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Teletubbies Invade New York Via Tour, Pop-Up Store

By Mar 16, 2007

Teletubbies is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a tour and pop-up store targeting new age groups—tweens, teens and young adults.

Ragdoll Ltd., the creators of Teletubbies, a show for kids that features four characters with screen in their abdomens, is taking the British preschool sensation from the TV screen to New York for the group’s first U.S. appearance.

The costumed four kick off their tour March 26-29 with visits to city landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Terminal and Times Square. At each stop, the group will stage a live photo shoot.

The company wants to mark its milestone by engaging with consumers beyond its preschool audience.

“We saw this benchmark as a great opportunity to expand our core audience,” says Lynn Godfrey, Ragdoll’s senior director of marketing. “We are reaching out to teens and tweens, that audience that grew up with us and loved us then. People will find Teletubbies are as relevant as when they first experienced them.”

A Teletubbies pop-up shop will open on Bleeker Street in the West Village on March 28. The store, which will operate through April 7, will feature trendy Teletubbies apparel, accessories and art.

As part of the in-store events, the shop will feature a 24-hour Teletubbies marathon and fund-raiser. Organizers will recruit local college students to raise money for every hour they spend watching Teletubbies programming during the marathon. Proceeds will benefit Cure Autism Now and Autism Speaks, the leading organizations supporting autism research and awareness.

“This is about celebrating the Teletubbies and promoting a new line of consumer products,” said Matthew Glass, CEO, Grand Central Marketing, the New York agency handing the tour and pop-up store. “We’re trying to get people to look at the Teletubbies in a fresh way and raise money and awareness for autism.”

With the shop, fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi will design five bags marking the group’s 10th anniversary. Each bag will be auctioned off with their sketches at a branded Web site at TakeTheTeletubbiesTest.com, which launches March 19. Area retailers including Urban Outfitters and Virgin Megastores will sell Teletubbies apparel to benefit autism organizations.

Beyond that, the shop will feature a live DJ who will offer visitors scratching and spinning lessons. Podcasts of the DJ’s performances will be available on the Web site.

The Web site, which serves as the hub of the campaign, will ask visitors to Take the 10-minute Teletubbies Test to watch the show for 10 minutes and share their reactions. It will serve as a home base for long-term fans and novices to the brand, Godfrey said.

Ragdoll will tap into the viral marketing phenomenon by giving visitors the tools to create and share user-generated content on the site. Fans can upload video and audio clips of their quirky comments and point of views about the brand.

Also, March 28 will be declared as Teletubbies Day by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office.

E-mails blasts to trendsetters, wildpostings and handbills will support the pop-up shop and Teletubbies tour. Grand Communications, New York City, handles PR.

For its preschool audience and parents, Ragdoll has signed promotional deals with Amtrak, J.C.Penney and Langers Juice, which launch this spring.

For its part, Amtrak will promote the Teletubbies on 2 million ticket jackets and on posters and countercards at 93 stations nationwide. The trains will offer branded activity books for kids. In addition, a national sweepstakes tied to a special edition DVD release will award a trip for four to New York City. The promotion kicks off in May and runs through Aug. 5.

Langers Juice next months brings the Teletubbies to life on 2 million bottles of juice. Fans can send away for a mail-in offer for a free Teletubbies sippy cup with proof of purchase. Langers is a featured sponsor of the Get Up and Go exercise programming special May 14-18 on PBS.

J.C. Penney portraits will offer in-store signage tied to the brand in 450 centers. An offer will include a coupon for a free portrait.

Ostrow Alliances, New York City, handles the promotional deals.

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