Cartoon Network ups merchandising focus with 3 key properties

MUMBAI: Lead kids channel by a mile and more Cartoon Network is now looking to take its popular characters into the "real world" in a big way. The channel's licensing division - Cartoon Network Enterprises - has launched a range of merchandising for its key properties - Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Laboratory and Johnny Bravo.

While Powerpuff Girls and Dexter's Laboratory merchandise were launched this month, Johnny Bravo consumer products will put into the market around October this year.



The products will be rolled out in two phases. In the first phase kids will be treated to Powerpuff Girls and Dexter's apparel, accessories, gifts, stationery, umbrellas, raincoats, school bags, toys and games, which will be available in more than 20 cities across the country. In the second phase, categories like footware, home decor, domestics and linen, publishing, personal care, branded foods and greeting cards.

The gang arrives in India: Cartoon Network's Johnny Bravo, Dexter & the Powerpuff Girls

The Powerpuff Girls, signifying girl power and the "intellect-led" Dexter's Laboratory merchandise will be targeted at young kids, whereas Johnny Bravo, a "jock" brand, will target teenagers and young adults. The price of the products range all the way from Rs 4 to Rs 1,140.

The products will be available across 1,500 retailers in India, including dedicated corners in ITC's Lifestyle stores. The emphasis will be on the organised retail sectors in the north, south and western regions of the country.

In Mumbai, Idealtik, Innocence (Actuel), Accuweather and Pyramid Plastics will be Cartoon Networks' licensee partners.

"Internationally, Cartoon Network's consumer products business contributes significantly to overall network revenues. India, being the second largest retail market after China, is a key market for Turner. With the launch of these products, we aim to increase the footprints of Cartoon Network even further," says Cartoon Network Enterprises senior vice president John S Friend.

Friend further added that the overall, retail sales in India are approximated at $180 billion, with licensed merchandising alone accounting for $90 million. "I am confident that our consumer products launch will further grow our business and the overall kids' retail segment in India," says he.

Cartoon Network Enterprises India and South Asia director (licensing and merchandising) Jiggy George, on the other hand says, "With the Indian retail business growing at a healthy pace of 15 per cent, Cartoon Network Enterprises' range of consumer products will add another dimension to kids' branded merchandise. The design of our products is completely in sync with today's kids, who are hip, cool, sporty and stylish."

George further adds, "Before launching our consumer products, we first introduced the concept of intellectual property rights and licensing rights through out Promotional Licensing business, which in itself is a pioneering concept in India."

The magic of toons has been taken beyond the confines of the television set by Cartoon Network, thereby ensuring a 360 degree approach for consumers and clients - beginning with programming, innovative advertising opportunities, successful marketing, including on-ground and online offerings and licensing programmes.

Looking ahead, George says that in the coming years, categories like home video, music and expanded retail formats will also be tapped.

Elaborating further on Cartoon Network's merchandising thrust, Friend says, "Our strategy this year will be to expand the Powerpuff Girls, Dexter and Johnny Bravo merchandising. 2006 will be about continuing to build the Powerpuff Girls and the test will not be that they are successful for the next two months, but through the next 12 months. So Powerpuff Girls merchandising is going to continue being our priority next year."

"Next year we are going to add a couple of additional properties like that of Codename: Kids Next Door and Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi. So by the end of 2006, we will have merchandising for five different programmes in the market," he added.

Recently, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Cartoon Network designated leading toy manufacturer Mattel for Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi in the US.

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