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 Post subject: United Nations to Collaborate With Thomas the Tank Engine
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:10 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8919
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
Sorry, this is NOT an April Fool's post.

If you thought HIT Entertainment, and then Mattel, were going to be (or have been) the "kiss of death" for the phenomenon known here colloquially as "Thomas the Bank Engine", then brace yourselves:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... d-nations/

Quote:
With viewership in decline, Mattel hopes the U.N. can revamp Thomas the Tank Engine with ‘woke’ messages
The toy brand and the United Nations have been engaged in an 18-month collaboration that has the diplomatic body helping shape story lines and characters on the cable television series.


No comment from me..............


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 Post subject: Re: United Nations to Collaborate With Thomas the Tank Engin
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:41 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 523
Location: Wall, NJ
As a marketing guy, it seems like a brilliant idea to me. A resource that perhaps few have thought of. We tend to look at our own museums and wonder what we can do to increase or at least maintain ridership numbers, not much different than Mattel really, although on a smaller scale. Again, I congratulate Mattel for looking outside the norm for story line ideas and a means to expand viewership.

There is a lesson here for all of us. What resources are out there that have not been tapped and that you never would have thought of in your life?

J.R. May


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 Post subject: Re: United Nations to Collaborate With Thomas the Tank Engin
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:53 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2160
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
My other post was more about, have you noticed a decline in Thomas revenue?

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 Post subject: Re: United Nations to Collaborate With Thomas the Tank Engin
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:52 am
Posts: 29
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Sorry, this is NOT an April Fool's post.

If you thought HIT Entertainment, and then Mattel, were going to be (or have been) the "kiss of death" for the phenomenon known here colloquially as "Thomas the Bank Engine", then brace yourselves:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... d-nations/

Quote:
With viewership in decline, Mattel hopes the U.N. can revamp Thomas the Tank Engine with ‘woke’ messages
The toy brand and the United Nations have been engaged in an 18-month collaboration that has the diplomatic body helping shape story lines and characters on the cable television series.


No comment from me..............




This "woke" phenomenon/movement common in the younger generation is ridiculous. Basically, a self anointed status of bearing politically correct thought to the point that one has completely and totally subscribed to what is considered "acceptable" by one particular political ideology.

As to stay neutral, I would frown upon a similar movement/phenomenon if led by any other political party/ideology. I would rather people arrive at their own opinions rather than be told what opinions to have. But I digress....

Back to the topic at hand. From a marketing standpoint, politicizing a product is the easiest way to alienate half of an audience. For example the Nike/Kaepernick situation has caused right-leaning people to feel alienated by Nike and a boycott by the right. Conversely, the past Chick-fil-a or Hobby Lobby situations led to left-leaning people feeling alienated and a boycott by the left.

Making Thomas the Tank engine have any political lean is just going to alienate approximately half of the current audience. I don't see how this is a good idea. I hate politics, I would also hate a political Thomas the Tank engine.


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 Post subject: Re: United Nations to Collaborate With Thomas the Tank Engin
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:37 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2414
[quote="bbaker”] This "woke" phenomenon/movement common in the younger generation is ridiculous.[/quote]

Speaking firmly from a marketing POV, it doesn’t matter what any of us think. “Woke” and pro-social trends are driving a lot of commerce these days (look no further than Nike and Levi’s in the past 48 hours). If one wants to grow an audience of younger visitors, riders, etc... it behooves one to think about what attracts their dollars. Obviously, that’s where HIT is coming from.

Does that mean we all have to personally embrace it? No. But firmly positioning against it is the latest version of “get off my lawn, you kids.”

We are trying to put butts in seats during a very charged time. Some corporations find it good marketing to wear their hearts on their sleeves, and boycotts against them rarely make any significant financial impact (see the In’n’Out furor over the weekend... and yes, I will take my controversy animal style). HIT would seem to be in good stead.

The trick is to know your audience and what sells to them. “Woke” Thomas may not play well in some markets while excelling in others. If you have a large operation that draws international visitors, tolerance and acceptance may play a bigger role.

HIT’s motivation is profit, so obviously their calculations show the changes will reverse Thomas’ downward trend. If the changes work, would tourist railroad XYZ turn its back on blue bucks solely because Percy uses a gender-neutral roundhouse stall?

I expect this is a topic we will hear more about. I’d be curious to know if any rail preservation operations have had recent success with LGBTQ events or other inclusive functions. It will be an interesting trend to watch.

Rob

PS: The idea of connecting the UN and steam trains may sound unique, but outside of the US there are heritage railways playing both direct and indirect roles in UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


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 Post subject: Re: United Nations to Collaborate With Thomas the Tank Engin
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:53 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2414
I should have mentioned that I have current experience in international tourism marketing both targeting Americans looking to go abroad and attracting foreign visitors to the US. There has been a massive shift in travel behavior, especially when it comes to what motivates an individual to chose or reject a destination. What we call “woke” plays a big role, especially in the AirBNB era. That’s a whole other discussion.

Speaking of which, are any US heritage railways or museums partnering with local AirBNB hosts?


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 Post subject: Re: United Nations to Collaborate With Thomas the Tank Engin
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:29 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 510
Location: B'more Maryland
I STILL don't understand the backlash against what people are calling "political correctness".

What's the problem with being respectful of people? That's ALL it is.

I understand that sometimes it requires people to do some uncomfortable self-examination, but I guarantee you'll be a better person for it.

Of course there are extreme examples that are frequently the source of much derision, but those are NOT the norm and NOT what it's actually about.


