Mattel – Thomas the Tank Engine

Exploring the world of the child through their eyes.

The Challenge:

Mattel had two specific challenges:

1. How to create a relevant, compelling story for the Thomas and Engine Train for the Indian market.
2. Understanding the mindset of the parent and child towards toys, play (especially young moms with children in the ages of 2 – 4 yrs).

This was critical because the shelf life of Thomas and Tank Engine was limited.

The Ormax Approach:

We used the Ormax Product Usability Framework to unearth the mindsets of parents and children and the Forward Emulation Age (FEA) framework to understand how long would they play with this toy!

The user experience with the product – Thomas and Engine Train was studied over a 3 week period.

Every week, we had a small conversation with the mom, in addition she shared videos

This helped us understand the parents doubts, apprehensions, needs for her child

Moments of Truth:

1. The mom and dad’s approach to parenting and toys were completely different

2. Dads in fact preferred buying expensive, tech toys for their children and indulging the child!

3. Moms were fussed about role playing, education and overall development of the child

4. Importantly, Thomas and Engine Train made more sense to the child when they watched content around the same – this helped build a bond and affinity with Thomas as a character (like they would with Doraemon or Chhota Bheem)

The study gave the brand team content and marketing related cues on how to make Thomas and Engine Train relevant to the Indian market. (Like Peppa Pig)