Disney gives merchandising heavy push with 'Princess' range

MUMBAI: Merchandising and licensing have been setting the cash registers ringing for kids' channels internationally. However, in India this alternative source of revenue has just about started picking pace for the likes of Disney and Cartoon Network.

Earlier this year, Cartoon Network launched merchandising around its key properties - Powerpuff Girls, Dexter and Johnny Bravo. Now, the Walt Disney International (India) Pvt Ltd has rolled out its merchandising around the Disney Princess property.



Disney has eight princesses from the 'Disney Princess' brand namely Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Mulan, Pocahontas, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White from its classic animated films.


Disney Consumer Products (DCP) has a wide range of merchandise from apparel, toys, home decor and books to interactive games, food and beverages, electronics and animation art. These products are rolled out through the work of DCP's various lines of business like Disney Toys, Disney Softlines, Disney Hardlines, Disney Publishing, Buena Vista Games and Baby Einstein.

This retail sale of this girl's lifestyle brand internationally is close to $3 billion. In India, DCP launched the Disney Princess range of dolls and role play/accessories range in August, wherein it inked a merchandising deal with Funskool. Disney Princess consumer products were made available across 5000 Funskool outlets in close to 20 cities.

Apart from toys, the other categories available are:

Indoor Games: Puzzles, activity, arts and crafts, wooden toys, ride-ons);

Apparel: Outerwear, rainwear, innerwear, sleepwear, swimwear, footwear, bags, watches, sunglasses;

Home: Bathroom accessories, rugs, floor mats, cushions, table and kitchen ware, photo frames, wall clocks;

Stationery: Greeting cards, notebooks, slam books, posters, party invitations, exam boards, party products (plates, forks, napkins, cups etc), memo pads, stationery sets, crayons, color pencils, folders.

Storybooks and activity/coloring

Additionally, Disney Princess movies are also available in VCD/DVDs. The latest movie release being; Jasmine's enchanted tales - Journey of a Princess. Also, India is all geared for the platinum release of the Cinderella special edition DVD this month, the Indian edition of which is published by Excel Home Video. CD Rom games are also available around Disney Princess. On the television front, the Disney Channel airs a Disney Princess hour on weekends.

Speaking on the marketing and promotions that will revolve around Disney Princess, Walt Disney Company (India) Pvt LTD managing director Rajat Jain says, "Traditionally, consumer products have been promoted through Disney as a brand and not specifically toy centric. Disney has been organising umbrella promotional events like the Disney Princess road show for retailers, trade shows, events at leading retail malls with character appearances and grand concerts for kids internationally."

In India, Disney has created "in-shop experiential centers" across the Lifestyle malls in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore. On the other hand, Funskool will be also be undertaking innovative point of sale (POS) materials to promote the toys.

Jain had earlier emphasised that the company was first looking and establishing its television business in India and would then leverage the other Disney divisions here. "The Disney Princesses are very well known internationally. In the Indian market, their awareness is just being felt with the Disney Channel establishing itself. Television is the driver to the rest of our businesses in India. Having watched their favorite characters on screen; kids have a desire to possess the same, which drives purchase and vice versa," he reiterates.

The girls' franschisees has been an underserved one, what with only Cartoon Network's Powerpuff Girls that caters to the same. This push in the form of the Disney Princess range will help cater to that audience.

Speaking on the expansion of the cartoon-based toys market in India, Jain says, "India is still in its nascent stage with character-based products mainly targeted towards kids. We have a long way to go to reach the global standards where character based products are a hot property with adults as well in the form of collectibles."

DCP and Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) have been active in the country for the last 10 years. Jain informs that new launches linked to popular Disney characters will be rolled out every quarter.

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