Saturday, 26 February 2011

Creative Industries: Similarly Targeted Product Research (Part 2)

Last time I looked at the Cartoons, I took a brief look at ones currently being shown on the Disney Channel highlighting notable shows. This time I'll be looking at shows that air on the channel Cartoon Network, in comparison to the Disney Channel there is a larger amount of cartoons being shown on the channel, so to keep it fair I chose the same amount at random as Disney (which totalled at 11), these shows are listed Below:
The first thing I noticed when researching these titles is that each of these with the exception of 'Billy & Mandy and The Powerpuff Girls, feature Male characters in the lead role. This already potentially alienates half of the target audience. Each of these shows all feature comedy elements but, Ben 10 and Batman focuses more on the adventures of the characters with comedy used to pad out the story. Another thing I noticed is that the cartoons from Cartoon Network have more shows with animals as the main character but human pre-teens and teenagers are still the main mold for a main character, again this is to most likely make it more relatable.

Of the 11 shows one of the more outstanding programmes is Adventure Time. The show follows the adventures of Finn and his magical stretching dog, Jake. The show itself is full of fantastic concepts and is genuinely entertaining to all ages, it takes the fantasy adventure genre and completely turns it on it's head, the animation style is very simple which instantly makes it accessible to anyone as well. Whilst this show features a male main character theres always supporting ones who often help build the humour in the show. Finn himself is a good role model as he often tries to do the right thing and always make sure innocent people aren't hurt.

The show is fairly new and hasn't received much in terms of franchising but in a sense that keeps Adventure Time special, whats important to take away from this cartoon is that sometimes the most insane ideas can work to your advantage when designing a Cartoon.

The next notable cartoon is Ben 10. Telling the adventures of a young Ben Tennyson whom has the power to transform into 10 different alien heroes thanks to the device on his wrist. The show itself is clearly targeted towards boys but it does feature a range of supporting cast members, it should be noted that just because it's targeted towards boys doesn't mean only boys will watch it. What makes Ben 10 note worthy is the fact that it has spawned a huge franchise with 3 seperate Tv Series, Live-action movies, video games and toys. When walking around a city it's common to see children with Ben 10 branded clothing/bags.

The popularity most likely comes from the relatable age of the main character, the premise of the show and most likely a great deal of advertising/promotion. Ben 10 is the only to have a successful multimedia franchise as an original cartoon, where as Batman: The Brave and The Bold is based of an existing character. Ben 10 serves as an example of how a show can become a huge franchise given the proper promotion campaign.

As mentioned earlier all these cartoons fall into comedy/adventure but what also seperates them from the cartoons shown on the Disney Channel is that they don't all follow the conflict>solution>moral structure and it makes for a refreshing watch. Plus this selection of cartoons also features 2 successful franchises where as the Disney Channel ones seem to only see the cartoons as that rather than potential franchises each in it's own right, that said not every cartoon is suit for franchise treatment.

With that my look at similarly targeted cartoons is complete, in total I looked at 22 cartoons, with further analysis of 4 shows. What I've established is that Human male characters around the early teen ages is the most commonly used main character achetype and that the show usually revolves around comedy or adventure. With this knowledge I'm already coming up some ideas that follow these conformities

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