The Revitalising Nature of Star Power

Many children of the late 80s and early 90s would fondly remember the Australian cartoon Blinky Bill. A cartoon about an adventurous koala and his Australian animal friends was the height of fun at the time, but it appears that the life of Blinky Bill may not be over. With plans in place for a return to an even bigger screen, will Blinky be able to compete with the children’s entertainment monoliths?


Blinky Bill will be making his way into cinemas for a 2015 release date in a new CGI adventure. Far from the original cartoon drawings, this latest offering has been brought into line with the latest animation standards. But can a story about a rambunctious koala really compete with Disney, Pixar or the most recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

It can . . . with a little bit of help from some friends.

Alongside this Australian icon is a host of quintessential Australian stars. Ryan Kwanten from True Blood and Home and Away will lead the cast ably assisted by Robin McLeavy who was recently seen in our own Rebel Wilson’s Super Fun Night. Joining this pair will be Deborah Mailman, Toni Collette, Richard Roxburgh, David Wenham and Barry Humphries.

It would be difficult to choose a cast that portrays more-loved Australian actors and actresses than this impressive group. But notice something strange? Can you see any of these performers’ contributions being noticed by the Blinky Bill target demographic?

No? That might be because you are thinking of the wrong demographic.

As much as children want to go and see a movie, they are not the ones who are forking out copious amounts of money for an hour and a half of entertainment. Children can be rather persistent but can still face quite a bit of resistance if the spenders don’t want to see a movie.

So why not win over the parents as well?

The impressive cast has great appeal to a slightly older target market. Not people in their teens. Not people in their twenties. But people in their thirties and above. The bulk of the fans for Offspring, Muriel’s Wedding and Dame Edna Everage are of child bearing age, young parenthood or soon to be grandparents age. And for all those older sisters lumped with a child to entertain for the day . . . there is always Ryan Kwanten.

While the target demographic of Blinky Bill may be rather young, the target demographic of this cast is most certainly not. They are cleverly targeting the people who hold the purse strings and who ultimately make the decision on which entertainment option is chosen.

The same phenomenon was used in the Shrek franchise with a host of appealing celebrities included which appealed to an older audience. The kids definitely weren’t going to see Jennifer Saunders and Antonio Banderas – but it was a much more appealing option for the decision makers thanks to their contribution.

I guess the lesson from this is to think outside the box. Just because your product appears to appeal to one demographic doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t target any gatekeepers who may stand in the way!