Promotions: Mattel Hot Wheels Driving License

Hot Wheels die-cast metal cars were launched by Mattel in India in 1990. They were positioned as high speed international cars for boys 3-12 years old. By 1992, the brand has attained about 10% share with competition largely coming from smuggled goods of MatchBox and Corgi from Hongkong, Taiwan, and Singapore.

Mattel faced two main problems:

1. Repeat purchase of their Hot Wheels cars was low

2. Most retailers were not stocking Hot Wheels (priced at Rs. 25 each) as they preferred to stock high priced toys having more margins

So Mattel has to design a promotion programme to increase the repeat purchase and to increase the number of outlets that sell Hot Wheels cars.

Promotion Vehicle Chosen: Television Commercial (TVC), In-store display

A 15-second network TV commercial and in-store display material supporting the ad were designed for this objective. The promotion came up with a creative concept of giving driving license to kids. The TVC and the point-of-purchase (POP) material announced that during the two month period, purchasers of Mattel Hot Wheels cars will be given a driving license. The child receiving it was encouraged to paste a photograph of himself in the space provided, much as in an adult’s real driving license.

The driving license showed models of cars to be introduced in the following months, enabling the child to look out for these ask them by name. This is used to drive the repeat purchases of Hot Wheels and the consumer pull will eventually make the retailers stock the products. Also, along with the driving license the child was given a journey card encouraging him to note down how many miles did he drive. This brought the brand closer to the child.


Mattel has sold 3,00,000 Hot Wheels cars in two months and a huge increase in distribution is achieved as stockists who never stocked Mattel started to buy huge stocks. This is one of the best promotions involving both ATL and BTL created for the kid segment in India.


6 thoughts on “Promotions: Mattel Hot Wheels Driving License

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