The Ongoing Spell of Harry Potter

With the British Library marking the 20th anniversary of the publication of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ with a special history of magic exhibition, we take a look at the enduring power of Harry Potter to inspire children and adults alike, what makes Harry Potter fans different to the average adult in Britain and how they can most effectively be engaged.

Data from Kantar Media’s TGI study of consumer behaviour and characteristics reveals that over a million adults (aged 15+) claim to have visited the Warner Bros Studio Tour: ‘The Making of Harry Potter’ in the past year.

They are a fifth more likely than the average adult to be female, almost twice as likely to have a family income of £75,000 or more and over twice as likely to be in the TGI Lifestage groups ‘Fledglings’ (aged 15-34, not married/living as couple, do not live with relations) and ‘Secondary School Parents’ (live with son/daughter and youngest child aged 10-15) – demonstrating the power of Harry Potter both over young independent adults and those with older children who no doubt have seen their offspring become addicted to the Harry Potter stories, in many cases following in their parents’ footsteps.

Keen readers who like to stand out amongst their peers

Given the subject matter, you might expect those who have undertaken the Harry Potter studio tour to be voracious readers and this is true. TGI data reveals they are almost a quarter more likely to have bought or read 10 or more books in the past 12 months, with fantasy and adventure the standout favourite genre, compared to other adults.

When it comes to their attitudes and motivations, those to have been on the Harry Potter tour like to stand out and be noticed compared to the average adult. For example they are almost twice as likely to say that their car should catch people’s attention, also almost twice as likely to say they like it when their nails attract attention and over twice as likely to say they buy new products before most of their friends. Thus, feeling appreciated and special is an aspiration that can be particularly valuable to leverage amongst this target.

Sponsorship, mailings and cinema can all be an efficient means of reaching Harry Potter fans

To engage this audience effectively through the media, it is instructive to note that they are over two and half times more likely than the average adult to agree that celebrities influence their purchase decisions. They are also over twice as likely to admit that they tend to buy from companies who sponsor TV programmes and indeed over twice as likely to buy from companies who sponsor exhibitions or music events. Mailings could also prove an efficient means of targeting this group, as they are over twice as likely to say they tend to pay more attention to mail if it’s about something advertised on TV.

These Harry Potter studio Tour goers are also particularly likely to be heavy consumers of cinema, almost two and a half times more likely to be amongst the heaviest fifth of cinema goers. Whilst they are particularly likely to cite the fantasy film genre as their favourite type compared to the average adult, it is nevertheless outranked by romantic/love films and disaster movies.

Harry Potter remains extremely popular amongst children

When it comes to Harry Potter mania amongst children, data form Youth TGI reveals that over half (53%) of 7-10 year olds rate Harry Potter as ‘cool’. This makes Harry Potter amongst the most popular of fictional characters amongst this age group, ahead of the likes of Batman, Spiderman and Superman (all at 45%).

Meanwhile, amongst the slightly older 11-14 year old age group, Harry Potter again ranks amongst the most popular of fictional characters of those measured on Youth TGI, rated ‘cool’ by 45%, ahead of the likes of Minions (44%), Spongebob Squarepants (28%) and Transformers (26%).

Cinema can be an effective means of reaching 11-14 year old Potter fans

These 11-14 year olds who consider Harry Potter as ‘cool’ are 23% more likely than the average youth in this age bracket to be amongst the heaviest fifth of consumers of cinema. The most popular film types amongst this age group are action and adventure films, which are the favourite genre of 23% of them. In addition, 22% of them enjoy animation as their favourite film type, which makes them 20% more likely than the average 11-14 year old to do so.

Thus we can see that amongst adults and children alike, interest in Harry Potter remains strong and association with the boy wizard can prove very beneficial if fans are targeted in a way tailored to their existing tastes and attitudes. 

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