Claudia Vine is the Sr. Influencer Relations Manager at Moose Toys located in El Segundo, CA. She came to Moose as a seasoned vet in the Influencer Marketing industry with over 10 years of multi-marketing experience under her belt ranging from Customer Experience Marketing, Community Management, Social Media Marketing and Influencer Relations. Her experience also spans multiple industries including Fashion, Beauty & Skincare, School Supplies and now Toy industry partnering with hundreds of influential creators and celebrities. Outside of work, Claudia is a loving mom of 2 children who enjoys traveling, enjoying outdoor activities with her family and trying the newest hot spots in the foodie scene.
Tell us about yourself and about Moose Toys
I’m Claudia Vine. I am the senior manager of influencer marketing here at Moose toys. I’ve been with Moose toys for about, uh, two and a half years, which is really exciting. Um, and I manage everything influencer marketing, um, some celebrity relations and influencer work on that end. Um, and then just work with amazing brands. We have about 13 different brands in our portfolio. So, So I assist with helping all of the brand managers with, um, creating strategy for their campaigns, um, helping them identify the right influencers, negotiate contracts and agreements, um, onboard new talent.
Um, it runs the gamut. So I’m a very, very busy girl. Busy is the right word. And I came across most toys years ago. My son is now 11, but he had this kind of collection, um, session. And so you had these toys that he would collect and I had to buy them all. And then he wouldn’t let me throw them out. So that’s how I came across your brand.
I would think jumping from skincare to toys is probably a really big shift. What was that like for you?
Yeah, that was a big shift. So this was definitely a bittersweet move for me. I loved working in the beauty industry and all the amazing influencers I partnered with during my time there.
I learned so much and I feel like I grew so much professionally during my time there. But when I left Dermalogica, it was in the middle of the pandemic. I was honestly, I honestly wasn’t really looking for any new opportunities, um, cause the business was so good. Influencer partnerships were booming cause everyone was home doing skincare, so it was like a really hot time for beauty and skincare and, um.
Yeah. We were just all basically home taking care of ourselves, which is amazing. We had to change all of our themes from like party meet pretty to at home pampering. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It was amazing. Um, but anyway, a recruiter reached out to me from moose with the opportunity. And at first I told him I wasn’t really looking because I wasn’t looking at the time.
Um, but then I kind of took a step back and I was like, I’m happy within my role, but I. I foster opportunities for, um, development within my, my profession. Yeah. And I was like thinking to myself, you know, I’m a mom of two, my kids love toys. I mean, it’s gotta be a fun industry to work in. And so I called him back and I said, you know, tell me a little bit more about this role.
Tell me about the team. One big important thing was like, tell me about the culture because I always ask that during interviews. I think it’s so important to understand what. The culture is within an organization before you make the shift because you want to make sure that you’re happy and they value your values.
Um, and everything is aligned. So that was really important for me. Um, and the interviews just went over so well. Everyone was just so lovely. So I just made the leap and went. And so after working in so many industries, I felt like that was the right move because it was an opportunity for me to learn more, expand my expertise, um, and then just get into toys.
It’s like. Who hates toys? Nobody. I mean, it’s like that. I say like, I’m very fortunate we get to work on so many toy brands. So it’s fun.I
It’s amazing to me that you go from like community manager or account manager to be an influencer in the space of marketing, how did you get there?
Yeah. So the transition kind of evolved on its own, um, as the industry began to shift. So I’ve been working in, we’ll say community, uh, influencer for. Oh my gosh, over 10 years. So when I first started, it was mostly the blogger scene, the nano influencer. Yeah. And so, um, when I started working in community, uh, and social media management, um, I was working for a fast fashion brand at the time I was there for almost six years managing relationships with brand fans, with bloggers.
Um, who were also micro and nano influencers in their own right. So they were sharing product reviews and earned reviews on social. We’d send them free product. We get them to talk really great, you know, give us great reviews on social. And it was a really great way for us to earn brand credibility on social.
