April 6, 2018
Armed with consumer-focused data, Warner Bros. Consumer Products opted to do the following with its consumer products program for the upcoming release of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and beyond: The film-based or "entertainment" program is skewed to the all things Harry Potter fan, who wants a "broader range of Harry Potter stimuli," says Sollitto. Further, explains Sollitto, while the "entertainment" program remains more film based with visuals from past Harry Potter films and the upcoming release, the consumer products will accommodate the "play patterns" these consumers want: wizardry and magic, as examples. "They want to pretend to be a wizard. And they want Warner Bros. and Mattel to create a product that will allow them to actually levitate. We haven't created that yet," Sollitto jokes. "But we have created wonderful products that replicate similar experiences in real life play patterns." While many of the same licensees from the first two films will move forward with the new program features, Warner Bros. has enlisted new licensees with new products such as the Figural Flying Toys from Fusion Toys, kites from Gayla Industries, trading cards from Artbox, pens that feature Lego mini-figures from CDM Company, and ornaments and water globes from Seasonal Specialties. These licensees are new to the entertainment portion of the program.
Product for both programs will begin to roll into retail this month both nationally and internationally. However, current product for the entertainment-based program features iconic visuals from past Harry Potter movies. Visuals from the new movie will be utilized for product that will roll out in the usual time frame of six to eight weeks prior to the film's release. Sollitto stresses that the strategy for both programs is not distribution driven.
Beyond the additions to the entertainment program and an all-new literary program, Warner Bros. Consumer Products will work closely with its licensees and retailers on specific promotional opportunities. A global promotional partner is not part of the theatrical marketing program going forward. (Coca-Cola's promotional relationship concluded with the second film and video release.) "This property is special and unique enough that it really doesn't warrant a promotional partner. Harry Potter has nearly 100 percent awareness globally; the scores are astounding," says Sollitto.
Warner Bros. will tap into its own media, including HarryPotter.com, Kids WB!, and Cartoon Network for promotional purposes.
There's no near end in sight for Harry Potter. While five of Rowling's Harry Potter books have already been released, there are seven titles in total (at the moment). The fourth Harry Potter film from Warner Bros. is projected for release by holiday '05. And the new consumer products strategy is "driven by consumers who easily describe and define their relationship with Harry Potter," concludes Sollitto. Seems the spell has not been broken.
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