Angel Wars, the new epic, animated, supernatural action-adventure video series about angels confronting fallen spirits from EMI CMG and Telestory Productions, is winning its battle to become the premier ‘tween’ entertainment brand at Christian retail. In the first five months of sales, Angel Wars “Guardian Force 1” has sold 32,000 units exclusively at Christian retail, making it one of EMI CMG’s fastest growing video brands ever.
“The response to Angel Wars has been incredible, and we credit that to the fact that the animation and story are as good as anything coming out of Hollywood; while the theme resonates with kids and is approved by parents,” said Rich Peluso, president of EMI CMG Distribution. “It can take years to establish success with a children’s product line. Looking at the strong numbers Angel Wars has achieved early on, along with great buzz from retailers, parents and kids and we are confident that the potential for Angel Wars is unlimited.”
Angel Wars “Guardian Force 1” which released last November and features the rock music of dc talk, Newsboys and Sanctus Real was created by Chris Waters who describes the series this way: “On the surface, Angel Wars packs plenty of attitude and action but look deeper and there is much more. Angel Wars is meant to entertain AND empower kids. We want kids to know that they matter, that they can make a difference, that there is a spiritual battle going on every day, and that they are part of the army of God. Angel Wars provides that allegorical message, offered in a hip and relevant package that pre-teens and younger will embrace.”
“Angel Wars has been one of our fastest selling new kids’ brands that we have ever had. We are blown away by the success so far, and can’t wait to play a vital role in breaking ‘Guardian Force 2!’” said Becky Wilson, children’s buyer for LifeWay Christian Stores.
In addition to the early sales success, signs of the growing popularity of Angel Wars include the growing “street team” of more than 800 grassroots volunteers who have signed on to help promote Angel Wars in their communities and at their churches and since AngelWars.com launched late last year. Additionally, AngelWars.com has seen more than 26,000 unique visitors. A completely revamped and enhanced website will re-launch in April featuring the trailer and artwork for “Guardian Force 2.”
New promotional activity for “Guardian Force 1” and the unveiling of the next installment “Guardian Force 2,” which releases on June 21, 2005 will certainly increase the brand’s profile, says Peluso. Already in 2005, the Angel Wars’ trailer was featured during WinterJam 2005 rock festival. At retail, Angel Wars “Guardian Force 1” was given prominent store positioning and $9.97 pricing for Easter at LifeWay Christian Stores, Mardel, Family Christian Stores and Berean Christian Stores. The DVD was featured in those retail chain catalogs as well.
Upcoming activity includes a church/youth group promotion that will provide more than 2000 movie packs for churches with the DVD and information and materials on hosting a church viewing party for Angel Wars.
Some of the early success of Angel Wars can certainly be attributed to the priority that EMI CMG Marketing has placed on the video brand, but Peluso said word of mouth about the project is a bigger factor in the growing buzz for the DVD.
After the June 21st release of Angel Wars “Guardian Force 2,” there are additional installments and a music soundtrack scheduled. November 8, 2005 is the planned release date for “Guardian Force 3” and “Guardian Force 4” and the series soundtrack are schedule to hit stores in March 2006.
Angel Wars has been the first new brand launched by EMI CMG’s new Children’s Marketing team and is part of EMI CMG’s ongoing commitment to become the leader of the kids’ Christian entertainment with a premier portfolio of owned and distributed brands. Recently, EMI CMG Children’s Marketing expanded its relationship with Cartoon Pizza, creators of HoopDogz, the faith-based children’s series which launched last fall and is produced by the animation team that created Nickelodeon and Playhouse Disney hits “Doug,” “JoJo’s Circus” and “Stanley.” EMI CMG’s marketing team will direct product marketing for HoopDogz “Stealings Uncool!” the next DVD in the HoopDogz series which releases on May 24.
In addition to Angel Wars and Cartoon Pizza, EMI CMG is home to popular children’s brands including The Roach Approach from Wacky World Studios; Big Idea’s Veggie Tune products (new and catalog) in the general market; the Dove- nominated “Praise Baby Collection” from Big House Kids and Good Times Entertainment and its recent release of “The Pond,” a new video based on the popular syndicated radio show. In addition, EMI CMG Distribution is the leader in kids’ interactive products distributing all VeggieTales Interactive PC games and “Charlie the Church Mouse” games from Lifeline Studios, and earlier this year entered a long-term agreement with Digital Praise for Christian retail distribution of family-friendly entertainment software.