Peanuts Shopper’s Selection, 1998 Spring-Summer

>From bookends to pajamas to the obligatory T-shirts and baseball caps, the >characters from the “Peanuts” comic strip appear on hundreds of items in >Japanese cataloger Fujisankei’s Peanuts Shopper’s Selection. Although most >of the merchandise targets children, plenty of adult products are featured >in this Silver Award winner, including golf clubs, car seat covers, >cookware, and cellular telephone cases. “This variety of product selection >is quite impressive,” praises one panelist.

Although one judge notes that the colorful, widely recognized “Peanuts” figures on the cover compel readers to look inside, “the catalog’s positioning and product line are not clearly represented by the cover.” Inside, however, the catalog begins selling immediately, parading featured items across every page, up to and including the back cover.

The judges (only panelists who read Japanese evaluate this book) are unanimous in their appreciation of Peanuts Shopper’s Selection’s ability to sell merchandise via the copy without ever veering from the Peanuts theme. Although one judge suggests that headlines could be more motivational, all laud the product descriptions. And so consistent is the concept, the panelists note, that the catalog even credits its letter from the editor to Charlie Brown.

Fujisankei gives children added reason to peruse this catalog by including a 12-page pullout insert entitled “Peanuts Times,” a selection of comic strips set around a series of quizzes. The answers are supplied above the section entitled “Snoopy Town Shop News,” which gives updates on Peanuts Shopper’s affiliated stores in Yokohama and Osaka, and provides a number of maps to help young readers guide their parents toward local Snoopy Town shops.

Visually, one judge sums up the design philosophy as “product, product, product!” Despite a dense merchandise offering, the spreads manage to offer a great deal of white space. But while one panelist credits the white space with creating an airy, open layout that calms a potentially frenetic, confusing design, another complains, “The type size of the body copy is too small, especially in view of the white space around it.”

Peanuts Shopper’s Selection succeeds by using popular trademarks to their full advantage. And the spectrum of merchandise and the cross-generational appeal of the “Peanuts” brand appear to ensure this catalog a successful business for the foreseeable future.