Gender Cross-Marketing and Jessie Bannon Note

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The following appeared in Childrens Business in June 1996. The citation is Azoulay, Julia Fein (June 1996). Bridging the gender gap. Childrens Business: Vol. 11, No. 6, p. 58. ISSN: 0884-2280.

Turner Home Entertainment (T.H.E.) has a different solution. "We try to make sure that gender is addressed in all categories," says T.H.E.'s Frederika Brookfield. "If we license a product that will appeal primarily to boys, our strategy is to then go out and seek another product specifically geared toward girls." Scheduled to launch "The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest" simultaneously on TBS, TNT and the Cartoon Network in August of this year, T.H.E. is busy licensing a number of products and promotions to support that launch. Described as "a hip remake of the classic Jonny Quest TV series that mesmerized a generation of kids in the '60s" by Hanna-Barbera senior vice president Susan Frank, "The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest" has been "developed to attract both boys and girls," Brookfield insists.

"What's different now is that Jessie has been intentionally developed to serve as a strong role model for girls," says Brookfield. "Her role has been strengthened and emphasized in direct response to the '90s." Dick Arth of Buy-Rite, Inc., also slated to license Quest for fashion accessories, predicts that "If Jessie proves to be as cool and independent as she's being planned to be, there will definitely be a cross-over. She's definitely a '90s girl."

With a product launch slated to include action figures and toys, cereal, comic books, CD-ROM trading cards, costumes, fashion accessories and a line of young adult books, T.H.E. clearly has a lot to gain if their market is, in fact, doubled to include both boys and girls. "Traditionally, action adventure animation may be stronger with boys, but in this case, storylines are being developed to draw girls in," Brookfield confides. "We're really hoping for a wide berth of viewership."

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