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How a Classic Toy Became #1

The year-end holidays for Licensees, shoppers, retailers, Licensors are filled with excitement, chaos and a bit of fear to make fourth quarter projections a reality. It was the same for me back when I was a temporary employee working for the BBC in its New York licensing department.

Ten days before the New Year, a friend in the BBC America television advertising sales asked who was around in licensing. By then, most had departed for vacation but I was around to assist him. It seemed we had extra advertising space during the Doctor Who programming marathon leading up to the Christmas special.

The trick was pulling together four approved television ads in forty-eight hours. Fortunately, most of my contacts at the toy company, videogame division, DVD

and BBC online shop were still on 24/7. We were able to run four approved television ads and it turned out they were in multiple rotation!

Luckily, several new key retailers who were Doctor Who fans noticed the ads and started ordering more products. The toy licensee was thrilled by the response!

When Doctor Who began its new season in Spring, the toy licensee bought paid ads and tagged some retailers. It was fun watching the toy ad on prime time television! Since the program targeted adult fans, we didn’t violate ad rules.

What did result was the classic Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver trended as the Number #1 Toy on Amazon for that Saturday night!

My advice is to owners, temporary employees and everyone in between, is always be open for new opportunities and be the first to take action. “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity,” goes the famous Chinese proverb.


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