How Peppa Pig became a $1.7 billion global cultural phenomenon

The family of two-dimensional pink pigs with protruding snouts, wearing colorful clothes and speaking with British accents, has gone from a modest British TV show to a global presence in households. have young children.

On Friday, the Peppa Pig franchise celebrated its 20th anniversary and remains at the top of most children’s entertainment charts.

Today, its influence extends beyond the TV screen. Pepper Pig toys, theme parks and rides are available in 180 territories. The most recent figures for franchise revenue top $1.7 billion in 2022.

“Peppa Pig has become a powerful brand with its own line of toys/merchandise and accessories, and even theme parks,” said Benjamin Burroughs, associate professor of emerging media at the University of Nevada. , Las Vegas, said. Luck. “Peppa Pig set itself apart by being a quirky and endearing show.”

The staying power of the show and its ethos have made it one of Britain’s most important cultural exports. Just ask one of the parents whose children watch shows outside the UK and suddenly speak up. brother, thank you Peppa, George, Mom and Dad Pig. Even former Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke a lot about his love for Peppa Pig World in Hampshire, England and urged everyone to visit during this time. 2021 keynote.

Separate yourself from the herd

The program creator—Phil Davies, Mark Baker and Neville Astley — were working in production and animation when they came up with the idea for Peppa Pig 20 years ago. They noticed a lack of family-centered stories in children’s programming. Their answer? A four-year-old female pig likes to jump into mud puddles. Peppa can be bossy but loves her family and friends (some of whom are not pigs), and embarks on little trips with them and her teddy bear.

The timing of the show’s popularity also helped – it became as ubiquitous as personal electronic devices, making it much easier for parents to distract their children with it.

“Peppa Pig arrived at a time when mobile phones were being used by parents to convey their parenting to screens and children were adapting to using screens as a primary way to interact with content.”

Girl watching cartoons online with iPad tablet lying on sofa at home.
Last year, Peppa Pig was the fourth most in-demand children’s program worldwide.

Artur Debate—Getty Images

Peppa Pig’s episodes aren’t exactly like Charles Dickens—each episode is only five minutes long, and the plot covers simple themes in a light, humorous way, carefully avoiding villains or otherwise. source of conflict. Indeed, the playfulness and interactions between the characters impressed both children and their parents.

“Peppa is a great example of animals who are real people for children, present in an active family unit, carrying out normal activities that all children enjoy doing, expressing a playful lifestyle brand with great sound effects (snort!). That formula is what sets it apart from other brands,” said Brenda Bisner, chief content officer of Canada-based streaming platform Kidoodle.TV.

Bisner said Kidoodle.TV, available in 160 countries including the US, UK and Australia, has received huge traction from offering Peppa Pig on its service.

Still strong

With a strong yet simple formula, the show has grown from a pilot on Britain’s Channel 5 in 2004 to becoming popular on subscription services and YouTube. It is also translated better 40 languages.

in one more unlikely examples Before Peppa’s enormous impact, pigs were considered a countercultural symbol in China, leading to thousands of animated videos being censored from the social networking site Douyin in 2018. But their characteristics and ways of eating Its celebration of Chinese festivals continues to attract attention Strong interest there.

As the brand expanded its reach and popularity, it caught the eye of American toy maker Hasbro, which acquired the studio behind the show Entertainment One (eOne) for a hefty sum. giant. 4 billion USD in 2019. The deal aims to increase distribution of Peppa Pig and other eOne shows across platforms globally.

Last year, Peppa Pig was the fourth most in-demand children’s show worldwide, entertainment consulting firm Parrot Analytics said. Luckand has become most popular in the UK, US and France this year.

“Peppa Pig is a unique character that resonates strongly with audiences because her courageous, confident personality is allowed to shine. She is preschoolers’ first best friend, encouraging them to engage together and confidently explore the world around them,” said Esra Cafer, Hasbro’s SVP franchise strategy and management for preschool and early childhood. page, said. Luck. Since its acquisition by Peppa Pig, it has become one of Hasbro’s top franchises.

Peppa Pig and her family and friends from the show of the same name are everywhere — from books to toys to attractions. Hasbro has licensing agreements with other international brands such as Reebok and Audible to bring themed products and services to an even larger audience.

Peppa Pig’s first theme park opened in Florida inside Legoland in 2022. The second park opened in Europe before that this month in Günzburg, Germany, thanks to one Investment of 30 million euros (32.7 million USD). Overall, the attractions attracted more than 31 million visitors last year, Cafer said Luck.

There’s still more to come, including another attraction in Texas and the world’s largest Peppa Pig theme park in Shanghai soon. in 2027.

Characters George and Peppa Pig pose during a media preview of Peppa Pig Theme Park in Florida
Mascots George and Peppa Pig pose at the Peppa Pig Theme Park media launch in Florida in 2022.

Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda—Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service/Getty Images

The next 20 years

Of course, it’s not all flowers and sunshine. The franchise has had its fair share of problems, as popularity has brought with it greater scrutiny.

After the first episodes of the series aired, viewers raised concerns about the show’s characters not wearing seat belts and bicycle helmets, leading to a change in policy. next episodes. In 2017, an episode in which Daddy Pig said that spiders “can’t hurt you” was banned in Australia, where encounters with spiders can be deadly.

Concerns The story about Daddy Pig being constantly criticized for being fat has also swirled over the years.

After the series was criticized by viewers for not reflecting the realities of different families beyond a four-member unit of father and mother, in 2022, Peppa Pig introduces a same-sex couple. The pair—which includes two female polar bears named “Mom” and “Doctor”—have drawn criticism and praise for including LGBTQ+ characters in a preschool show.

Love it or hate it, Peppa Pig isn’t going anywhere. Although unintended, the show became a British cultural symbol. Cafer said what has attracted audiences throughout the years will continue to attract new fans in the years to come.

“Peppa Pig is as popular as ever. The first 20 years have been incredible and 2025 marks the first year of the next 20 – we have big plans ahead,” she said.


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