The eponymous star of Everything’s Rosie is the brainchild of V&S Entertainment MD, Vickie Corner, and was actually in development for nine years before going into production for the BBC.
The show was first broadcast on Cbeebies in May 2010, immediately proving a hit with audiences – peaking with a 25 per cent share on the channel in December 2010. The second series was delivered in May and will be airing shortly.
In terms of licensing, the brand is beginning to make its mark, too. Over 20 partners are on board in the UK, with Vivid leading the pack as master toy, supported by Jumbo and Worlds Apart, as well as a range of firms from other categories including Blues, Zap, Zeon, Redan and Pedigree.
Initial product begins to hit shelves from July, with second tier categories such as outdoor toys, electronic learning, wooden toys, creative play, new media, toiletries and dress–up in discussion.
“The reaction from buyers has been fantastic; initial listings are incredibly strong across all retailers,” says Julie Quirke, director of licensing at V&S.
“It is evident that buyers have recognised there is a gap in the market for a new girls property and that Rosie is the brand to fill it. The fact that Rosie will have been on the air for over a year at the time products launch is a further comfort factor that underlines the huge consumer base waiting for Rosie merchandise.”
Rosie’s global broadcast footprint is also growing. The first series now airs in 150 countries, with new deals with major broadcasters in key markets being announced in the coming months in France, Italy, Portugal and Eastern Europe, while a deal in the US is imminent.
In merchandise terms, products will roll out across key markets in the next 12 to 18 months, starting in Spain – where Everything’s Rosie has an audience share of 64 per cent in the four to six year–old age group – and extending through Europe to Italy, Portugal, France, Scandinavia and then the US.
“Central to Rosie’s success are the. extraordinary production values evident on screen, that set a new quality benchmark in the pre–school market,” Quirke continues.
“The storylines are funny and engaging, and appeal to a wide age range, underlining that Rosie is truly a family viewing experience. One of the key factors is that Rosie is a confident and independent character, which is unlike any other pre–school character of recent times.”
Quirke says that the product packaging will utilise key elements which are instantly recognisable from the show to create stand out on shelf. “The usual challenge of launching a pre–school brand in a saturated market did not apply to Rosie, as the quality was instantly recognised by the audience, licensees and retailers. The top high level production values, strong characters and distinct visual look define Rosie as a stand out series of immense quality for the long–term.”
By the end of 2011, Quirke wants to have established Rosie as a top ranking pre–school brand, with a range of products which reflect the high quality production values of the TV series. And the future?
“Our long–term strategy is to establish Rosie as the number one pre–school brand in key markets,” Quirke states.
“We are now signing agents and top level licensees in key territories to ensure that our brand strategy is implemented to successfully build the brand long–term.
“The audience reaction in Spain is a powerful indicator that the distinct visual look of the series and strong cast of colourful characters is resonating with an international fanbase, creating enormous worldwide licensing potential for the future.”