Special Report: Fall TV: Bruno the Kid

The Show...
September 1, 1996

The Show

Bruno the Kid follows the animated adventures of Bruno, a 10-year-old computer whiz whose computer-generated super spy alter ego recruits him into the high-stakes world of international espionage.

The new series, targeted at boys six to 11, airs in syndication beginning September 23. The show has over 80 percent clearance in the U.S. It has a two-year commitment, with 36 episodes per season, at a cost of approximately $350,000 per episode.

The program is produced by Film Roman in conjunction with Lying Productions, Bruce Willis’ production company. Film Roman owns and controls all production and creative. The series is syndicated by Active Entertainment.

The Marketing Concept

The marketing program is intended to communicate to kids that Bruno the Kid is about adventure, fun and excitement. To demonstrate this idea, a ‘Watch and Win’ sweepstakes in which a family will win a trip to Tahiti will be held shortly after the debut of the show.

It’s unusual for a ‘Watch and Win’ sweepstakes for a new syndicated kids show to offer a family trip to a non-traditional destination. But the promotion is meant to be reflective of the type of locales that Bruno visits in his travels.

To get both parents and kids excited, station promotion spots will air during children’s shows and more adult hours.

The Plot

The marketing execution for Bruno the Kid will unfold as follows:

- The show will debut September 23.

- Promotional spots for the viewer sweepstakes begin in October, with the contest culminating in November.

- In the first quarter of 1997, licensed product will debut. Licensees to date include: Winterland (apparel), Kid Duds (sleepwear), TransWorld Concepts (rack toys) and Live Entertainment (home video).

Since the show has a two-season commitment, the strategy is to let the series establish itself and allow the demand to be created, rather than flooding the marketplace at launch and risking mediocre sales. Current emphasis is on securing licensees in the publishing and toy areas as well as a packaged-goods promotional partner.

Film Roman hopes to get licensees to take part and cross-promote. Other promotions beyond the second quarter of 1997 are in negotiation, but no details were available.

- May 5 to June 15, 1997: A fast-food promotion with Wendy’s runs.

For the ‘Watch and Win’ sweepstakes, Film Roman has partnered with The Phelps Group, exclusive agents for Tahiti Tourism, and Best Buy, a 280-plus chain of consumer electronic stores.

Tahiti Tourism became involved in the promotion because it saw an opportunity to build itself up as an exotic vacation choice for families. Best Buy was approached because the product that Film Roman anticipates will be out in the market at the time of the promotion is a home video, with a video game soon to follow. Film Roman decided to approach a store that would carry its product soonest.

Film Roman will supply stations with promotional spots in October directing viewers to watch the November 8 episode-in which Bruno travels to Tahiti-in order to correctly answer questions about the island. The contest will be supported by US$3 million in media buys. Best Buy will feature point-of-purchase materials including entry forms, as well as mentions in its weekly Sunday circulars. Incentive trips to Tahiti will be awarded to Best Buy managers and stations who come up with the most effective, creative and successful promotional efforts.

Film Roman is also producing an interactive game for IBM for Sony PlayStation and for PCs.

Bruno the Kid will be an important element of a Film Roman Web site that will debut in 1997. Film Roman will also be active with individual promotions that will take place on the station level, and will work directly with these stations to create local fan clubs and costume appearances.

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