Hot Wheels builds temperamental car

Mattel is touring with its first-ever life-sized car that changes colours, promoting its festival stops with a TV buy and microsite.

Hot Wheels, a toy car brand that’s been around since the 1960s, is able to stay relevant in the digital age because of one key insight – they know what boys want, says Melissa Chau, Hot Wheels assistant brand manager for Mattel Canada.

For the first time ever, Hot Wheels has made the fantasy of many kids come true with a life-sized car that changes colour from blue to white, depending on a change in temperature. The travelling Ford Mustang will be displayed at more than 50 festivals across Canada to promote the Colour Shifters brand. The first stop on the Colour Shifters Road Trip is today at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, after which it will move to Halifax for the RBC Multicultural Festival.

A 15-second TV spot has been created for Canada by Ogilvy & Mather to promote the tour, and the dates will be posted on a microsite, The ad is paired with another 15-second ad that sells the Colour Shifters OctoBattle Playset and will air on Teletoon. The media buy was handled by Carat, while special paint for the life-sized car and the tour dates were arranged by TrojanOne.

‘In order to compete with all the innovative stuff that’s going on elsewhere, we’re able to remain popular because we’re grounded in car culture. We also know what boys want. So while we want to add that extra element of innovation, and new types of play, it’s also about that classic vehicle play that’s at the heart of the brand,’ Chau tells MiC.

The core demographic for Hot Wheels is boys aged three to six, but the brand also attracts collectors of all ages, she adds.