Alton Towers attracts younger crowd with CBeebies Land

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CBeebies, the dedicated TV channel for under fives which is home to shows such as In the Night Garden and Charlie and Lola, may be losing viewers but that’s not enough to discourage Alton Towers from launching CBeebies Land.

Merlin Entertainment is planning on rebranding part of the park to bring the struggling CBeebies brand to life – through rides and live experiences. It will also give children the opportunity to meet their favourite characters. Think of it a bit like Disney World but without the excitement.

Although it’s not been disclosed if the BBC will financially benefit from the project, it’s great for brand awareness – with its core target market already allowed free access to the park. But I’m yet to see how it will increase viewers. Surely young people’s emotional attachment to the characters stems from them already being fans of the programme. Not the other way round. And most kids don’t have influence over the remote control anyway.

After the BBC was urged to do more for young people, this just comes across as a money-making stunt that ticks boxes with bosses a the same time.

The news has generated a lot of national and regional coverage but I think this is as good as it gets. In my opinion there’s nothing more to say (unless someone gets hurt at CBeebies Land.) The attraction’s got a limited audience because few will pay Alton Towers’ prices for it. And if they do it won’t have a significant impact the channel’s growth.

It’s simply a ‘nice to have’ rather than a well thought out step to strategic success. What do you think?

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