Mattel is recognizing the influence YouTube Kids has among young consumers. As reported by Business Insider, the toy company — which owns brands like Barbie, Fisher-Price, and Hot Wheels — has announced an “eight-figure” upfront deal with YouTube’s child-friendly platform.
The deal comes as Mattel is increasing its spend in the digital media world. The company’s Chief Content Officer, Catherine Balsam-Schwaber, said Mattel has seen its commitment to online advertising go up over the past year. “This is a first of a kind and a first ever such deal for Mattel,” Balsam-Schwaber told Business Insider. “We’re really excited. This is a reflection of a shift we’re seeing in digital media. With anything that is new [you wait to see if there’s] momentum. That has to become clear. But you see this generation after generation as media habits change.”
YouTube Kids, which is available on both desktop and mobile, is a big boon for advertisers because it allows them to test the digital video waters without having to worry about the brand safety concerns that have been a thorn in YouTube’s side in recent months. While YouTube Kids’ filtering system is not flawless, the platform generally does a good job of keeping its videos age-appropriate, making it an appealing choice for parents, kids, and the brands that hope to reach those families.
Once upon a time, there were concerns that some branded content on YouTube Kids violated FTC regulations, but the increasing amount of spend now being devoted to the platform is an indicator that advertisers may not be overly worried about that issue. Mattel will have to be careful about the sort of content it puts on YouTube Kids, but the toy brand also has a lot to gain from reaching the service’s users.