Building a Brighter Future via a National Toy Brand, the U.N. and Social Media Influencers

Seeking to elevate the relevance of its Thomas the Tank™ brand among parents, Mattel turned to Communications Strategy Group (CSG®) to amplify a partnership between the animated children’s series Thomas & Friends™ and the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). CSG’s goals were to increase awareness and create buzz around the partnership and drive parents and families to the Thomas & Friends resources in the most impactful and cost-effective manner.

impressions generated from
micro-influencers and intermediary organizations


sustainable development
goals supported

A “Tip of the Spear” Strategy

For this four-month engagement, CSG devised a strategic plan to reach SDG-oriented parents by leveraging niche bloggers, micro-influencers and influential organizations with highly engaged audiences specific to one of the six sustainable development goals. (These included Quality Education, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production and Life on Land). Each SDG was used as a “tip of the spear” to drive visibility for the initiative and to compel consumer behaviors that would demonstrate relevant experiences with Thomas & Friends.

Reaching To and Through Relevant Intermediaries to Reach Like-Minded Parents

CSG developed sharable materials based on Thomas & Friends content, including conversation starters for parents, playful learning ideas, templated social copy, and more. Targeted micro-influencers were chosen based on their alignment with one of the six SDGs, and general parenting and family bloggers with previous content aligned with these topics were also activated. Relevant intermediary organizations received templated social copy and newsletter copy to share with their followers and networks, while bloggers were able to distill the SDG and Thomas & Friends framework into content that made sense for their followers.

CSG was able to translate 15 key micro-influencers into nearly 17 million impressions in support of the Thomas & Friends United Nations partnership, bringing education for a brighter future to families around the world.

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