In the U.S., Peppa is gathering momentum. An exclusive toy program at Toys 'R' Us launched last fall, and talks are underway to expand the program to multiple retailers. Fisher-Price holds the master toy license, while Scholastic and Candlewick are on board for publishing.
"Peppa performed extremely well this fall in the U.S. Consumers have been looking for product since it has been on-air since November 2011," says Joan Grasso, vice president, licensing, North America, eOne. "It performed about 25 percent above our initial plan for shipment, so the program was more successful than we had initially planned for."
The success, says Grasso, can be attributed in part to the strong retailer support Peppa received from TRU, which included dedicated end cap space and inclusion in holiday promotions.
Because of its initial success, the program is expanding further in the U.S. and branching out into categories beyond toys and publishing. Apparel programs are getting underway, with Evy of California named apparel partner for an initial range. Apparel will first launch at specialty, says Grasso, and then move into mass retailers. Health and beauty partners are on deck, as well as partners for accessories. Peppa Pig is also going digital. An app just launched in the U.S. from P2 Games.
The slow program build is one that worked for the property in the U.K., and is comfortable for eOne to utilize internationally.
"If you have too much product on shelf too quickly, that can kill the brand," says Grasso. "But if you have a more strategically managed program, it ensures the property to be evergreen. [The strategy is] working well for us right now."
A mirror program launch into Canada is being planned for 2013. "Peppa Pig" will begin airing in March on Canada's Treehouse.
Growth is not slowing for Peppa Pig in the U.K., however. Currently there are 73 licensees for the property. With the property gearing up to celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2014, categories are only diversifying and integrated campaigns are getting underway. According to Dieckman, FMCG is the biggest area of growth, and Peppa will rely on that category to further build brand awareness. Peppa Pig is also growing its live events segment with two stage productions from Astley Baker Davies in production and a theme park in partnership with Paultons Park. A live event strategy is being developed for Australia, set to debut in Q3.
"In the U.K., Peppa Pig is still one of the most consistent, best-selling preschool properties in the market," says Dieckman. "Sell-through is strong across the board, and many retailers are calling it an evergreen already."