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How relevant is Fisher-Price to Generation Y Moms? This question helped drive the brand refresh that Fisher-Price launched this year. The refresh includes a new ad campaign, website, Facebook presence, mobile applications and global blogger program. We spoke with Lisa Mancuso, SVP Marketing at Fisher-Price, to better understand how the 83-year-old brand is maintaining its awareness with young Moms.

Brandon Gutman: How did you initiate your brand refresh?

Lisa Mancuso: We dove into the Mom conversation and gathered insights about Gen Y parents via thousands of conversations, observations and interactions. These insights informed our brand refresh, which included modernizing the Fisher-Price positioning and tag— Joy of Learning— that celebrates the discoveries of early childhood and the link between play and learning. We know parents and children are learning every day and Fisher-Price is here to help.

Last year, we brought the Joy of Learning to life with a fresh, new advertising campaign that moves beyond the traditional functional ads to spots that engage on a deep emotional level. We tapped acclaimed American film and television director Bob Giraldi to direct the new spots, which reflect realism in family playtime and capture the beautiful moments of bonding between parent and child as they play and learn together.

Tell us about how you survey Moms globally. What were some of your recent findings?

Babies haven’t changed, but moms, dads and the world around them have—so, at Fisher-Price, we’re changing with them. Listening to Mom is the way we do business. We’re guided by key insights—gathered from online listening studies, focus groups, and quantitative research from around the world. In some of our recent discussions with Gen Y parents, we heard that Mom today feels pressure from everywhere and everyone. We want her to know: You know best and we’re here to support you with products and solutions that will enrich your family’s lives.

We also learned that Moms do most of their parenting and product research online. They listen to and rely on other moms for suggestions and advice (vs. advice from traditional experts). These are other moms who’ve been there, in their shoes.

Lisa Mancuso of Fisher-Price

You just re-launched Fisher-Price.com— how is it more effective? What are you proudest of?

We want to be where Mom is and understand that we need to be as digitally savvy as she is. We re-launched Fisher-Price.com in June, featuring 30 percent more “Mom” with Mom testimonials, reviews and points of view. Facebook received an update too; in July we re-launched our global presence, including geo-targeting. And we’ll have new presence via country-specific mobile apps coming this fall.

I’m proudest of the global consistency and care we’ve taken with the refresh of the Fisher-Price digital footprint to better connect with Mom…and, importantly, to help Mom better connect with other moms.

You referenced mom-to-mom advice sharing and, in the digital space, Mommy bloggers seem to be a big opportunity for Fisher-Price— how do you engage with bloggers?

Bloggers are a big part of our strategy. We know that more than two-thirds of mothers consider blogs to be a reliable resource for parenting information, so we have created a robust program to connect with parenting bloggers around the world. We call them our Play Ambassadors. These parenting bloggers—in the U.S., Canada and Brazil so far, with plans to expand other markets—have active communities and their content is often syndicated across platforms and by other media. We share with them exclusive and first-look access to some of our newest products, programs, in-house experts and partners—helping them (and ultimately their audiences) understand better what their children are experiencing. What’s pivotal about the Play Ambassador program is that it is a consistent, ongoing initiative, helping to tell our story broadly by reaching various networks across key markets the country.

Explain your Integrated 360 Degree Digital Ecosystem.

Historically, we viewed digital as an “add on” to the marking function, but now we see it as the heart of everything we do. We recognize that we can engage directly with Mom in ways that fit her more-digital lifestyle. This space has become a true focus for us and integral to our brand outreach.

We see our digital efforts as a seamless ecosystem. We will be wherever Mom is. From our website, to mobile applications to social-media— Fisher-Price will be there providing Mom with the content that she is looking for in that moment.

Follow Brandon on Twitter: @brandongutman

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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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