ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 5.7 - OCTOBER 2000
The Powerpuff Girls' Phenomenal Merchandising Mantra
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Bob Bryant, Cartoon Network's vice president of off-channel commerce. Photo courtesy of Cartoon Network.
The Powerpuff Girls doing some Mojo bashing. © Cartoon Network.
And taken off it has -- most surprisingly with young boys. It has been a longtime standard in Hollywood that "girl shows" just don't attract a mass audience. Long thought that little boys determined what a household of kids watched, shows based on girl topics were never made. However that's all changed. Since The Powerpuff Girls has become a hit every channel is scrounging around for their own "girl show." However Bob Bryant says, "It's the combination of superheroes and little girls that attaches the boy audience."
Regarding the boy audience McCraken says, "You know I thought they would just completely dis the show because it's cute little girls and they would want nothing to do with it. But they have really responded well, they really like the show. I think that they just like the fact that there is this visceral action that they can respond to."
Music as good as the series; the Powerpuff Girls CD has no trouble succeeding. © Cartoon Network.
Cute and Kick-Ass Spell Merchandising Dollars
It's the duality of The Powerpuff Girls' nature that makes them a merchandising dream. The initial line of products that is out now is geared toward girls, however upcoming lines will feature T-shirts for boys and adults. One might question how do you market a series that has such a wide aged fan base without alienating either end of the spectrum. Bryant answered the question with the same mantra: "It goes back to the show. It's the show that attracts the different age groups. And if the products come from the show then you won't alienate anyone."
A perfect example is the "Heroes and Villains" CD, which features a host of alternative bands performing songs that make up the action of an episode of The Powerpuff Girls. The idea for the CD came from McCraken who handpicked the bands who influence him and the series. When asked whether there was any concerns from executives about the album being too old for kids, Bryant says once again (let's repeat all together) it comes from the series. Now the CD is a hit with both kids and college students. The influence of The Powerpuff Girls is so powerful that it has urged children to remove Britney Spears from their Walkmans and listen to Devo, Frank Black and Shonen Knife. God bless Craig McCraken, God bless him dearly.
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