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Clear-Com: Creating a Cohesive Communications Experience in the Toy Industry

Clear-Com is a manufacturer of electronic intercom products, widely used to enable stage management and crew communications in theatre, filmmaking, video and television production, concerts, professional sports competitions, special events and audiovisual presentations.

Mattel partnered with Clear-Com® to develop a robust voice communications solution for their corporate video production team, ensuring seamless connectivity for customer presentations and video production.

Mattel partnered with Clear-Com to improve corporate video production, utilizing their Arcadia IP platform and FreeSpeak II technology for real-time communication across multiple locations, streamlined workflow, and fiber infrastructure, thereby enhancing customer engagement strategies.

From Barbie to Hot Wheels, there’s a lot of tech and prep work that goes into customer presentations and video production that supports a company’s branding and messaging. That’s why premier toy brand Mattel turned to Clear-Com® to create a cohesive and robust voice communications solution for their corporate video production team to stay always connected.

For Mattel, its customer presentations and corporate productions are all about education, engagement, and collaboration. For the process to remain unified and consistently deliver a positive customer experience, Mattel’s Senior AV Technician and Audio Engineer, Jose Robles trusts Clear-Com, testing their system constantly as a fail-proof communication tool for his AV production and corporate team.

With a mission to create innovative products and experiences that inspire and entertain, Mattel has a sophisticated corporate video production unit to capture its audience’s attention and tell its products’ stories – from webinars to toy demos, sales presentations, and investor pitches. These types of corporate communications and live events allow Mattel to adapt its message in a compelling way. Robles is no stranger to overcoming the challenges of event production and has regularly assembled the solutions needed to make a customer event, live sporting event, or concert come together seamlessly.

“Clear-Com offered us a network-friendly communications system to tie our six studios and our main corporate tower together – an extensive infrastructure that we need to keep connected,” comments Robles. “We host many live event presentations with broadcast quality content and technology, bringing people together from all over the world, and have created an environment for high-value production and presentations. That’s why we opted for the Arcadia® IP platform and FreeSpeak II® technology – it’s perfect for our corporate AV over IP environment that requires a large deployment of wireless users across multiple locations. We often must expand our communications to multiple venues and integrate outside participants or remote members of our production team. By using our existing IP network, we can quickly and reliably expand our intercom system.”

Arcadia Central Station is Mattel’s central communications hub that delivers a workflow platform helping the company deliver engaging brand experiences for its customers, including the likes of Disney, Amazon, Costco, and more. Arcadia is tied into network switches, utilizes Clear-Com’s  LQ Series of IP connectivity interfaces, and supports third-party Dante devices. Together, this has created a smart IP communications solution across the entire Mattel comms infrastructure. Robles and his AV team can now manage all communications from a single location, without the need to have matrixed intercom systems at different ends of the network connections. The Clear-Com configuration software ensures the AV team can quickly set up users or troubleshoot without sending an on-site team to one of the production studios. Plus, the system can be easily expanded by adding more transceivers and beltpacks.

“We also added fiber throughout our buildings, which combined with our Arcadia IP intercom system has been a game-changer,” adds Robles. “This is helping us futureproof our infrastructure against increased video bandwidth, allowing us to transmit more data, audio, and video. I can simply patch any channel with another building now through fiber. Plus, we can transmit our content and communicate effectively during our productions over longer distances than ever before, and without signal interference. All ideal for our campus-wide AV systems, conferences, and presentations.”

From pre-production to each corporate production, dependable and coordinated communications are a priority for Mattel. “Clear, instant, and direct communication between the camera crew, producer, lighting crew, floor manager, and the rest of our team in any of our live productions is critical to ensure everything is working smoothly,” continues Robles. “It’s an immediate connection, so our team can talk and listen in real-time with their hands-free.”

The pandemic showed Mattel that remote was becoming the new reality, and today their production team is using a hybrid model that works well for them. During the pandemic, Mattel’s corporate productions and customer presentations continued during a period when many companies ceased operations. With the assistance of Clear-Com’s IP capabilities, the company provided remote access and comms for their technical team and customers to participate and interact in productions regardless of their location. This exercise proved that remote production and all the essential team communications around it could work well. “We’re just providing our team with the right tools to perform their job offsite, and they’ve all really embraced this IP-centric approach,” continues Robles.

Mattel also opted for Agent-IC mobile app licenses, which add intercom functionality on mobile devices. This app connects to Mattel’s network, allowing remote production team members access to its intercom channels. “It’s been like communications glue for our team, and we were able to maintain our usual workflow seamlessly. Agent-IC is a vital part of the success of our productions as it provides an intercom panel on a mobile device, giving our remote team the communications connectivity they need. I really love the combination of Clear-Com technology – the wired and wireless options plus Agent-IC. It’s really helped remove a lot of the unnecessary back-and-forth emails that can waste time and energy for our production team as conversations are now in real-time. From a technical standpoint, I can fine-tune the intercom channels, adjust the gain to improve the sound for comms users, and troubleshoot with audio engineers in another building, all from my central control room.”

For Mattel, the benefits of effective production communications include increased engagement with its B2B customers, effective sales and marketing, and enhanced internal communications. “Clear-Com Arcadia, FreeSpeak II, and Agent-IC have really supported us in our customer engagement strategies, taking our video productions to the next level,” concludes Robles.

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