This year the popular children’s property, Paw Patrol, turns ten years old. A great milestone for the IP and for Spin Master, which has believed in the project from the very ‘first steps’ and has been the #1 preschool property in many countries around the world for a decade.
Edgardo Di Meo, Marketing Director Italy & Greece at Spin Master, tells Licensing Magazine what it means for the company to celebrate ten years of Paw Patrol and what new projects are in the pipeline for the puppy property.
Paw Patrol turns ten this year. A big milestone for the IP…
Ten years may seem irrelevant in a market where there are brands with a history of over 50 years. If we stop to think, however, how many properties born in the world of toy entertainment in recent years manage to survive, then the 10 years of Paw Patrol, still the #1 preschool property in many countries around the world, is a great achievement. The historical brands were born in a completely different context, in times when supply was scarce and penetrating demand was much easier. Furthermore, Paw Patrol is one of the first examples of an all-round property conceived by a company in the toy industry and not by third-party publishers.
In your opinion, what are the strengths of Paw Patrol that have allowed the IP to become the success it is today?
I believe that the success of the property is based on several aspects. First of all, partnership. Paw Patrol is the result of the value of partnership in the entertainment world. Spin Master has managed to bring together the best of the various internal and external stakeholders creating strong synergies.
Secondly, it was able to develop licensing potential intelligently. The key aspect is not to have tried to squeeze in any category on the basis of commercial success. If the category suits the property well, then it is developed, otherwise better not to force it. Paw Patrol has been able to maintain its integrity, as should be the case for all franchises. Often we try to follow the same pattern as the previous or most successful property, without assessing whether those same ingredients go with the new brand. If we reason with the many successes throughout history, we realise that these have always been disruptive to the past, precisely because they were true to themselves. There is no need to be afraid of being new and different.
The thing, however, that I consider most important to the success of the brand is the ability to have brought the essence of the brand to life. At the heart of any property entertainment is the story and the characters. The question we have always asked ourselves is: why would a child want Paw Patrol in the real world?
Animated series are children’s first love: they want to play with these characters, they want to be part of that world of adventures and of course they want them to become their friends.
What events or projects are on the calendar to celebrate ten years of Paw Patrol with fans?
We are creating an integrated plan with the aim of involving both children and parents, obviously on different aspects. For children, the anniversary will be an evolution of the already consolidated birthday tentpole, with activities that will start from the Nick Jr and Cartoonito TV channels on which the property is aired, up to the point of sale, with promotions, competitions and live appearances.
With parents, there will be an opportunity to continue to convey the brand values and quality of the show, reinforcing the messages that the Paw Patrol adventures seek to convey. The slogan NO JOB IS TOO BIG, NO PUP IS TOO SMALL sums up this message well.
If and how will the Paw Patrol brand change in the future?
The strategy is to create new stories while maintaining the DNA of the brand, otherwise the strength of the property would be lost. A current issue is the distribution of content, which is becoming increasingly complicated in relation to the fragmentation of consumers’ media viewing. New multi-platform content is needed.
Now that the property is ten years old, what are the next plans for Paw Patrol?
There are already two seasons ready for the Italian market and more in development. For this year, there will also be the second theatrical movie, THE MIGHY MOVIE. After the success of the first movie in 2021, the company wants to focus even more on this release with very strong investments. An important role in this film will be played by Skye, who has always been the second most popular character among children. As always, the film will have adventures, but also many emotional moments. There will also be new locations, vehicles and headquarters that children will find in the toy line to be released for Christmas. For the time being, the release date is set for 13 October and we are planning a lot of marketing and retail activities for this occasion, obviously with the cooperation of the PARAMOUNT team and the local film distributor.
The full article is available in the last Licensing Magazine issue.