So in its own right, it wasn’t influencer marketing. Like position, but it was called community management because we were really managing not only the community of advocates, but we were also managing the dialogue that was happening on social amongst our consumers and social must’ve been so new. Right.
Cause it was very new. Like Instagram was still very new at the time. Um, most of our like influence came from blogs from, um, Kind of like PR pieces that our blogs, but our bloggers would like participate in. So as social kind of evolved, it became more of like getting our advocates to post on Instagram and for them to moderate certain conversations that were happening about our brands on like Instagram and on like, um, Reddit threads and Twitter and stuff like that.
And really get them to become part of the brand. by being an extension of it. So I helped develop programming for multiple brands within the fast fashion organization. I was at and trained teams on how to foster those strong communities of advocates, grow brand credibility through social and all that through their influential voices.
Then sadly, six years in, I experienced a heartbreaking layoff from the organization. Things were shifting. They were still trying to figure out how. How the programming fit within like their company’s DNA. They were like, do we want to go traditional influencer marketing? Do we want to do more, um, loyalty programming?
A lot of people within my department, including some of my team members were laid off. And so I kind of found myself in an impasse. And thought to myself, okay, I know everything there is to know about community management. I’ve worked with nano micro influencers with an industry and I feel like I’m pretty seasoned in that area.
How do I expand, how do I grow within my expertise and my career trajectory. Um, and so I just kind of made the leap and decided to consult with old colleagues or colleagues. Yeah. That we’re working in the industry and just ask them questions. Like, tell me about influencer marketing. Like there’s like, um, you know, we used to work together, you know, all the things that I, you know, used to do, how does it relate to actual traditional influencer marketing?
What are things that I still need to learn? I attended webinars, speaking engagements. I mean, I was laid off. So I had some time to like, really do some self development. But also there’s no school for this really, like, you know what I mean? Like you kind of have to do it on your own. Yeah, and I was like going online, like looking at different people who are talking about it online, just finding any resources there were to really understand how it was different from my role.
And one of the things that I did learn was it wasn’t much different. It was just more, um, I don’t know how to explain it. There were other facets of it that I wasn’t doing before, like contract negotiations, which was very new for me. The guidelines, probably like sending out detailed briefs and stuff.
Exactly. The rules, like, as I was saying, like Instagram was definitely evolving and it was kind of like the wild wild west in the beginning, where there wasn’t any laws put in place around like, um, Uh, disclosures and like getting things for free and things were starting to develop. So understanding what those laws and stuff were at the time when I was trying to get into influencer marketing.
So there was a lot of nuances to the role that I didn’t really have experience in, but I was learning during that time off and a former intern who worked with me at the fashion brand, um, called me and she was like, you know, I’m working for this amazing stationary company. Um, I think that you would be an amazing fit here because they are looking for an influencer marketing manager and I learned so much from you.
Um, yeah, it was kind of touching because I’m like, oh my gosh, she actually valued the things that like I taught her when we were working at the fast fashion brand. So, and I’ve had interns that have evolved into roles even larger to larger than my current role here. So I feel very proud of all the interns that I’ve kind of fostered over the years, but it was amazing for her to come forward and tell me that she really valued all the things that she learned with me and that she wanted to see if I’d be interested in applying.
And she gave me a glowing recommendation and I ended up getting the role, but that’s kind of how I got my break into influencer marketing was just kind of by. Self guidance and learning and really being able to take an opportunity to reset my career goals. Um, but then also getting this glowing recommendation from someone I kind of mentored previously that really just, yeah, it’s so amazing.
Yeah. Yeah, but I think it also gives a lesson, right? Like, I think the universe leads you where you’re supposed to be. So I always tell people, like, even if you’re laid off, it means that you’re supposed to be somewhere else and somewhere better and on a different path. So, yeah, and I agree with that. I agree with that 100 percent because the stationary company that I had worked Or was actually focused on back to school supply.
