In an effort to break new ground vis a vis targeted promotions, Robert Miller, president of Studio Licensing (Canada’s exclusive licensing agent for Nickelodeon), has developed a multicultural strategy to officially launch a Ni Hao, Kai-lan range in Canada this fall.
The consumer products program for the preschool series, which airs in prime evening slots three times a week on Corus Entertainment’s preschool net Treehouse TV, will launch nationwide in September with more than 100 products destined for retail shelves.
What sets the Canadian Kai-lan program apart from counterparts running in other territories is that the bicultural/bilingual series featuring Mandarin and English is expected to resonate quite strongly with Canada’s large Chinese community, which made up roughly 4.3% of the total population in 2006. And so Miller is introducing the IP specifically to the country’s Mandarin-speaking contingent via a series of ad buys in the Canadian versions of Mandarin-only weekly newspapers Sing Tao and Ming Pao that are published in Toronto.
‘The response to the idea from our retail partners has been phenomenal,’ says Miller, adding that Canada’s top three mass-market retailers of kids goods – Zellers, Toys ‘R’ Us and Walmart – have all supported the idea. ‘The strongest form of advertising is still print, and this is very targeted.’
The advertising campaign will coincide with release of product and run into December with an all-Mandarin full-page color ad that highlights 12 to 15 Ni Hao, Kai-lan products running every Saturday. Miller says the two papers combined reach 1.7 million subscribers who are specifically concentrated in areas with dense Chinese populations, such as Toronto and Vancouver.
‘In this market, we can’t be doing the same things,’ says Miller. ‘So we took our marketing budget and revamped the whole thing. We are getting rid of a lot of fluff like contests and giveaways in favor of really focusing on what is the strongest form of advertising.’
While Miller doesn’t have any other language-specific promotional plans in the pipeline right now, he says more could certainly follow, depending on the performance of this first wave of print advertisements for Nick’s Kai-lan. GR