Most brands could only dream of having a feature movie built around
their products. But it’s a dream come true for American Girl.
Based on a doll, the film Kit Kittredge was another in a
long line of successful brand extensions launched by the powerhouse toy
brand, American Girl. American Girl had worldwide revenues of about US$
431 million in 2007. That’s a pretty healthy chunk of the US$ 6 billion
in net sales recorded by American Girl’s owner, Mattel, also the maker of the Barbie doll.
Those young girls, predominantly ages 9 through 12 and known as
“tweens,” are a desirable target for brands. American Girl targets them
efficiently and relentlessly. Statistics cited by Kellogg World,
the alumni magazine of the Kellogg School of Management, indicate
tweens spend over US$ 10 billion annually themselves, but their parents
spend over US$ 175 billion on them. The tween market is estimated to
grow as much as 15 percent per year.