Hot Wheels ROCK!


I’m going to be doing a series of posts focusing on my favorite brands (highlighted by the ads to the right) and the types of marketing campaigns I’d like to see them do utilizing some of the new methodologies I’ve posted about. The first brand I’m going to do is Hot Wheels!

When I was a kid, Hot Wheels and Matchbox were one of my favorite toys and with the birth of my son last year, I started to think about how much I enjoyed watching these little dye cast toys race down the orange track when I was a young sprout. Recently, after buying several, I realize that Matchbox has chosen to focus on staying true to the original design of the car while Hot Wheels has expanded to include unreal designs. Oversized Engines, heinously large tires, extreme paint jobs all make the Hot Wheels brand immediately identifiable. For the purposes of this exercise, I’ll use myself as the target market.

The first thing I’d like to see is an online venue (maybe Facebook Hot Wheels group, which currently has 8,444 members or the Hot Wheels Collectors site) for collecting stories from men around my age about how they used to play with Hot Wheels. The stories would be in the form of forum posts and would be open for peer voting; opt in for story submission of course. The creators of the 100 best stories would receive free iPhones and a 2 year contract covered by Hot Wheels. (I wouldn’t tell them ahead of time that you were going to be giving iPhones away. You want real fans, not someone with ulterior motives.) On the iPhone would be the newly created Hot Wheels application (which could generate a lot of ad revenue once the CPM rates come back). This application would feature push updates for new Hot Wheels models coming out. Each new model (or maybe just the ones that are believed to be the most popular) would have their own microsite (with a .mobi version) and the microsites would be linked back to the Hot Wheels group on Facebook.

This site would feature images of the car and an animated version of the vehicle tearing across the landscape. On these microsites you’d be able to download an application featuring just that car. The app would tell a short story that the user could share with his child. The goal would be to get iPhone applications for all Hot Wheels so users would feel compelled to collect them as they do the car.  (The larger goal at work is to get the Dads to introduce Hot Wheels to their kids.) These apps would cost $1 per download; the same price as the car itself. If you owned the physical Hot Wheels car you could enter in a coupon code from the inside of the packaging and you’d get a 20% discount on the cost of the application. The app would also update when the model is updated. Hot Wheels models are sometimes updated to have different looks year over year. The Qombee is a perfect example having launched in 2006.

Yes. I’m starting off with the potential for numerous iPhone applications. We as marketers need to encourage the use of smart phones in the US and the iPhone is the best place to start given the demographics of its users. Why microsites? To tap into the Internet/search engines, network with the Hot Wheels group and address users that don’t have an iPhone. This campaign needs to combine terrestrial Internet and the mobile Internet via applications, since they are the same thing except for user behavior. These sites would feature different information based on whether you were coming from a land line or a mobile device.

The application the iPhone came with would also have a QR code reader that allows the user to scan the QR codes on Hot Wheels packaging. When a user scanned it it would update the Hot Wheels group via Twitter as to what models were at a specific location displaying them on a map (like Zappos); thus making the consumer a geo-targeting conduit on behalf of Hot Wheels. Users who want a specific model need only pull the map and conduct a search. If it’s not in their area, they could have the store ship it.

The other thing that Hot Wheels would do is feature eCommerce on their site. (I know. I know. Crazy talk!) I can’t imagine why Hot Wheels does not allow users to buy their cars online. eCommerce would also be embedded in the iPhone  push notifications about new models coming out. These little cars are the ultimate compulsive buy and enabling customers to buy on the fly will make Hot Wheels much more money.

There is also the opportunity to have Hot Wheels fans create their own stories which would be used as the storyline for Hot Wheels branded video games. This type of collaboration is easily had with Hot Wheels existing fan base. Again these stories would be voted on by their peers and the winner would get a guided tour of the Hot Wheels Hall of Fame at the Peterson Automotive Museum, featuring life size versions of the Hot Wheels models!

And now for the monetization part:

  • Revenue from iPhone apps
  • Revenue from increased product sales via conduit marketing
  • Revenue from Hot Wheels games (if fans help create it; it will be more compelling)
  • Revenue from ads in iPhone apps
  • Revenue from increased brand depth
  • “Make it compulsive!”
    • Real time revenue from eCommerce
    • Increased revenue from push notifications featuring new models

Not sure of exact numbers since Hot Wheels has not called me yet. Guys. I’m ready when you are!