(a) Provide an introduction of your selected brand including its specific target market Does it currently have any presence in the adult products market?

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The brand sought to be promoted is the Pokemon. This is actually a game and that is what is being sought to be promoted to the male audiences of eastern origin. In brief, it was a game created by Satoshi Tajiri, in Japan. With his friends Tajiri formed design studio known as Creatures. Using the Game Boy and the Game Boy Link Cable, he created a game called the Capsule Monsters. Though a failure the game attracted the attention of Nintendo and the company funded the games that took six years to develop and the prototype was called “Pocket Monsters.” It also failed. The first successful Pokemon games, the Pokemon Red and Green Versions, came to the Nintendo Game Boy system in Japan on February 27th, 1996. This date is important for the project and it marks the era when the millennium was near and globalization almost complete. It was targeted at the game playing children between 10 -17 and since computer games were just beginning to catch on world over, it also had an adult clientele. (Reveries, 2004)

Unlike the adults who still are nostalgic over their childhood icons, the Pokemon is important because like the Barbie that became global because of being marketed globally, Pokemon became global because it was played and enjoyed globally with the cultural settings changed in different nations. (Reveries, 2004) Hence it is very popular and its characters are well-known and can be used in the Adult Male consumer market along with a common children’s market. The game is universally popular, so is the cartoon serials on TV and the series has a cult following. Therefore it can be used for marketing.

(b) In its analysis, Mattel noted that the Barbie brand identity stands on three main pillars: Barbie is a fashion icon who should reflect what’s on trend; Barbie is about aspiration and inspiring girls to be whatever they want to be; Barbie is culturally relevant.

True that Barbie is the girl’s toy and the woman’s anchor. But the market is limited to the products that Barbie can promote mainly to girls, because Barbie is just a doll. Pokemon is not only for girls or boys. It was and is a game with universal appeal and has been modified to suit different cultures and set of markets where it was sought to be sold. Hence it is a universal brand — the marketers delight. To understand why it is so, we have to follow some of its history. The game was developed in Japan by Satoshi Tajiri — and Satoshi Tajiri’s idea of challenging people of all ages to a game where they catch, train and trade 151 creatures and become a Pokemon Master became an instant hit. The first version was followed by Pokemon Blue, with better graphics and sounds. It also resulted in a Pokemon Trading Card Game brought out by Media Factory with its own set of rules. This too happened in 1996, and following that the comics, Japanese Manga hit the market in 1997.

The hero was a young Pokemon trainer named Satoshi after Satoshi Tajiri, and for a western audience was changed to Ash Ketchum, and another character Shigeru Miyamoto, English (Gary Oak), based on the game of Pokemon Blue. The comic book ‘Electric Tale of Pikachu’ written by Toshihiro Ono in 1997 made the game and the characters cult figures. And even after all these years the Pokemon comics have a large following as do the games. There are Pokemon Center stores in Tokyo, and similar stores all over the world including the Nintendo World Store in New York. (Bulbapedia, 2011)

Yes the brand name does have attraction for adults who played games as children. Thus the kids of 1996 would be 25 years and more teens are taking their places. These adults would no doubt have been weaned away from comics and even gaming. The pictures of Ash and Pikachu would no doubt be part of their teens and there would be a marked preference for brands that would somehow relate to the thrill they had in the capture of a Pokemon. Yes there is thus definitely a scope for the product. There are some memorabilia and games available through the outlets of Nintendo as mentioned. (Bulbapedia, 2011) Therefore while targeting the adults care must be taken to see that the proper goods are linked to the images in the pokemon.

(c) Examine which adult product category would you consider expanding your brand into? i.e., clothes, apparels, fashion accessories, jewellery, toys for grown-up, etc.

First we have to acknowledge that the famous characters and the animals featured in the game and the televised cartoon series are now part of kid and adolescent lore. The game attracted both female and male participants because of the presence of characters like ‘Misty’ and others. Since it is a catch and conquers game that requires logic and nothing else, Pokemon attracts both sexes equally. Secondly the chase and the conquering instincts that people have in adolescence was fulfilled by the game and those who played it and were the viewers of the TV serials and the readers of the books, from the time it came to be released in 1996. Just as the Barbie doll has been with two generations and have been the aspirations for girls, Pokemon has been around inspiring kids and adolescents and even elders for quite some time and are found in variety of forms, games, comics, toys and other gadgets. (Mattos, 2010) They may not be ‘aspiring and inspiring girls’ but they created ambitions in a generation and still continue to do so. The fact is that the parents who chance to sit and watch the episodes on TV with their kids seem to identify better with Pokemon and hence the continuing sales of memorabilia for the items.