So I did, I, I partner with a lot of kids, families, and it kind of the trajectory of getting into toys eventually. So I got a lot of experience and created a lot of great context throughout that role. So like you’re saying, I feel like the universe brings you into certain situations as a stepping stone for the next.
role that you’re about to take on. Yeah. But you have to kind of recognize that and do what you did and teachers, you know, like take it and say, okay, here’s what I’m going to do, which is amazing.
Whats a mini snippet of a day in your life like? Because I can’t imagine you have time to take lunch managing all these brands.
Oh my gosh, it’s, it’s a wild ride. I really enjoy working for Moose. I mean, first of all, the company culture is amazing. So you walk into our bright and colorful office and everyone is just so happy. They’re so supportive. Um, I know it sounds like fluff, but I’m being completely honest.
Like everyone at the company just has such a great. work ethics and also great, um, just great personalities. Like it’s, there’s no, there’s no cliquish situation. There’s no craziness happening. It’s just, everybody’s in there for one goal and it’s our company mantra to make kids super happy. And so everything we do goes back into that.
That mindset, um, through our innovation, through our marketing plans, through our partnerships. Um, it’s just, they really live and breathe that mantra. Um, and so a day to day for me is walking into my amazing team, um, Um, I work on our PR team. So we have our PR manager and our PR director, but then we also have the digital side.
So, um, they’re part of our team as well. Um, and my day to day usually is checking a million emails, trying to get ahead of that.
Do you have influencers writing you all day long that want to work with you?
I don’t. So I don’t know if they know that I, I don’t think, I don’t know. Yeah, but I don’t get a million emails.
I could maybe a few here and there, but most of it’s from management asking me if we have any new campaigns. Is there anything that we’d like to run? Also our regular, you know, day to day campaign management. So. Um, content review new contract negotiations. That type of thing is what I usually get in my inbox.
Um, and then also the internal stuff. So, um, planning for future campaigns, um, new innovation, um, uh, uh, marketing sessions, um, Reviews, which is really exciting, which we’re going through right now for fall 24, or we’re reviewing all of our new products that are launching next year and getting excited about that, like trying to survive this fall, everything out of the way we’re talking about next fall, but it’s exciting to see all the innovation that’s coming down the pipeline.
So my day is. Pretty wacky and it always, uh, changes, but it’s always a good time.
Moose Toys sounds very magical. What is the moose magic?
Can you please tell everyone? It’s all in the innovation. Every time I say Moose magic, it always goes back to the innovation. Our team. I’m just blown away every year by some of the products that we come out with and how we put quote unquote that moose magic into toy experiences. So we have like magical reveals of certain things.
We have different features on toys that you wouldn’t find in any other toy company. It’s just amazing how innovative our designers minds are because they’re creating these amazing toys that are making kids super happy. And I feel like they always put a dash of that moose magic in there just to It’s mind blowing because sometimes they’re like, how do How did that happen?
Where did that come from? I don’t understand how it came out of that end, but yeah, it is so amazing. I mean, my kids are always surprised when I bring home something new and they’re just like, how did you do that? And I know how it works, but the kids don’t know how it works. So we want to keep that element of moose magic all the time into our toys.
Speaking of kids, there’s been a lot of chatter, news articles, issues regarding compensation, I think Chicago just passed a law that influencers have to pay and compensate their kids. What are your thoughts on that?
Yeah, I think I think it’s great to be honest with you. I don’t know if it’s a controversial topic, but for me, I think that’s yeah, I think it’s great. Anything that protects Children because I know that a lot of families are including their Children in their content or even making them a focal part of their content.
It’s really important to make sure they’re protected for their financial futures. I mean, they earned that money by doing these partnerships and stuff. And I think if yeah, The other states take note in what they’re doing in Illinois. I think it’s going to go. Yeah, I feel like it’ll just, it’ll just be better for the industry because there’s all these things that come about, come out about these families that aren’t protecting their children.
