you are right it has a lot to do with what the kid wants. I think maybe Mattel is thinking more about parents relating to their kid and specifically how a mom relates to their kids because they are the primary shopper. Course this isn't to say women don't play with cars but it isn't the norm. I don't always like to do the things my daughter or 2 nephews and nieces do but I do them to spend time with them. If you can get the parent on board with a product isn't that a good thing even if the kid might not be into it? A mother giving a kid a toy car and saying "here, see if you like playing with this" or "let's build this track together and play cars" is not a bad thing.

ed case wrote:
Insulted, whining, despising... You're making some big jumps here, as you often tend to do. I'm pretty sure we're all just observing and commenting. Maybe the reason we're not all sending resumes to Mattel is because we don't actually care quite as much as you seem to think we do.


The amount of Mattel bashing on this website says otherwise.


ed case wrote:
And yet they're still whining about their low sales numbers! If they don't like it, maybe they should do something about it! Like get out of the toy business and start a hedge fund!


Where is Mattel whining here? They have noticed that sales have become stagnant with regard to their toy car lines and have come up with a marketing plan to increase sales. I fail to see where they are laying blame or whining about this.


ed case wrote:
Look, the moms aren't asking for this. It's Mattel who sees this as a problem and is trying to reach out to the moms here. And they're going about it all wrong, as evidenced by the comments section attached to the article. If you're insulting the people you're reaching out to,that's a problem. That's what the conversation we're having here is all about, moreso than our personal feelings.


Since when does anyone ASK to be targeted as a potential buyer? Ok, never say never but typically companies go after buyers not the other way around. I guess I see this as the author creating more of a stink then Mattel did here and as is the norm on the Interwebs, people don't read they just react in a negative light.

It is funny you brought up the comments section though as at just a glance I saw quite a few who quote the author and then proceed to burn Mattel for what the author interpreted as what Mattel said as if the author quoted Mattel directly :lol: :lol: Maybe a poor choice of words by the Mattel executive saying they don't "get" why cars are cool but I'm pretty sure the intent was not to insult anyone with that statement.

As I said before if he said "Men don't get why dolls are cool" would you be offended? I wouldn't.

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 Post subject: Re: Mattel brainiacs at it again; moms fight back!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:37 am 
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C'mon, Ian!

Having you read the Constitution lately?

We have the right not to be offended! By anything! Ever!

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