Disney Channel is taking its popular animated
Phineas and Ferb franchise on the road and into the
sports arena as part of its marketing effort to build awareness
among both kids and their parents for the three-yearold
The kids-targeted network recently launched a multicity
tour featuring a bus shaped resembling the show’s crime
fighting pet platypus, Perry, for its first full-length TV movie,
Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension (Friday, Aug.
5, 8-9:30 p.m. ET/PT).
Disney also has secured a co-branded merchandising
deal with the National Hockey League to have the series’
characters sporting NHL-related logos and images.
TOPS IN DEMOS
The marketing endeavors are in support of Disney’s mostwatched
animated series, which follows the exploits of
Phineas Flynn and stepbrother Ferb Fletcher as they
look to the make the best of their 104-day summer vacation.
Phineas and Ferb episodes are averaging 3 million
viewers for season three. Since its February 2008 launch,
the show has been television’s top-rated animated series
among Disney Channel’s key demos, kids 6-11 and
tweens 9-14, according to network officials.
Disney Channel s
Worldwide senior vice
president of marketing
and creative Richard
Loomis said the
show has found an audience
both with kids
and with adults. Nearly
one-third of the
viewers for Phineas
and Ferb’s 15-minute
features are over
18 years old, which is
more than other popular
series, such as Good
Luck Charlie, So Random!
and Shake It Up.
“Phineas and Ferb and
the show itself is a very
smart show, very wellwritten,
and with great
characters that play to
both kids and adults,”
To help promote the original movie, the network last
month launched an 11-city “Perry the Platy-bus” Airstream
trailer, a turquoise-colored bus that resembles
the boys’ pet platypus, who also doubles as a secret agent
in the series. Once inside, consumers can participate in a
number of activities, including playing video games.
Loomis said the network chose to use the platypus
as inspiration for the bus, because it’s become one of
the most identifiable characters in the series. “There’s
a strong connection between viewers and Phineas and
Ferb, but what we’re seeing increasingly is a very strong
connection with Perry the Platypus, so we thought this
was a great opportunity to bring both Phineas and Ferb
and Perry into the hearts and minds of kids across the
Disney is hoping to extend the Phineas and Ferb brand
beyond cable with its recent merchandising deal with the
National Hockey League. The Disney and the NHL collection
will include apparel, headwear, house and home
products and collectibles featuring characters from
Phineas and Ferb wearing NHL and team-branded merchandise
in time for the new school year and the start of
the 2011-12 hockey season, according to network officials.
“Just like the game of hockey, Phineas and Ferb is successful
because it appeals to a diverse demographic —
kids and grown-ups, boys and girls,” Stephen Teglas,
vice president and general manager of Fashion & Home
North America at Disney Consumer Products, said. “We
look forward to bringing the humor of the series to NHL
fans with a fun campaign at arenas and through clever
products that showcase our two brands. It also seems
like the kind of adventure that Phineas and Ferb would
EYEING ‘NEXT LEVEL’
Loomis said the franchise has yet to reach its popularity
peak and the original movie, along with the marketing efforts,
should continue to increase awareness of the brand.
“We’re very happy with the results that we’re seeing and
we’re very excited and confident that we’re on the verge of
bringing this up to the next level.”
What’s next? Phineas and Ferb creators and executive
producers Dan Povenmire and Swampy Marsh told Multichannnel
News they are already working on a script for
a theatrical release.
Both producers said the popularity of Phineas and Ferb
has already achieved a level of success beyond their expectations.
“We’ve always felt like we could find an audience if we
could make a funny show, but it has really exceeded our
expectations much quicker than we thought,” Povenmire
R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.
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