VEGAS 2011: FCP plans year-long programmes for two evergreen brands

Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Simpsons are the subject of 12-month campaigns.
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A new movie Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked is set to inject news into the successful property and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products, in conjunction with Bagdasarian Productions, is launching a long-term merchandising programme to support the franchise. The programme is set to include regular new products and a new branding initiative based on The Chipettes - the female rock stars of the group.

"Alvin and the Chipmunks is a proven billion dollar franchise that has been entertaining generations of families and has only grown in popularity since the success of the latest films," said Robert Marick, executive vice president, Fox Consumer Products.

"We have already heard from our retail partners and consumers that the demand is there for The Chipmunks long after any theatrical windows. Our retail strategy is going to ensure that we meet this demand and keep the product fresh for fans."

FCP is also planning to regularly offer new character art with themes tied to key retail selling periods. The spring look will include a Chipwrecked island theme. An everyday look is also available for year-round business.

New partners on board for the brand include Just Play, which will create basic, feature and novelty plush lines, with Vivid Imaginations as the UK distributor for the product. Santa's Best will introduce Christmas goods for the new film, while Gipsy has signed up for a specialty plush line in France.

Majesco will launch an Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked video game, based on the film. Ty will continue to produce its lines, while Build-A-Bear Workshop will return with its top-selling line of stuffable plush featuring Alvin and Brittany and pre-stuffed plush of the other main characters.

HarperCollins also rejoins for a publishing programme that will include beginning readers, novelisations, sticker books and storybooks. Meanwhile, Bendon Publishing, which will publish a line of activity, board and coloring books along with flashcards and workbooks. Editora Alsto Astral will introduce a book programme in Brazil.

Other key partners include Hallmark, which will create greeting cards, ornaments and giftwrap

Fox Consumer Products is also focusing on the Chipettes for a line of accessories, toys and more.

Meanwhile, The Simpsons will reach its 500th episode next spring and FCP is supporting the milestone with a year-long celebration. The programme will include specially tailored brand initiatives, a new global retail partnership and a worldwide QSR campaign with Burger King Corp.

"The Simpsons is not just a television show, it has defined pop culture for over two decades appealing to an eclectic, worldwide fan base," said Robert Marick, executive vice president, Fox Consumer Products.

"This year-long celebration of the franchise will have something for every one of the show's fans, no matter how young or old, giving them an all-new way to experience the brand."

Fox's new approach will include slate of new products based on Duff Beer. On the other end of the spectrum, a Ladies of Springfield brand will see a wide range of apparel, accessories unveiled. Fans of the ultimate prankster

Bart Sports casts the character in a line of sports gear. Additionally, for the first time, Fox has designed a programme for Tween and Teen girls. I Heart Maggie features series' baby, Maggie Simpson, in a new stylized design.

In the lead up to the 500th episode, FCP has also developed a global direct-to-retail partnership with H&M to carry branded apparel and accessories.

A global promotion with Burger King will also kick off this September. The promotion will offer ten Treehouse of Horror themed collectables in time for the annual Halloween-themed special. The campaign will be supported by TV advertising, in-store POS, and a marketing campaign including online marketing through Club BK.

The Simpsons 500th episode is expected to air in the US in February 2012.


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