MUNICH: Benjamin Blümchen has a lot of old friends. When the animated elephant tramples through the ZDF series Benjamin Blümchen, more than one-third of the viewers are over the age of 50. Two recently published studies show that German adults watch more and more animation, and that slow-moving stories that are narrated like classical children’s books attract older viewers as well as the young target audience.
The independent GfK Market Research Institute found that 50% of adult viewers (ages 14 to 49), like animation. Result Marketing Research Institute verified this; 64% of 14- to 29-year-old viewers in Germany like animated series, and broadcasters achieve respectable ratings with animation. Asterix in America, an animated movie starring popular European comic heroes Asterix and Obelix, brought RTL more than six million viewers during its prime-time airing. Super RTL attracted 1.2 million viewers with The Witch and the Magician, and most of them were adults and teens (comprising 730,000 in total). When Super RTL shows Disney classics at 10 p.m., the audience consists of adults who don’t want to watch newsmagazines or TV movies.
The Result Institute found that adults prefer programs that were originally favored by kids, such as Donald Duck, Wallace and Gromit and The Simpsons. ‘We try to attract children first and hope to get the grown-ups with them,’ says Susanne Schosser, program director at Super RTL. 38% of adults watch animation with their children, while 35% prefer to toon in alone.