The important brands that can appeal to the adult will be something that deals with sport, especially ball. The pokemon was caught in a special ball.

The pikachoo electric golf ball, the miawth volley ball and so on may make a hit

Secondly the images and saga can be used to sell gents centered ‘T’ Shirts with captions and pictures which the teen and adult will like to wear. Men may also like to see some association with Ash/(Character) and the game in some personal products that relates either to a hunt — as in fishing rods, or in capturing things — indirectly their pets. Dog and cat collars and pet accessories and even car accessories that have some link to Pokemon may find a market.

Question 2

Develop a creative brief for an Advertising & Promotions campaign for launching your brand’s new product in the adult market in Singapore. You need to identify your target audience and explain the communication objective, the creative strategy and the execution style.

Taking a hint from the Mattel family, one of the product Hot Wheels has got into motor sports and caters to the Honda Indy, partnering with the FAZZT Race Team. (Carter, 2010) But Pokemone is not about cars or racing. It is about capturing and keeping. In other words, the purpose of using the characters and the logos must be centered on a possession — a great thing that one wants to preserve and nurture and be proud of. even as an adult. Turning to Singapore, we can find that the pet industry is booming there now. Secondly it is the country that exports aquarium fishes to the rest of the world. It is known that the SPCA authorities at Singapore are in the process of fundraising. (SPCA, 2011)

There are many other features that mark the pet industry as a big market in future. The Euro Monitor also offers this view. (Euro Monitor, 2010) According to the is on the rise again in Singapore and the demand for pet care products are on the rise. Thus pet food and other pet products are the best bet for the market. One of the considerations of this market is that ownership of pets has become a lifestyle statement. And thus the, kidults like children and more so will take to these pursuits, and even over “traditional milestones of adulthood like marriage, mortgage and kids.” (Carter, 2010)

It is true that today in Singapore pet ownership as a lifestyle statement. This has gone far with the owners creating a personality and even a wardrobe of their own for the pets. The marketing opportunity in this area comes not only in accessories like cat food by promoting miawth — the famous cat of Pokemon, and the cuddly but electrifying Pikachoo both for the doggie verities and other toys. Singapore is more dog and cat oriented, and the promotion brands can also take these routes. The big players are in the dog and cat food products, both these animals being the preferred pet choice in Singapore. (Euro Monitor, 2010) Thus the attempt must be made to connect the characters or pokemons of the game with the pets of the owners in such a way that the pets remind them of the great game they once played. Nostalgia is a great way to market to the adult audience.

The methods would be to advertise the product recalling the action of getting and keeping a pokemon. For example an advertisement for the Cat food can show meowth / pickachoo being taken into the ball by its owner. Then the question — ‘Meowth was kept in the pokemon ball, you used him in fights dint you? You can’t nourish your cat in a ball now — but give him best nourishment — with Mcatball-meat ball for cats. For doggies we have to similarly bring up an association with throwing the ball — ‘do you throw sticks for your dogs to catch?’ Does he regain energy? Remember that Pokemons need to be nourished.

Question 3

Recommend two (2) suitable Advertising and Promotions tools to complement the advertising campaign.

Pet shops continue to dominate distribution for pet care products in Singapore and they have captive consumers. (Euro Monitor, 2010) Thus all go through them. The strategy therefore is to offer some extra benefit to the pet superstores and dealers to promote the brands that bring in the nostalgia. This may take the form of a) free goodies for the customer in the form of pokemon related stickers being imprinted on them (brushes) doggie plates and so on. Pokemon characters can also be sold as chewies instead of bone chewies and play things. Though pet food is the prime market giving away pokemon related memorabilia to be the play thing of pets, and also the things the master can use to play with the pets will certainly make those who know about the pokemon series want to buy it.


Bulbapedia. (2011) “History of the Pokemon world” Retrieved September 8, 2011, from http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/History_of_Pok%C3%A9mon

Carter, D. (2010) “Forever young: The rise of the kidult.”

The Weekend Post, p. 6.

Euro Monitor. (2010) “Country Report Pet Care in Singapore”

Retrieved September 8, 2011, from http://www.euromonitor.com/pet-care-in-singapore/report

Mattos, M. (2010). “Barbie gets fresh strategy.”

Factiva database.

Reveries. (2004). Kid-Grownup Crossovers. Reveries Magazine,

Retrieved September 8, 2011, from http://www.reveries.com/reverb/research/crossovers/

SPCA. (2011) “insure2give SPCA” Retrieved September 8, 2011, from http://www.spca.org.sg/Fundraisers.html