American Girl | Company Profile, Marketing Contacts, Media Spend, Brands
American Girl makes the American Girls Collection of 18-inch, high-dollar dolls, including Kirsten and Molly. It also publishes "American Girl" magazine and American Girl books (more than 110 million copies sold) and sells room décor, clothing, and accessories, including items that match the dolls. ** NOTE: As a privately held subsidiary of a publicly traded parent company, annual revenue and employee count are not readily available. Therefore, the revenue and employee figures presented below are those of the parent company. **
|Main Telephone||(608) 836-4848|
|Main Fax||(608) 836-1999|
American Girl ContactsContacts (5/14)
|Katy D.||Senior Vice President & President||WI|
Sample of Associated Brands
|Kathy M.||Senior Vice President, Marketing||WI|
|Julia P.||Vice President, Global Marketing||WI|
|Julie P.||Director, Public Relations||WI|
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Score 62 – On the Brink: American Girl promotes marketing VP after naming new president
Subject: traditional, TV, digital, omnichannel, direct, social
Update (4/19): Around the same time AG named former News America CMO Katy Dickson as president and SVP (more below), the brand also promoted Julia Prohaska to VP of global brand marketing. Prohaska previously served as senior director of the AG global brand team and was director of integrated marketing for Springs Window Fashions before joining AG. Given her experience, look for Prohaska to lead strategic planning, brand development, multi-channel marketing and content strategy for the growing doll brand.
American Girl, which was bought by Mattel in 1998, still considers the brand as a “storyteller,” rather than merely a doll company. And unlike (now) sister-brand Barbie, AG dolls are ethnically diverse and come with detailed backstories and personalities that foster a deeper connection with girls aged 7-12 (generally, I probably held onto Samantha and Kirsten much longer than I should have). Since the company was founded in 1986, 29 million dolls have been sold, along with 153 million books.
Readers should keep the “storyteller” mindset in mind when pitching AG and approach with outside-the-box ideas that will continue to endear the brand to young girls and their parents. Read more about AG’s marketing below.
Prohaska’s promotion raises AG’s score from 54 to 62, placing it in “On the Brink” territory.
Below was originally published 3/18:
Opportunity: American Girl has tapped Katy Dickson as its new SVP and president to lead growth efforts, including branding and content marketing. While president hires do not usually signal fast paced agency roster and media strategy changes, Dickson is a former top marketer. So, she is more likely to affect marketing strategy or agency roster shifts, similar to a CMO hire.
As Barbie's less-antiquated sister brand, AG's message is devoted to celebrating girls, so sellers and agency readers should focus on getting that message to young girls and their millennials mothers who also grew up on the brand (I owned Samantha and have a soft-spot for the brand myself).
During last month's Q4 earnings call, Mattel CEO Christopher Sinclair said AG had recently experienced some “softness.” To counteract this, a newly announced content partnership with Amazon Studios will be leveraged to improve performance. This multi-year deal will see Amazon Studios develop live-action specials and episodic content based on AG characters. Sinclair also said AG is taking steps to “revitalize” the brand and expand consumer engagement after a disappointing holiday season.
No increase in media/marketing spend was mentioned specifically, but this doesn't mean that those who can offer high ROI paid media that increases engagement and awareness will be spurned. Sinclair noted that, for the last few months, AG was not doing what it needed to “get the brand's salience up,” so now is the time to approach.
Sellers – AG moved media from Publicis's here).
Experience: She joins AG from News America Marketing, where she served as CMO for just over a year (more here).
National TV Spend: In 2015, iSpot reports that AG spent $7.5 million on national TV ads. This is a 36.3% increase from 2014, when $5.5 million was spent. See charts for 2015 channel/show targeting.
AG has not run any national TV ads this year, but sellers should note that the company's TV buys usually come in Q4.
Digital Breakdown: Per Moat, AG ran 84 display ads on 259 publishers last year (3% mobile). Top ad destinations included webkinz.com, stardoll.com, nbcnews.com, momtastic.com and funbrain.com (88% placed site direct versus programmatic). AG also ran nine high impact and 12 video ads in 2015.
For comparison in 2014, AD ran 79 display and six high impact ads on 550 publishers (13% mobile; 95% placed site direct).
8400 Fairway Pl.
Middleton, WI 53562
Katy Dickson (Assistant: Mary Severson)
Senior Vice President & President
Vice President, Global Brand Marketing
Associate Brand Manager
(608) 836-4848 ext 4012
Senior Director, Direct Marketing
(608) 836-4848 ext 4270