Brands Line Up To Welcome Teletubbies To U.S. For First Time

The British are invading once again. And U.S. marketers are champing at the bit to welcome them to the New World.

This month, the Ragdoll Ltd.-created "Teletubbies" characters arrive in New York for a series of promotions and events celebrating the show's 10th anniversary as it seeks to reintroduce itself to an audience that grew up watching it.

Langers Juice, J.C. Penney, Urban Outfitters, Virgin Megastores and even Amtrak have lined up alongside the red carpet to help promote the critters. Even fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi is in on the action.

It all begins today, when goes live. Five bags designed by Mizrahi will be auctioned off there while New York City retailers such as Urban Outfitters and Virgin Megastores will sell Teletubbies apparel to benefit autism organizations.

The Teletubbies promotion is built around a charity. Proceeds will benefit Cure Autism Now and Autism Speaks--organizations supporting autism research and awareness.



Teletubbies, a show for the preschool set that features four colorful characters with screens in their tummies, is a British sensation that is aired in the U.S. on PBS.

The four arrive in Manhattan March 26 for a tour of the city. On March 28, a pop-up shop will open on Bleecker Street, where it will sell apparel, accessories and art through April 7. The shop also will feature a 24-hour Teletubbies marathon and fund-raiser.

Beyond that, the shop will feature a deejay who will offer visitors scratching and spinning lessons. Podcasts will be available on the Web site. Visitors will be able to use tools to create and share content there as well.

New York will declare March 28 Teletubbies Day.

E-mails blasts to trendsetters, wild postings and handbills will support the pop-up shop and Teletubbies tour. Grand Communications, New York City, handles PR.

Amtrak will promote the Teletubbies on 2 million ticket jackets and on posters and counter cards at 93 stations nationwide. The trains will offer branded activity books for kids. In addition, a national sweepstakes tied to a special edition DVD release will award a trip for four to New York City. The promotion kicks off in May and runs through Aug. 5.

Langers Juice next months puts the Teletubbies on 2 million bottles of juice. Fans can send away for a mail-in offer for a free Teletubbies sippy cup with proof of purchase. Langers is a featured sponsor of the "Get Up and Go" exercise programming special May 14-18 on PBS.

J.C. Penney portraits will offer in-store signage tied to the brand in 450 centers. An offer will include a coupon for a free portrait.

Ostrow Alliances, New York City, handles the promotional deals.

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