entertainment

Strawberry Shortcake Grows From Greeting Cards To Girl Power

Strawberry Shortcake — a kid’s brand that began life as a greeting card character and has since exploded into a vast array of licensing and entertainment products — means business. 

Fresh off being acquired by Iconic Brand Group last year for $105 million, the brand is positioning itself champion of female empowerment turning the brand’s signature phrase, “Anything Is Possible,” into a rallying cry for young girls. 

“It’s an attention-getting message that aligns with the character and the roots of this brand,” Leigh Anne Brodsky, managing director of Iconix Entertainment, tells Marketing Daily. “I think people are going to be very moved by it.” 

The brand is highlighting its new positioning with a video that will premiere at the “#AnythingIsPossible When You #InvestInGirls and #InvestInWomen” conference in New York City next week, in advance of the International Day of the Girl on October 11. (In addition to Strawberry Shortcake, other sponsors of the conference include Ellevate Network, The Girl Scouts of Greater New York and L’Oreal.)

The video, created by crowdsourced production company Tongal, features a girl speaking about her lifelong dreams, which include singing in front of huge crowds, becoming a veterinarian, speaking in front of the United Nations and walking on a distant planet. “I can become anything I want,” says the girl, who is shown drawing her dreams in her room. “Anything is possible.”

“We felt this [message] resonates with moms and dads of girls, especially moms who grew up with the brand,” Brodsky says. “I think there’s more to this brand other than looking cute, and that’s something I wanted to reinforce.”

While “Anything Is Possible” is a long-term tagline for the brand, the girl-empowerment strategy comes from the brand’s actual characters, all of whom own and run their own businesses within the Strawberry Shortcake world, Brodsky says. 

“When we bought this brand, we got those assets, and we started to craft a strategy around them,” she says. “If it weren’t for the fact that these characters have businesses, it wouldn’t work.”

The video will open the conference on Oct. 3 and will be shared across the brand’s social channels (with a goal of getting a million views). With another video to follow later this fall, the brand is hoping to create an emotional (and nostalgic) connection to set it apart from the many other brands in the marketplace, Brodsky says. 

“People emotionally connect with brands that stand for something,” Brodsky says. “As a brand owner, you have to talk about what you stand for and what your selling proposition is. We need to have Strawberry Shortcake stand out among all the other properties out there.”

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