Ever After High Launch Presentation
And we'll start on slide 2. As Bryan mentioned, we manage a portfolio of girls' brands. And to do that, we recognize that girls play differently as they grow. Their interests are different, the way they interact with content is different, and the types of activities they engage in are different.
So on slide 3, we have built a portfolio of brands that speaks to those differences. Barbie speaks to the aspirational roles that we know girls like to play out, while Disney Princess allows girls to play out the magic of Disney's classic fairytales. We're very proud of the decade of partnership we've enjoyed with Disney as they’ve grown this to be a top girls' global franchise. And we're incredibly pleased with how well Monster High has performed since we launched it in 2010, speaking to an older girl, through a great story and a relevant message. American Girl plays a critical and differentiated role in the portfolio—celebrating girls by delivering on friendship and imaginative play and storytelling. We take great care to ensure that the brands in our portfolio are complementary in terms of positioning, play pattern, emotional benefit, and target age. And as a result, we've grown the category and we’ve grown our share.
On slide 4, what continues to drive us to look for new opportunities in this space? Because we know that as girls grow, they're always looking forward to what's new and what’s next. And, as I said, we know that different girls are motivated by different themes and stories. So our ongoing objective is pretty clear: how do we continue to reach tween girls with relevant new themes?
Slide 5. We learned a lot from what worked on Monster High...
On slide 6, you can see we created a world of wonderful characters, we told great stories, and we used multiple marketing platforms to get the message across and built a broad range of merchandise to drive the franchise. We created a deep engagement with Monster High fans and it's their passion that continues to drive our sales today.
On slide 7, you'll see we plan to continue to drive growth in Monster High, in fact, through great new programs in 2013 like the trip to Scaris this spring and the upcoming 13 Wishes DVD and retail program this fall. Monster High is a $1 billion franchise in worldwide retail sales and is still growing all around the world.
Slide 8. Its success continues to be anchored in that initial insight about feeling like a freak in high school. Monster High resonates because it speaks to that simple truth about celebrating your differences and about self acceptance.
On slide 9, what would that insight be that could drive our next tween girls opportunity? What could we apply that would be unique from, and ultimately incremental to, Monster High?
Slide 10. We know that girls at this age want to be empowered and that they want to make their own choices—about their friends, their interests, their hobbies, their lives. And that insight led us to our next Girls' franchise: Ever After High. And I'll explain in a minute how we're bringing that insight to life.
On slide 12, you'll see our pop culture inspiration came from everything that’s around us today about fairytales—film, TV, and fashion—we began seeing new twists on the classic form. These were not traditional younger girl approaches, but something more sophisticated.
Slide 13. We married that inspiration to what our insights told us was a really powerful universal truth. The story of your life begins when you make it your own. You're empowered to choose your own destiny.
Slide 14. Our target audience is an older girl. She's outgrown traditional fairytales, but she likes humor, she likes a twist on the familiar, and she loves pretending to be a teenager in high school.
Slide 15. That led us to our story. Now I won't take you through the whole thing, but I do want you to understand this much: Ever After High is a boarding school where the children of fairytale legends learn to relive their parents' destinies whether they want to or not. The endings are already written, everything's in stone. Until one day, Raven, daughter of the Evil Queen, rejected her legacy. She doesn't want to be evil. Her rebellious act made anything possible. So, we've set up a world of royals and rebels. Royals want their happy endings just like it was planned. Rebels want to rewrite their destiny.
So on slide 16, you'll see the central characters, Raven Queen and Apple White. They head up the royals and rebels. They're not exactly rivals, but they do see the world differently. And, of course, they're roommates.
And on slide 17, the beauty of creating a world like this is its extendibility. We learned from Monster High that girls didn't just want to own one or two characters. They wanted them all. So far, we've created dolls for nearly 40 Monster High characters and Ever After High will be no different. Here are just some of the initial characters like Cerise Hood, daughter of Red Riding Hood, and Blondie Locks, daughter of Goldilocks.
Slide 18. We were really encouraged by our initial research, which told us that girls see these characters as different from Monster High. In fact, girls that didn’t like Monster High's theme and aesthetics really love this concept.
On slide 19, as we learned from Monster High and as we're now applying with Max Steel, Ever After High will be supported by a full franchise plan.
On slide 20, you can see the Ever After High Facebook page and YouTube channel page. We launched these about three weeks ago and really haven't done anything yet to drive traffic to these locations. We're just getting them up and running. That said, we've already had over 1 million views of the content and product reviews.
Slide 21. As we’ve talked before about that two-way dialogue with fans on Monster High, we're already seeing that happen on Ever After High. What you see on this current slide here is fangenerated artwork and videos that have already been posted online after only three weeks. We've never seen anything like this kind of early engagement with a brand.
So slide 22, as we did with Monster High, we're starting out by telling a lot of stories to engage girls in the world. For Ever After High, we're launching like 110 minutes of animated content this fall over a dozen webisodes throughout the season and a TV special that will air around the world later this fall.
Slide 23. As you may recall, with Monster High, we kicked off with a book series that reached the New York Times' Young Adult Best Seller list. For Ever After High, we're excited to be launching this fall with a series of books by Newbery Award-winning author, Shannon Hale. These books will be available both digitally and in print.
Slide 24. Also as part of the marketing launch, we will be premiering a live-action music video later this fall, with a unique twist that's a great fit with the franchise's theme. There'll be more to come on the video later, but in the meantime, you can go to our website and hear the theme song.
Slide 25. From a toy standpoint, we will launch with a focused range of fashion dolls this fall, starting, of course, with our lead characters.
Slide 26. You'll see we've got a strong program of consumer products for this year, including apparel, accessories, jewelry, stationery, and electronics.
And slide 27, in terms of how it's all coming together at retail, we're just now placing Ever After High as an exclusive retail program in the U.S. with Justice stores. Justice will be the first to get not only fashion dolls, but back-to-school merchandise and accessories as well. Later this fall, we will make Ever After High available through all of our regular channels.
Slide 28. We'll also begin to roll out Ever After High globally this fall, starting with 14 countries this year and following with the rest of the world in 2014.
So slide 29, we're going to have a lot more to share on Ever After High in the months ahead. But in the meantime, you can see the original webisodes, and start to immerse yourselves in the world by going to our website, our Facebook page or our YouTube channel.
So, on slide 30, now you can see how Ever After High fits into the portfolio and how it's differentiated. We know that innovation and deep consumer engagement can grow the doll category, and we look forward to future franchise launches to continue to drive that growth.