TMNT25, Peppercom join for 'shell-ebration'

Mirage Studios and 4Kids Entertainment have hired Peppercom to lead PR for TMNT25, the 25th anniversary "shell-ebration" of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who made their comic-book debut in 1984.

NEW YORK: Mirage Studios and 4Kids Entertainment have hired Peppercom to lead PR for TMNT25, the 25th anniversary "shell-ebration" of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who made their comic-book debut in 1984.

The campaign, which will run from early 2009 through that October, will incorporate experiential marketing to give fans a chance to interact with the Turtles as they tour the US, according to Gary Richardson, CEO of Mirage Studios.

PR tactics, which will make up approximately 60% of Peppercom's campaign, will also include direct consumer outreach, digital and mobile communications, and events, said Maggie O'Neill, senior director of Peppercommotions, the agency's experiential marketing division. The team will also use ComicCon and the Toy Fair to reach out to the trade media.

No formal RFP was issued, but Richardson said several agencies were considered. The campaign's budget, which isn't yet finalized, will be at least $1 million, added O'Neill.

"We wanted to bring events that would engage the original fans of the Turtles, celebrating the heritage of the property in all its forms," Richardson said. "Peppercom had the background for what we needed for the events to be non-traditional and to target the original fans now in their 20s and 30s who are clearly very involved in using the Internet and mobile phones."

The campaign is targeting not only alumni fans, but also new fans, ages 4 to 11.
"This will be a true cross-marketing effort for us with a focus on experiential events, digital marketing, [and] partnership development," O'Neill said. "Every- thing we're doing from an experiential sense will have PR in it."

A lot of the Turtles' fan base is online, so Peppercom will use blogs, vlogs, and social networking sites to reach them, including leveraging its presence on Facebook and MySpace, as well as niche blog The 5th Turtle.

This is Peppercom's first project with Mirage and 4Kids. The firm will work with both companies' senior communications executives on the campaign.

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