Sailor Moon, a global anime phenomenon launched in 1992 on TV Asahi in Japan, spawning early retail launches, ranging from themed cafes to public sexual health awareness campaigns and a permanent store in Japan’s fashionable Harajuku district. Today Sailor Moon is a $13 billion franchise that is leveraging brand partnerships and social media to stay top-of-mind among Gen X, millennials, and new Gen Z fans. The Sailor Moon approach to brand partnerships is an object lesson in courting multi-generational audiences.

Sailor Moon, Brand Strategist 

The Sailor Moon franchise has created an impressive roster of brand partnerships since 2020, including Colourpop, Uniqlo, Skechers, Casetify, and most recently Jimmy Choo. While its storyline is an anime classic, its appeal is multigenerational, with famous super fans like Lizzo and Sailor Moon-inspired trends on TikTok raising the brand’s profile for new audiences.

One reason for Sailor Moon’s brand partnership success could be the size of the market for anime-themed products, even in absence of a brand collaboration angle. While the cosplay costumes and wigs market is slated to grow by nearly 15 percent each year, consumers thirsty for more Sailor Moon gear will likely be open to discovering new products on social. 

Anime’s appeal as multigenerational content shows its cultural impact and potential as a vehicle to engage new audiences around new brand collaborations. According to Axios, global demand for anime-themed content rose by 118 percent between 2020 and 2022, and Sailor Moon is among the world’s most lucrative anime franchises.

What It Means For Marketers:

Anime fans are active consumers of content. According to Morning Consult, about one-quarter of Netflix’s anime fans watch content within the genre daily on the platform. Anime fans are also highly motivated to purchase themed and special edition merchandise, even when it appears in a new retail arena, like a luxury retail chain. While fans may be unable to afford shoes that cost over $1k, they will discuss it and post aspirational content that boosts brand recognition. That’s why brands are integrating content brands with powerful retail collaboration potential into their marketing strategy.

The takeaway? Working with content brands can provide a runway to new channels and hybrid branded content opportunities.

“Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon is a unique global phenomenon,” Jimmy Choo Creative Director Sandra Choi stated in a press release reported by Gotham. “[It’s] a manga and anime that resonates, bridging cultures and languages, speaking to different generations, bringing us all together. That is what drew me to this project.”