SpongeBob Squarepants turned 18 years old this year and there has been a lot of discussion and controversy around its longevity status. It’s one of the longest running cartoons on all of television and THE longest running series on Nickelodeon. SpongeBob premiered on May 1, 1999, and from then on was the start of a new empire. At the time shows like Rugrats and Hey Arnold ruled the network, but SpongeBob’s popularity surpassed them in what seemed like a millisecond. Since then the series grew to be a billion-dollar franchise and a household name. If you were to ask your parents or grandparents if they know who or what SpongeBob Squarepants is, 99% of the time they do. This show is huge and has been for 18 years. Despite reports of cancellation and some individuals who are dying for this show to end, Nickelodeon is making it clear that SpongeBob Squarepants isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.
As the show’s popularity grew over the years, so did the empire. SpongeBob Squarepants has one of the wealthiest cartoon franchises that has generated around $12 billion, but what can possibly be the source for this evergrowing franchise?
For starters, behind every successful show is its merchandise & products, and SpongeBob’s variety may be a little insane. Clothing, shoes, furniture, hair gel, body wash, alarm clocks, walkie-talkies, toys, cameras, mugs, beds, school supplies, body spray, electronics, and the list just never stops from there. Basically, if you think of any item or product that exists, there’s probably a SpongeBob version of it out there.
source: Toys R Us
SpongeBob has not only dominated its merchandise but they’re killing it in the food industry as well. Various food products in Fruit Snacks, Popsicles, Mac and Cheese, Taco Kits, Candy, Cheese Nips, and Cereal have been branded with the yellow sponge. Fast Food chains such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Sonic have also marketed the show to the young ones with their kid’s meals toys in the past and present.
The franchise has made a killing with their big screen movies. The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie made over $140 million and Sponge Out of Water made even more of a splash with $325.1 million. There have been a number of video games released based off of the show, including The Legend of the Lost Spatula (2001), Battle for Bikini Bottom (2003), and SpongeBob Moves In (2013).
Music from the series resulted in several soundtrack albums that have been sold and streamed by millions. SpongeBob’s Greatest Hits was the compilation album that celebrated the show’s ten-year anniversary.
SpongeBob seemed to have led to many products and branding deals, but I guess nothing screams success like screaming on a rollercoaster. Yes, they even have SpongeBob Squarepants theme park rides at Six Flags, Flamingo Land Resort, Shedd Aquarium, and at the Mall of America.
source: Theme Park Review
SpongeBob Squarepants has been renewed for a season 12 and the 3rd movie, SpongeBob Squarepants 3, will be out in 2019. This billion-dollar monster franchise will continue to grow as the show is. Whether you like the show or not, you’ve got to admit that the success story has a beautiful side to it.