An ICv2 release. ICv2, with the support of sponsors Pioneer Entertainment, Dark Horse Comics, Viz Communications, and Tokyopop, is launching its 'Grow with Shojo' promotion today, which includes free point of purchase materials for retailers, a display contest with major prizes, and information on how to market the fastest-growing products -- anime and manga--to the fastest-growing segment in pop culture stores -- females.
The term 'shojo' refers to comics (manga) and animation (anime) created in Japan for female consumers. Such products make up 30% of the market in Japan, and that market is a much larger one than in the U.S. Shojo products in the U.S. have been slower to gain acceptance than male-oriented or gender-neutral anime and manga in the U.S., perhaps due to the traditional orientation of pop culture stores toward male customers. Now that seems to be changing. Pop culture stores are increasingly reaching out to female consumers both in Japanese-based products (Sailor Moon) and U.S. (Buffy). And there are increasing numbers of shojo releases to match the change in customer base. For an analysis of the shojo phenomenon in Japan, see 'Shojo Manga and Anime -- Big Business in Japan.' For an enlightening interview with California retailer Joe Fields on how to effectively sell shojo, see 'How To Sell Shojo.'
ICv2 and its sponsors have organized the 'Grow with Shojo' promotion to help retailers share in this growing trend. One way for retailers to alert browsers and passersby to the fact that there's merchandise available for female consumers is to create a sort of critical mass for such merchandise by displaying it together. Another is to use point of purchase materials to 'dress' a window or an area of the store for female consumers. We've got a couple of ways for retailers to get started in such display efforts. One is to get point of purchase materials from our sponsors. All four companies have made some great stuff available free to retailers. Here's information on what's available and how to get it:
Pioneer -- Free Sailor Moon Floor Display
Upon written request (e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org), Pioneer will ship retailers an empty corrugated display with a Sailor Moon header capable of holding nine to twelve facings of product. Typically, these displays only ship full of product, so this is an exclusive for this promotion. The displays are roughly five feet high and have a footprint of under two feet square. While designed for VHS, the displays are suitable to displaying graphic novels, DVDs and merchandise - the limitations will primarily be the retailer's creativity. Please allow 2-3 weeks for fulfillment.
Dark Horse Free Manga Display Kit
Gunsmith Cats bookmarks
Blade of the Immortal bookmarks
Manga Cootie Catchers- an origami puzzle that can tell your fortune
Oh My Goddess friendship cards-a card to exchange with friends that
contains vital information all about yourself.
Blade of the Immortal character cutouts
Allow two to three weeks for delivery.
Viz--Free Retailer Shojo Kit
Viz is offering a Retailer Shojo Kit with information on Viz shojo products, a poster and assorted promotional items.
Two to three weeks for delivery.
Tokyopop's Retailer Manga Kit includes:
A mix of posters of Smile, Saint Tail and Vampire Princess Miyu (while they last)
A mixed bag of Tokyopop back issue comics valued at $20.00.
Another way for retailers to get involved in displaying shojo more aggressively is to enter our Shojo Display Contest. With prizes worth $3000, $2000, and $1000 for the first, second, and third place finishers in this contest, it's definitely worth entering, especially since it's so easy. The sponsors have contributed numerous Sailor Moon videos, DVDs, and graphic novels, Fushiji Yugi videos and DVD boxed sets, Oh My Goddess, Gunsmith Cats, and Dirty Pair trade paperbacks, an autographed Ceres, Celestial Legend poster by acclaimed artist and author Yu Watase, rare statues, and much more. For full lists of the prizes, click on the links below:
For rules and easy entry information for the contest, see 'Grow with Shojo Display Contest.'
You are probably already carrying some anime or manga products directed at females in your store. If you would like to expand your selection for this contest, we suggest you concentrate on the products and properties listed in our prize listings, above. They are available from anime distributors (see our 'Anime Distributor Directory' for a list) and comic distributors ('see our 'Comic Distributor Directory' for a list).
Diamond Comic Distributors will be putting out a special e-mail Monday, August 13, 2001 with a list of products that they have available that can help you fill out your display.