Firstly, can you give us some general background information on H20?
H2O first premiered on Nickelodeon in the UK in April 2007 where it became the channel's top performing show of the year with nearly seven million viewers tuning in. The show's huge popularity has made teen sensations of the three stars, Claire Holt, Phoebe Tonkin and Cariba Heine and the series was nominated for 'Best TV Show' at the first ever Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards in October 2007. In France, H2O launched in December 2007 on France 2.
In terms of the licensing programme, what kind of partners are you looking to attract?
We are looking to attract those partners who have experience in developing teenage and tween lifestyle product ranges and who have solid relationships with key retailers responsible for driving these categories.
Who has signed up as a licensee already and in which categories?
We are currently finalising the first key categories, which we will be signed and announced shortly.
Are you looking to fill other categories this year, if so which ones?
We are looking for opportunities that represent the brand values of the programme and will align closely with the attributes of the key characters and their adventures.
What kind of product does H20 lend itself to?
H2O lends itself to aspirational tween products including apparel, accessories, publishing and paper product, items that reflect current lifestyle trends for young girls from seven to 12.
Are there any areas you wouldn't consider licensing into?
Our licensing strategy for H2O is age appropriate products that appeal to the show's core fan base - tweens and girls. We will look to stay close to lines that mirror underlying themes in the show such as friendship, adventure, mystery, music, creativity and awareness of environmental issues.
What can we expect to see from the property during 2008?
We are currently working in close partnership with our key retailers on a launch of select items such as paper products for autumn/winter 2008. We will continue with extensive product development with a view to launching a full line in spring 2009.
How difficult is it to make a relatively new brand such as this stand out in a crowded market? How do you get H20 into the spotlight?
While H2O is a new brand, it already has huge buzz in the market because of its break out success on Nickelodeon, the number one kids' network in the UK. This prime exposure coupled with strong product development will greatly support key retail placement which is critical to roll out. Each of our properties is reinforced with an integrated marketing plan that leverages the strength of MTV Networks' broad portfolio. That is the benefit of partnering with us and ensures a sustained spotlight on our brands.
Do you think H20 has the chance to become an evergreen brand? What's its appeal as a programme and do you think this translates well to licensed products?
Absolutely. H2O has all the key attributes of an evergreen property that will stand the test of time including: great storytelling; compelling characters that engage audiences; plus a concept that travels well and translates very effectively into consumer products.
H2O's global popularity, connection with the audience and contemporary appeal certainly positions it well for longevity. We are extremely confident the lives of these magical teenage mermaids, set on the golden beaches of Australia will lend itself very well to licensed product from CDs, DVD, stationary, accessories, and clothing.
H2O is already extremely successful in Australia, enjoying great sales on publishing – one of the top selling ranges in the country – DVDs and fashion, including apparel, footwear, bags, headwear, sunglasses and jewellery so far. Hair dryers, straightners, and seasonal confectionery are additional categories that have been licensed for the programme launch.
© 2008 Viacom International Inc. All rights reserved. H2O
© A JMSP Programme in association with ZDF German Television Network and ZDF Enterprises GmbH