An announcement on Wednesday declared that Peanuts Worldwide is now a globally growing digital brand, and will be expanding into mobile gaming, e-books, Facebook and digital apps. This is an effort to “make Peanuts’ relevant to younger fans,” according to Neil Cole, CEO of Iconix Brand Group (owner of 80% of Peanuts Worldwide), as reported by The Washington Post.
The goal is to keep the long-running comic “accessible to the next generation” and this means creating “an immersive experience” through games and social media.
The new digital and social media marketing initiatives include:
- a “freemium” mobile game for smartphones and tablets based on Peanuts characters, to be released in the fall
- a deal with Barnes and Noble that offers two Peanuts books through Nook apps
- two collections of Peanuts comic strips will be available on iTunes, starting next month
- the Peanuts Facebook page asks users to help Snoopy reach 850,000 fans (to “unlock a digital prize pack”) by ‘liking’ the page – to date, the page has over 830,000 ‘likes’
- a Facebook gaming app called Amazement Park
- plans to create original Peanuts’ graphic novels in a digital form, in partnership with KaBOOM!
According to Cole, “Peanuts’ is as relevant today as ever.” But he sees that there is a need “to change with the digital times” in order to maintain brand recognition. Jean Schulz, wife of Peanuts’ creator Charles Schulz, told the Washington Post that she’s “excited by what the Peanuts Worldwide team is doing with these digital initiatives.” The Schulz family owns the remaining 20% of Peanuts Worldwide.
Will expanding into the social and digital realm bring new life – and a younger viewership – to an iconic brand?