And it’s like, you never knew that you only see the facade that’s on social media, which is sad. Um, and I’m not saying that all of the families are like that because there’s a lot of families that show the real part of parenting and the real part of, um, you know, their kids lifestyle, which I love, um, to see because it makes me feel like I’m more human and I’m not just a hot mess all the time.
That’s why I watch Real Housewives. I’m like, okay, I’m coming. Exactly. Exactly. But for the ones that kind of have that facade where everything seems perfect, we don’t know what’s really happening behind closed doors or if their kids are really protected. So I think being at a toy company, knowing that there’s these measures being put in place to protect children so that we can safely work with them, I think is so important.
And I hope that more states take notice. That’s I agree. Um, and again, I don’t know if it’s controversial, but it is something that we should be talking about. So thank you. Yeah.
Are there any new innovations that you want to tell us about?I
Yeah, so we have some amazing innovations. I mean, like I said before, our design team is just remarkable. I, I’ve never seen anything in the toy industry like the things that they’re creating. And this year is no exception. Um, the first thing that’s really exciting, that’s Kind of a high priority for the, uh, for the company is Beast Lab.
So over the last two years, you’ve seen Magic Mixies and the evolution of that product and how you put the mousse magic in there with the reveals and the smoke and really mystifying like kids, but also young adults who are buying it and bringing out the inner child. Um, this is no exception. Beast Lab is for boys, or it could also be for girls too, but it’s on the boy spectrum.
So, um, it is kind of like a science. Um, you know, it’s a, it’s a product as well. And you reveal this, um, action figure that is interactive and just amazing. So we’re really excited about that one. And it’s taken off. We partnered with, um, the top gamers. We partnered with, um, the top, um, boy adventure channels to kind of talk about the product.
We’re partnering with you guys on an amazing box, which is exciting to get it into the hands of. father son duos and parents that really just love playing with innovative toys with their kids. So we’re really excited about Beast Lab and Magic Mixies is also coming out with a new innovation. This is actually my favorite innovation from the Magic Mixies line.
It’s our new Magic Lamp. So similar to Crystal Ball and to Cauldron. Um, you do all these steps to create a, an experience within a magic lamp that also miss. And then a mixie comes out, which is really exciting. I know it’s so fun. And then, um, within the magic mixes portfolio, we also launched a doll category.
So we’re really excited about that as well. The hair is super soft and, um, You can play with it. Um, it also comes with cute fashion. So that’s another thing that’s a brand or a company priority this year, which is really exciting to see. Also something that just sold out on Amazon, which is really exciting is Cookies Makery.
Um, so that’s, oh, wow, just sold out on Amazon. You were like, it’s so fun. And we’re partnering with you guys on that one too. So it’s, um, uh, baking innovation. You basically make this, um, dough ball, put it in the oven, turn the dial and then a plush friend comes out. So you’re baking your like, how you won’t tell me.
No, it’s the moose magic. You’ll have to get one, you’ll have to get one in your hands to see how it works. But it’s, it’s so amazing. And it’s innovative too, because it makes sounds, it warms to the touch. It smells good. So it’s like, Hitting all those sensory things that kids love. Um, so we’re really excited about that, but we just sold on an Amazon.
So that’s amazing. And it’s through influencer marketing. We found out that like, um, one of our influencers that kind of went viral kind of spurred a conversation with other like mom influencers. And there was this one mom influencer that posted a totally organic piece of content that went viral. And then the next day she was like, you guys sold it out on Amazon.
How do you define go viral? What’s the ROI on influencer marketing?
I get these questions all the time from leadership and it’s really hard to define. To be honest with you, I feel like it’s an algorithm play.
Like you can’t replicate these things. Like most of the times, and actually the two times in my career where I’ve ever had. Influencer like content go viral and sell out a product was through organic pieces of content, but it always stems from good marketing page in the beginning. So having the good marketing plans in the beginning, visibility portion, and just having regular everyday people get excited about it, purchase it and create this amazing content that just.
