Mattel picks up online gongs

Mattel has scooped two awards in the Marketing Association?s annual Web Awards.
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Barbie’s new virtual world, Barbie Girls, won the award for Best Toy & Hobby 2007 Website for outstanding achievement in website development, and Tyco also collected an award for the NSECT force website.

The awards are judged on overall design, ease-of-use, interactivity, content, use of technology and innovation. More than 2,400 sites from 40 countries were adjudicated in 96 industry categories.

The innovative Barbie Girls platform combines an online community with a dedicated handheld console, which unlocks additional content online, plays MP3s and features interchangeable fashions. Since the site’s launch in April 2007, it has attracted over six million new users and is adding over 50,000 new users each day.

Girls' marketing manager Kirsty Bullen said: “This award illustrates the level of development and work that has gone into the Barbie Girls concept. Yet again, Barbie is transitioning to the next level of play and meeting the needs of today’s girls.”

This achievement marks the second such acknowledgement for the NSECT force website, which also won an Interactive Media Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2006. The NSECT Force site, designed by Oakwood Interactive DC, was launched last year to support the marketing campaign of Tyco’s robotic attack creature. The site allowed users to compete in on-line games, recruit new members to their squad and take part in competitions in order to build a personal points tally which would ultimately deliver an overall winner.

This year will also see expanded web presence across the board from Mattel. Key new sites launched include www.carstoys.co.uk, showcasing Mattel’s Disney/Pixar toy line, www.rapidassault.co.uk and www.airblade.uk.com for Tyco RC autumn launches. Also recently developed was the Hot Wheels Stunt Challenge website.

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