LICENSING EXPO 2017: Cartoon Network and the strength of Powerpuff Girls

Johanne Broadfield, VP Cartoon Network Enterprises, EMEA talks to Licensing.biz about Powerpuff Girls' recent leap into licensing.
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Why is 2017 set to be a big year for The Powerpuff Girls?

2017 is a big year for The Powerpuff Girls on a number of fronts. On the content side, we’re going to see episodes from season two and a number of specials debut both on our Cartoon Network channel across the region and rolling out on free-to-air through our roster of channel partners.

We’ll also see bespoke Powerpuff Girls content rolling out and expanding the brand’s reach across all key digital platforms. As part of this, we recently launched the free Storyteller App that has already notched up over 600k downloads across EMEA.

Experiential is building across the region too: we’ve seen The Powerpuff Girls appear in Live Events in markets such as Spain, Poland, Italy, Dubai and Saudi Arabia with plenty more to come during the year. For consumer products, the year started with the roll-out of Spin Master’s new PPG toy range at major retailers across EMEA, which we supported with innovative marketing activity including a bespoke toy-play cinema campaign in the UK that reached over 2.6 million cinema visitors, alongside a collaboration with YouTuber Tiana Toys & Me (an 11-minute video that has generated 612k views to date).

This summer, our fashion collaboration with London-based fashion label Fyodor Golan will go on sale in a number of key department stores across the region including Selfridges in the UK. The in terms of our kids’ mass retail business, products are now starting to launch in the publishing, fashion, accessories, gifting, homewares, personal care, FMCG and back-to-school categories, and by the end of the year, we’ll have a fantastic range of merchandise available for every fan to find something they love.

What excitement and demand have you seen surrounding the new Powerpuff Girls reboot?

The strong reach and ratings we’ve had so far speak for themselves. In Q1 2017 alone, PPG had an impressive 53 million touchpoints across the region.

On linear broadcast channels, over 49 million people have already tuned in to the show across EMEA and last Q4 we saw PPG reach one in two kids in South Africa, Spain, Romania and Portugal, and one in three kids in Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Poland and United Arab Emirates. Here in the UK, last Q4 also saw PPG rank as the number one commercial kids’ show for girls aged four to nine in the UK, following its launch on free-to-air channel CITV. We’re drawing in high viewing numbers on YouTube across the region too. We now have fully localised PPG YouTube channels in ten of our key EMEA markets and in Q1 2017, we clocked up 13.4 million views of PPG content across these channels.

With this increase in viewership, we’re seeing demand and excitement for consumer products build. We’ve already had sell-through success of PPG apparel lines in markets where ranges have already launched, putting PPG at the top of the rankings for Girl’s licensed IP. Adding to this, the launch of Polish fashion-label Bizuu’s exclusive PPG collection was highlighted in every major fashion and celebrity magazine across the country and, as a result of its success, a follow-up line targeting both mums and their daughters is on the way for AW17.

What partners have you already got on board and who are you looking to work with?

Across EMEA we have over 100 partners signed across all key categories and we’re delighted to be working with partners who share our enthusiasm for PPG. Live events and immersive fan experiences are a big priority for us so we’re keen to expand our offering in that area too.

As well as our primary target audience of girls aged four to eight, there’s also a strong appeal to those fashion-conscious teens and young adults who are drawn to The Powerpuff Girls’ cool credentials and girl power heritage. Tapping into that, we’ve formed some exciting partnerships with high-end designers for the creation of PPG-inspired collections. Alongside Fyodor Golan in the UK and Bizuu in Poland, we also have Saucette (Dubai) whose Fashion Forward Show saw a raft of celebrity mums and kids rocking the new range and we’ll unveil further partnerships soon.

What ambitions do you have for The Powerpuff Girls brand this year and beyond?

This year we really want to harness the momentum we’ve generated for PPG to date while continuing to grow the fan-base and engagement. In the longer term, we want to ensure PPG retains its positon as a go-to brand for girls of all ages; we’ll regularly offer fresh content and merchandise to achieve this, while supporting the brand with comprehensive marketing initiatives to maintain that essential playground and social buzz.

In particular though, we see potential for PPG to become an evergreen fashion brand – it really stands out in this space because of its core values, relevance, cool factor and iconic aesthetics. 

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