Makes people want to purchase it. So you really have to set that groundwork first. You have to have that visibility. You have to have that really strong content out there so that people will want to purchase it, create their own reviews, and then potentially you can go viral or things could sell out. And I feel like that’s happened the last two times that we’ve, we’ve kind of had a viral moment.
That is great feedback, because it’s like, yes, if the regular person, regular consumer didn’t see it, they would have had no inspiration. And so we’re always getting, you know, asked like, how do you, but thank you. That’s great. So my next, sorry, it has to be a marketing mix too. It’s not just influence. I don’t think the success of the bakery going.
Viral and selling out was just from influencer marketing. Like we have very strong digital plans. We have very strong out of home plans. And I think having that mix definitely helps because people are seeing it in multiple places and they’re like, Oh yeah, I remember seeing that I need to purchase it.
And then they create their reviews and then that’s when it goes gangbusters.
Why do you think unboxing videos are still popular?
You know, I think people just like that real life content. Like they don’t want. That over commercialized content. They like seeing people unbox something, get excited about it and really show an honest review. That’s my POV behind it. Um, other people may think something differently, but I feel like that’s, that’s the main reason why a lot of people that I know love unboxing content and it’s going to be here to stay.
Like everyone wants to see what’s the newest, hottest things that are coming out, like, and the best way to do it is through a traditional unboxing video. I feel like it works every time. I mean, from your mouth to, you know, but thank you. I mean, again, like people ask me and it’s like, you know, now we have brands saying like, what else could you do?
And it’s like, okay, well we can do the box could be a fridge or the box could be, it could be anything. It doesn’t have to necessarily, we’ve done a lemon, like it doesn’t have to be a box, but it’s that, I think that mystery of what they’re opening up, what’s in it. And I think also it plays really well on TikTok these days, especially when it comes to ASMR videos.
People want to see that. Transition or even like the, the, the fridge restocking when have you ever seen those videos? People watch all the way to the end where they’re like placing things strategically, like a beauty counter or like stuffing your fridge. Like it’s just. Satisfying. Satisfying. And I feel like people like that type of content.
So unboxing goes hand in hand with that . Yeah. That satisfying is another word. Satisfying. Yeah. . Yeah. Satisfying.
Where we could find you and to interact with Moose Toys?
Yeah, so you can find me on LinkedIn.
Um, my LinkedIn is Claudia Vine. Um, you can also find moose toys on LinkedIn. You can find firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re at most major retailers, which is really exciting. Um, so yeah, that’s where you can find me. Awesome. And then my last question, which I have to ask. Yeah. Very curious.
Name an influencer you love to follow, but hate to admit that you do.
Oh my gosh, . This is going to be very embarrassing, but I just have to say the Kardashians, they are powerhouses in every single facet. And if I tell people, Oh yeah, I bought that because Kim showed it, or I, I feel embarrassed saying it, but she is just, she’s influential in pop culture. She’s influential in fashion.
She’s influential in beauty. She’s influential in everything. And I feel like she can never make anything look bad. I’ve bought so many great. She’s like, Oh my gosh, I love this. And I’m like, I love that too. And it’s it’s honestly a good product. So even Chloe, I feel like all the Kardashians, except for Courtney, I don’t think that I’ve ever bought anything that Courtney has shown, but I love Courtney nonetheless.
But I feel like the Kardashians are just really great. Um, uh, influencers. It’s amazing. I saw, thank you. I saw a piece, like it was a picture that popped up on my Instagram of the mom. And it was like, The kudos to this momager who took two, five girls who really, they’re not professional ballerinas or pianists, but like she made them like the wealthiest women in the world.
And they just are, you know, you and me like regular people. Yeah. Yeah. It’s awesome. Well, thank you so much. We love, um, working with you and we are so thankful to have you here. Yes. Thank you so much. I enjoy working with you guys too. And everybody should definitely work with BabbleBox. I feel like you guys have made so many processes so much easier and have established relationships with influencers that we normally wouldn’t have been able to do at a larger scale.