Pure 'Potter' business magic is intergenerational

  July 1, 2003 at 2:49 PM ET
  Cheeser     HPANA (via Reuters via Yahoo! News)

From Reuters via Yahoo! Newsopens in new window:

Industry experts look to the Potter series -- whose fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, sold 5 million copies during its U.S. launch alone -- as a new benchmark.

"What's happened is that a blockbuster really does have to be an inter-generational success," said Mark DiMassimo, president of New York-based DiMassimo Brand Advertising. "This kind of success becomes the new Holy Grail, because the more Harry Potter-like your success can be, the richer you get."

Jennifer Pasanen, vice president of marketing at Scholastic Corp., the U.S. publisher of Potter books, said part of the success is built on a growing number of pure adult buys. Scholastic's marketing of the book has not differed greatly by age group, regardless of whether the venue was an advertisement in a children's magazine or a placement in a high-minded newspaper or radio program.

Marketers and advertising experts say Potter-mania is symptomatic of a broader phenomenon, in which adults hold on to youthful lifestyles for longer stretches of time.

But Andrew Blake, cultural studies professor at King Alfred's College in Winchester and author of The Irresistible Rise of Harry Potteropens in new window stressed that the Potter series, in its text and marketing, has built-in nuances to intrigue adults as well as youngsters, including the secrecy surrounding the release of new books, the midnight witching-hour launch party, and topics that touch on contemporary social anxieties.

Well at least Scholastic and the book world gets it! Now if only we can convince those corporate dolts at Warner Bros. to cut it out with the "kids stuff" and get some respectible adult Potter merchandise...


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