From ALDO to WowWee: Jessica Kalichman’s Masterstroke in Kid-Centric Marketing

Jessica Kalichman Head Shot

In the world of business and marketing, where trends are fluid and consumers are fickle, leaders are marked by their ability to adapt, innovate, and leave a lasting impact. One such leader is Jessica Kalichman. Kalichman has masterfully transitioned from an intern at ALDO, a renowned fashion footwear company, to an influential figure in the kid-centric marketing landscape at WowWee. Her journey offers valuable insights into the realm of contemporary marketing strategy and consumer engagement.

As an intern at ALDO, Kalichman’s duties initially revolved around maintaining the company’s intranet site and drafting internal memos. Soon, she expanded her skillset into copywriting and social media management, taking on a vital role in developing Call It Spring’s brand voice and online persona. It was her talent for content production, public relations, and branding that eventually paved her path toward a new horizon—the world of toys at WowWee.

Over the last five years, Kalichman’s marketing and public relations strategies have left indelible marks on numerous brands under the WowWee umbrella. From Fingerlings to My Squishy Little Dumplings, her efforts have propelled these brands to global acclaim. Her unique approach, combining creativity with strategic partnerships, has consistently fostered success and brand growth.

Navigating the volatile terrain of media consumption habits, especially among kids and parents, has been a significant challenge for Kalichman. However, her astute understanding of the shifting dynamics between different platforms, such as TV, OTT, Connected TV, YouTube, various streaming platforms, TikTok, Roblox, Instagram, and even Decentraland for an adult-centric toy play to appeal to “kidults” and adult toy collectors, combined with the support of a media-savvy internal team, has allowed her to quickly adapt and optimize content strategies.

Continuous innovation has been integral to Kalichman’s kid-centric marketing success.  For example, Kalichman has not shied away from experimenting with content creators. Recognizing the burgeoning potential of micro-influencers, she has strategically built a network of brand ambassadors, including a mix of parents, family channels, and kid influencers whose followers range from less than 10K to more than 5M, who promote a more robust engagement and conversion than their larger counterparts.

Loyal ambassadors include Kendra’s Sparkly Life, KB Toys Review, Emma & Olivia Play, and Adi and Jimmy Toys. Knowing how important influencers and genuine content creators are to this space in building authentic relationships and trust, WowWee also has what Kalichman calls “internal influencers” posting on their social channels like Fingerlings, My Squishy Little Dumplings, and My Avastars so audiences are met with familiar faces and an internal POV. Toy creator and WowWee VP Sydney Wiseman has also become an influencer creator in their network, building an audience of over 150K on TikTok and letting audiences inside the toy creation and marketing process. This strategy has seen Kalichman accelerate her clients’ social growth and allowed them to build incredibly positive relationships with their network and customers, generating extraordinary PR results.

Copy of Jessica Kalichman Got2Glow Fairy Finder

Learning and growing from past experiences have also been key to Kalichman’s marketing success. She emphasizes the importance of simplicity in product features and content strategies, highlighting that overcomplication often dilutes the clear direction. Passion and fun, she asserts, are integral to fostering creativity and encouraging an atmosphere where people feel excited about their roles. Additionally, she underscores the power of inclusion. By giving audiences a glimpse behind the scenes, WowWee has fostered a sense of community, directly influencing product offerings and evolution.

Kalichman envisions her future within the content production and social media space to include building 360-degree campaigns for globally recognized brands and entertainment properties. Kalichman’s accomplishments validate this vision becoming a reality as they speak volumes about her talent and leadership.

For example, Kalichman’s press and content strategy for the Fingerlings brand boosted sales by double in their second year, earning three Toy of the Year nominations overall and two wins. Thanks to Kalichman and her team, the number of press articles and TV mentions for Fingerlings is in the thousands. Positioned as a top toy between 2017–2019, Fingerlings can be found on all retailer and media lists, holiday must-haves, and general round-ups. On Kalichman’s part, this was strategic when pitching new items to the press and creating TV and digital commercials for new product offerings as it generated buzz and built demand at retail, resulting in many industry awards and accolades.

Fingerlings was highlighted at New York Toy Fair, and ensuring its presence in the WowWee booth was both exciting and engaging was crucial to Kalichman’s overall PR strategy. Highlighting new products and product line extensions through additional content opportunities, like the Untamed mini-series Untamed Adventures, was another tactic Kalichman used to build brand awareness and drive sales.

Kalichman’s creative direction for WowWee’s My Squishy Little Dumplings resulted in a partnership with Nickelodeon and an Emmy Nomination. Her portfolio boasts over 160 TV commercials, YouTube ads, instructional videos, and mini-series episodes, accumulating hundreds of millions of views.

Through these achievements, Jessica Kalichman’s mastery of marketing and public relations is evident. Her ingenuity, adaptability, and passion have not only propelled brands to new heights but have also reshaped the landscape of marketing, leaving an indelible mark. As she continues her journey, there is no doubt that Kalichman will remain a formidable force in marketing and public relations, ushering in innovative strategies and steering brands toward continued success.

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