When Cartoon Network launched the series Pokémon two years ago, it became a rage among children, and the company made a killing on associated merchandise. Other serials such as the Power Puff Girls turned out to be equal money spinners for Turner International’s subsidiary. Now, the company plans to move up a notch, with Bollywood-related merchandise. Jiggy George, Executive Director, Cartoon Network Enterprises (India and South Asia) explains the rationale behind this move to Radhika Pancholi:
Why this shift from television characters to movies?
We began with merchandise from the film Bhootnath with toys such as ‘Buchki’. Now we have tied-up with Baweja Movies to launch and exclusive collection of LoveStory 2050 merchandise, which will be marketed under the brand ‘POGO Inspired’. We have also tied-up with a couple of other movie houses. These tie-ups are a unique precursor to our own venture into full-length animated movies soon.
Does merchandising from your TV shows take a backseat?
Television and full-length films are two mediums.... the two can co-exist.
Apart from toys, apparel and home furnishing, do you plan to take the Cartoon Network merchandise into any other categories?
We are working on launching these characters for food-based and personal care products. We are already working on the Power Puff girls series for products that would be rolled-out in 2009. We are also working on opening two theme-based amusement parks just outside Delhi… the development is taking a little longer than expected.
What’s your take on the merchandising business in India?
Film-based merchandising is the latest buzz and is just taking off in India. Character-based merchandising is pegged at Rs 350 crore and is just taking-off.