Hot Wheels Rebrand

Beyond its iconic flamed logo and signature blue color-way rests the branded Hot Wheels trade dress elements. Supporting the logo, a brand’s trade dress is a key element in establishing ownership in the marketplace.


The Challenge

The Hot Wheels team was looking for an agency who could create branding that would visually  support its marketing strategies and establish the brands retail trade dress. A global brand such as Hot Wheels has many end users of its trade dress. We refer to those “end users” as touch points of the brand. The crux of the challenge would be meeting the functional needs of those “touch points” while looking fabulous.

Additionally, the design team at Pilot would need to meet its own benchmark of delivering many creative, yet disparate options.


The Strategy

Fully briefed, Pilot established teams to develop different visual stories that delivered upon the marketing challenge in different ways.

Story One: Window to Imagination

Story Two: Dare to be Rad

Story Three: Imaginary Friends

Story Four: Surreal

Story Five: Hot Labs


The Solution

Dare to be Rad was selected. To all touch points, it personified the brand and was quickly recognized for its functionality. It could easily be applied to environments, merchandising and packaging, three of the top touch points for Hot Wheels.



Pilot was contracted to create additional iterations of the core trade dress that provided further visual direction to the brands many segment directors. The revised trade dress and branding elements provided Mattel with a fresh rebrand for 2018 and can be seen within today’s Hot Wheels consumer products, packaging, in-store displays, and more. Challenge accepted!



Project Scope:

Creative Direction

Visual Identity / Illustration / Art Direction