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 Post subject: Re: United Nations to Collaborate With Thomas the Tank Engin
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:47 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:08 pm
Posts: 299
Location: Amherst, Oh
Ah, so this is the political thread for this topic!

I have to agree with Ed though - so they're going to add some more female characters and have Thomas travel around the world visiting other countries. What's the big deal?

In reality here's all Mattel really cares about: "Whether the makeover will provide that sales jolt remains to be seen. Barbie sales rose 24 percent earlier this year thanks to the new set of dolls and a message of female empowerment."


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 Post subject: Re: United Nations to Collaborate With Thomas the Tank Engin
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:58 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:31 am
Posts: 521
robertjohndavis wrote:

Speaking firmly from a marketing POV, it doesn’t matter what any of us think. “Woke” and pro-social trends are driving a lot of commerce these days (look no further than Nike and Levi’s in the past 48 hours).


Nike lost 4.2 BILLION loss in market capital due to their new campaign. We do not know what the effect on Levi will be, but look at what happened to Target and Starbucks. "Woke" just seems like a great way to go "broke."

[EDIT sorry, I couldn't help it. Mods can cut the end off if need be]

How are trains supposed to be "woke" anyway? I suppose you will see same-steam relationships, a caboose that identifies as a dining car, and legalization of bio diesel. I think we have ALL experienced "steam privilege" (that actually is real, haha) and I am curious to see their take on the #me-choo-choo movement. [jk]


Last edited by 6-18003 on Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: United Nations to Collaborate With Thomas the Tank Engin
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:10 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:08 pm
Posts: 299
Location: Amherst, Oh
Nike stock is down approximately 2.5% since the new ad, but still up approximately 28% for the year.

They've hardly gone broke.

Edit:
YTD Target is up about 31%.
YTD Starbucks us down about 7%.


Last edited by Emmo213 on Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: United Nations to Collaborate With Thomas the Tank Engin
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:11 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:31 am
Posts: 521
Emmo213 wrote:
Nike stock is down approximately 2.5% since the new ad, but still up approximately 28% for the year.

They've hardly gone broke.



I won't buy another pair, one drop in the bucket but who knows.


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 Post subject: Re: United Nations to Collaborate With Thomas the Tank Engin
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2342
Location: Northern Illinois
Ed Kapuscinski wrote:
I STILL don't understand the backlash against what people are calling "political correctness".

What's the problem with being respectful of people? That's ALL it is.


Well, from a museum viewpoint, it looks like revisionist history, so that alone raises suspicion. Face it, while the railways may have been built by labors of many races and creeds, they were conceived and brought to fruition by "old white males." What is wrong with giving them their due?

Of course, this isn't about history, it's about Thomas. Maybe the railroads on the Isle of Sodor really were built by fairies... who knows? But when the children's shows start to look like political indoctrination, many parents are going to change the channel, and that is going to directly affect the income of some of those museums.

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 Post subject: Re: United Nations to Collaborate With Thomas the Tank Engin
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:16 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:31 am
Posts: 521
Wasn't there a big flap a few years ago about the engines not having free choice? I swear to God our grandfathers are having a good laugh in the afterlife. People can't get out of their own heads these days.


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 Post subject: Re: United Nations to Collaborate With Thomas the Tank Engin
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:26 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:08 pm
Posts: 299
Location: Amherst, Oh
Dennis Storzek wrote:
Well, from a museum viewpoint, it looks like revisionist history, so that alone raises suspicion. Face it, while the railways may have been built by labors of many races and creeds, they were conceived and brought to fruition by "old white males." What is wrong with giving them their due?

Of course, this isn't about history, it's about Thomas. Maybe the railroads on the Isle of Sodor really were built by fairies... who knows? But when the children's shows start to look like political indoctrination, many parents are going to change the channel, and that is going to directly affect the income of some of those museums.



How is Thomas visiting Australia or getting beat in a race by a girl train "revisionist history" or political indoctrination?

From the article:
Quote:
“Some think girls are weak, but I know that’s not true,” Thomas says in one piece of content soon after he is bested in a race — and rescued — by Hong-Mei.


Oh the horror!


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 Post subject: Re: United Nations to Collaborate With Thomas the Tank Engin
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:36 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 510
Location: B'more Maryland
Dennis Storzek wrote:
Ed Kapuscinski wrote:
I STILL don't understand the backlash against what people are calling "political correctness".

What's the problem with being respectful of people? That's ALL it is.


Well, from a museum viewpoint, it looks like revisionist history, so that alone raises suspicion.


How so?


Dennis Storzek wrote:
Face it, while the railways may have been built by labors of many races and creeds, they were conceived and brought to fruition by "old white males." What is wrong with giving them their due?


Your statement right there demonstrates the problem. Thinking that giving a slight nod to the people who ACTUALLY did the work and then defending the people who did relatively little of it illustrates one of the major problems people often have when talking about history.

We've all HEARD about the generals. But you know what really connects with people? Hearing about the soldiers.

Dennis Storzek wrote:
Of course, this isn't about history, it's about Thomas. Maybe the railroads on the Isle of Sodor really were built by fairies... who knows?


Nobody's saying that.

Dennis Storzek wrote:
But when the children's shows start to look like political indoctrination, many parents are going to change the channel, and that is going to directly affect the income of some of those museums.


Political indoctrination of what, again. They're not saying "vote for this person", they're saying "people of all types have value". If that's not a thing you're about teaching kids, well, I don't really know what to say. And if parents turn it off because of that, well, I wonder what other terrible stuff they're teaching their kids.


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