In a dramatic step toward building a mass market, Tokyopop will be advertising its manga titles on television.  The ad flight will begin in May and run through September, covering the key summer selling season.  Tokyopop VP-Marketing John Powers told us that the ads will run on Cartoon Network, MTV, Spike TV, G4, and Tech TV.  Among the properties to be advertised are Saiyuki, D.N.Angel, Tokyo Babylon, Princess Ai, and Tokyo Tribes. 


We asked Powers about the creative for the ads.  'Combining a dynamic use of featured manga covers and interior panel art, the ads will consist of computer generated imagery in a state-of-the-art animated presentation,' he said. 'We're able to introduce television viewers to the true essence of manga, while giving them a peek into some of its most enjoyable stories and characters.'


Although comic publishers have produced television ads for use in coop programs in the past, and Hasbro paid for television ads for comics featuring its toy properties in the 80s, this is the first time in our recollection that a comic publisher has borne the full cost for television advertising for its products.  Retailers have asked for such publisher support for comic sales for decades; Tokyopop is to be applauded for taking this bold step.