A TV series that started airing almost four years ago on Nickelodeon for kids in the States and Canada, Paw Patrol has become increasingly popular since being available on Netflix in early 2016. It's so popular in fact, that quotes like "Chase is on the case", "Rubble on the double" or "This pup is gonna fly", has become part of the common toddler language. Toddlers are so addicted to Paw Patrol that they want to identify with the characters, live their adventures, own their gadgets or accessories and talk in their language. The show is so popular and the number of fans so high that even celebrity kids are touched by the phenomenon. Including Reese Witherspoon's toddler son, according to her Instagram post from last fall.
Not only do kids see the characters in the show on TV and Netflix, but also in video games or apps that they use on their parents' gadgets. More than that, the pups are present in real world in different forms and shapes: Stuffed animals, toys, but also pictured on bed sheets, pyjamas, clothing, toothpaste and toothbrush, band-aids, eating utensils, water bottles, pieces of furniture, colouring books, stickers, pencils, puzzles, etc.
...Because, as parents have recently become less reluctant to satisfy their kids' immediate desires, there's no efficient marketing, like marketing to kids. Due to a rise in the power of internet as a medium of communication to masses and of programmatic advertising, brands are speaking to the customer in real-time, targeting customers at the exact moment when they are thinking about making a purchase. In this case, Paw Patrol speak to parents in their kids' language, letting them know how much they need a certain toy at an exact moment in time.
When a family shops, in store or online, the child's suggestion counts significantly more than ever to the overall decision of making a certain purchase. With an exponential rise in offer, purchase of kids' items has become an act triggered by a hedonic motivation, rather than by a practical one. Kids want "a squishy Marshall", "Zuma as stuffed dog", rather than a small mascot or a stuffed animal. Thus, Toys"R"Us offers a wall full of Paw Patrol products, while a simple search on Amazon, returns more than 10,000 results that are Paw Patrol related.
So what is it about this show that makes it so catchy? A bunch of puppies (Marshall, Chase, Rubble, Zuma, Trace, Skye, Tracker and Everest) trying to save Adventure Bay, a small town ran by a lady mayor, Mayor Goodway, who is constantly accompanied by her chicken pet: Chickaletta, carried in her purse. Her rival, Mayor Humdingger, constantly attempts to outshine her, by trying to win all the inter town competitions with the aid of the Kitten Catastrophe Crew, an evil kitty version of the rescue paw patrol. We have Ryder, the boy who, in every critical situation, "calls the pups", Alex, a preschooler who doesn't always listen, his Grandpa Porter older sister, Katie. Other human characters worth mentioning include Captain Turbot, a marine biologist who gets in trouble due to his clumsiness and the farmers: Farmer Al and his wife, Farmer Yumi. Of course there are other recurring characters, humans or animals, their importance depending on the suite of actions within the episode where they appear.
Toddlers can relate to the absurdity of facts illustrated in the show: that dogs can save people, that they are more likely to be able to talk than poultry, that chicken play on their owner's iPhone, that kids are more reliable than adults in a "critical" situations and grown-ups call them so they can call doggies, the only capable to complete the job.
So all I can say, if I were to send a message to the producers of the show, is "Chapeau, well done". "No job's to big, no pup is to small", indeed.