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Case Study: Mutts Comics

Award-Winning Comic Strip Attracts New Fans and Builds Online Market Power

Case Study: Mutts Comics

THE CLIENT: The Mutts comic strip, first published in 1994 through King Features Syndicate, a division of Hearst Corporation, currently appears in more than 600 newspapers in more than 20 countries. Creator/artist Patrick McDonnell is a winner of the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year (a lifetime achievement), Germany’s prestigious “Max and Moritz” Best International Comic Strip Cartoonist Award, the 2010 Harvey Award for best strip or panel, and multiple Genesis Awards, now presented by the Humane Society, for ongoing commitment and outstanding work on behalf of animal welfare issues. Fifteen Mutts books have been published in the United States, including McDonnell’s first children’s book “The Gift of Nothing.”

DELIVERABLES:

  • Pre-launch survey of readers, and a continuing annual readership follow-up to track demographics, reading preferences, and information about purchasing decisions
  • Consistent branding throughout the site and all interactive communications
  • Layout and navigation designed to: support the huge MUTTS fan community, educate about MUTTS and the distinct world of comic art in general, promote animal welfare, encourage healthy living
  • Additional features: comic strip archives, title panel artwork, an events timeline, watercolor features, blog, and a news database
  • MUTTS Comic strip delivered daily to fans’ inboxes
  • Monthly newsletter to share news, appearances, and new products
Case Study: Mutts Comics

RESULTS:

  • 70,000-plus registered fans are now receiving the daily strip email.
  • The website draws 93,000-plus monthly visitors.
  • Including a growing international audience, the site is logging 267,000-plus monthly page views.
  • Website visitors are growing by 20% every month.
  • Due to demand, the MUTTS store is now open to take orders for MUTTS Pick-A-Print, where fans can purchase any strip reproduced as a framable piece of art.
  • MUTTS and Patrick McDonnell have proudly donated more than $30,000 to various not-for-profit organizations that promote both the humane treatment of animals and environmental protection.
  • The MUTTS store currently serves 12,000 unique customers, the result of a continuous growth rate of 30%.
  • The popularity of the MUTTS Comics website has enabled King Features Syndicate to maintain and even grow MUTTS’ broad appeal in newspapers.
  • The website has grown the newspaper readership, and the newspaper aspect has conversely grown the website.
  • Mutts licensing with manufacturing partners has broadened to include fine-press print reproductions, figurines, apparel, and other collectibles at various times.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

  • Website development
  • Search engine optimization
  • Web analytics
  • E-commerce
  • Hosting and disaster recovery
  • Design and branding
  • Customized solution delivery
  • Email/newsletter marketing campaigns
  • Editorial, content, and style
  • Social media
  • Customer support services
  • Marketing strategy and consultation
Case Study: Mutts Comics

LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP

  • Since 2003, PRI has teamed with MUTTS to create a friendly, interactive website to capture the spirit of a world famous comic strip while also building a self-sustaining fan and commercial outlet for the MUTTS characters and their creator, Patrick McDonnell.
  • The Muttscomics.com model exemplifies how a close business relationship becomes an intangible success that leads to a commercially viable venue, one that remains true to the intentions of its creator.
  • We have been enthusiastic fans of MUTTS and Patrick McDonnell from day one, and continue to engage in ongoing business dialog and plans to protect the brand, and further its reach as a platform for animal- and earth-friendly messages.
Case Study: Mutts Comics View in Portfolio