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China Ready to Soothe World with Pleasant Goat
March 2, 2011 11:50 AM
In America, we have Mickey Mouse. In Japan, there’s Hello Kitty. Both animated icons have generated billions of dollars in revenue and, perhaps even more importantly, raised the cultural cachet of their respective countries to sensational levels.
And now China is getting into the action. Meet Pleasant Goat!
If you haven’t recently spent time in China, there’s a good chance you’ve never been tickled by the infectious pleasantness of this goat. But for former Citigroup Asia investment banking chairman Francis Leung, this adorable and, I’m told exceedingly pleasant goat is the key to China’s future….of animated goats.
“The 'Pleasant Goat' cartoon is broadcast on more than 75 satellite and cable TV networks across China, according to Mr. Leung. He said the first film based on the characters, released in 2009, broke box-office records for locally produced animation films in China with 80 million yuan in revenue.”
Leung’s plan is pretty straightforward. Get this wonderfully pleasant goat in front of as many kids as possible and watch the money pour in with the force of a pleasant tsunami. The Journal reports that Leung plans to develop “other lines of consumer products under the cartoon brand including books, toys, as well as songs and games that can be downloaded from the Internet and mobile phones.”
But as anyone who’s ever worked in the field of animated pleasant goats knows quite instinctively, sharing the pleasantness of a goat with friends across the world can be challenging.
"Creating a smash hit out of any character takes time and perseverance, and sustaining the success is even harder," Masumi Oishi, an analyst at Ichiyoshi Research Institute in Tokyo, who covers Sanrio Co., the company behind Hello Kitty, tells the Journal.
"What appeals to Chinese people may not be that impressive to the overseas market," added Kwai Bun, CEO of ManyMany Creations.
But if this YouTube video is any indication, the world already has a finely developed appetite for amusing goats.
This one screams like a man, and has close to 3 million hits on YouTube.
If the world was ever hungry for a pleasant goat to balance out this angry one, the time is now.
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