Multiple Demographic Appeal
Both sides of the messed-up politics coin.
"We have to make the show for the hard-core fans who care about the numbers, but we also have to make it for my mom, who just wants Sawyer to take his shirt off."
— Damon Lindelof
, co-creator and executive producer of LOST
A series that contains elements that appeal to multiple demographic groups, resulting in them all watching it.
For example a series might contain:
If Multiple Demographic Appeal is misinterpreted, Executive Meddling
may result to make it more appealing to one of the "extra" demographics — while removing what made it appeal to the original core audience.
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Anime & Manga
- Anime and manga in general outside of Japan have become increasingly popular with girls and women over the last decade; where once it was the domain of boys and sci-fi geeks, titles like Sailor Moon and InuYasha helped bring girls into the fold; now females and women constitute a sizable portion of the international fanbase. Moreover, thanks to wider distribution of titles and the proliferation of the Internet, anime fandom has spread across nearly every national, linguistic or ethnic boundary. The typical anime convention nowadays has two to four females for every one male.
- Though the latter may be because of the unfortunate Double Standard that more or less states (at least when it comes to manga, since people not in the know will often think "manga are comics, comics are for kids, it's odd that teenagers and grown-ups are reading them") that a Fangirl = Cute Bookworm / Nerds Are Sexy, and a Fanboy = Basement-Dweller.
- The double standard may be even more extreme when it comes to such things as cosplaying (and at some conventions, it's more or less more a norm that you arrive in cosplay clothing) since just reading a comic is fairly unremarkable, but directly making/buying clothes for a fictional character denotes a much stronger interest.
- The main reason why Pokémon was and still is so popular is that it appealed to such a broad spectrum. Boys liked it for the battles and the explosions, while girls liked it because the Mons were just so darned cute.
- Rurouni Kenshin is one of the classic examples of this when it comes to manga & anime; while it was technically a shonen fighting series, it had plenty of cute guys in addition to the girls, a lot of interesting history-based backstory and plot, generally fascinating villains and a pitch-perfect mix of humor and drama. This led to it shattering ratings and sales expectations in Japan since everybody, regardless of age or gender, seemed to love the hell out of both the manga and the show. This also led to it doing fantastically well overseas, with the U.S. being practically the only country to not run the show several times. In Latin America, Europe and Asia the show was beloved, however, and still gets run occasionally.
- Saiyuki. Action? Check. Comedy? Check. Bishounen? Check. Ho Yay? Oh, you better believe that's a Check! And that's just the tip of the iceberg...
- According to a demographic report accidentally released and posted on the Net, Futari wa Pretty Cure appealed to both girls aged 4-9 and men aged 19-30. However, shojo has a history of having male fandoms (see Moe).
- Vision of Escaflowne has Humongous Mecha, samurai, a female protagonist, and a Love Triangle. The appeal to both genders is such that there's both a shoujo manga spinoff and a shonen manga spinoff.
- At least part of the massive popularity of Haruhi Suzumiya has something to do with the fact that it combines light high school drama, sitcom-like comedy, sci-fi and something resembling a love story or an unconscious Unwanted Harem, along with dashes of mystery, musical, maths and physics fanservice and wacky misadventures, with a strong-willed (and cute) female lead opposite an affable and extremely relatable male lead. Like Escaflowne, its appeal spreads across both genders.
- Gundam 00 certainly has this; while it has obvious male appeal, the character designs were obviously more female-oriented, one character (Tieria) is so bishonen that many fans thought he was a girl before the show started airing; a lampshade is later hung on this.
- The earlier Gundam Wing, particularly in America, paired sweet giant robot action with four different handsome dudes. As a result, it was one of the most popular anime of the 90s, although both fighting fans and fancy fellow fans have mostly moved on to greener pastures by now.
- Inux Boku SS. It's a cast full of pretty boys but also has plenty of cute girls to go around, too (and fanservice of both). It's a shounen, but the romance is done in a shoujo-style, and has managed to attract multiple demographics with its combination of shoujo, shounen, and even seinen staples.
- Kannazuki no Miko is half star-crossed Girls Love romance, half Humongous Mecha action with fantasy elements thrown in. Some reviewers have complained that the show's attempt to appeal to every demographic possible only causes each appeal to be of below-average quality.
- Michiko to Hatchin has strong feminist themes and realistic relationships, making it appealing to the Josei demographic, but is an action series and more violent than your typical Josei, making it appealing to people outside of the demographic. Though it was never a manga and the demographic can't be said for sure, the director stated she especially wanted women to watch it in an interview.
- This is the entire point of the shipping-and-explosion-laden Magical Girl show Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. At first, anyway. The more girlish elements quickly take a back seat to flashy, explosive fight scenes, military drama & fannish Shout Outs to various members of the Super Robot Wars pantheon. Not that any of this makes it a bad show, you understand. It's just not really a magical girl show anymore.
So much that the manga-only season Magical Wars Lyrical Nanoha Force drops the Magical Girl from the title, albeit that's maybe because Nanoha is now past 25 years old. On the other hand, the other manga-only season, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, starts taking a more Magical Girl-like direction by concentrating on Nanoha's 10-year old, budding Magical Girl Warrior daughter, complete with Older Alter Ego and a Bunny Plushie device.
- Figure 17 Tsubasa & Hikaru includes both sci-fi action and nostalgiac slice-of-life drama, but weighed much more heavily towards the latter. (Whoever made the trailers seems not to have realised this).
- Fullmetal Alchemist actually does an omake comic lampshading this fact and speculating that the reason might be the lack of "typical" Shonen themes. Other reasons probably include Roy and Ed.
- Ranma ˝ is often touted as one of the rare Shōnen series that has equal numbers of male and female fans — fitting, given the premise of the show. This is true of pretty much anything by Rumiko Takahashi, who packs her works equally full of intertwining relationships and romantic entanglements as of action, bawdy humor, and plenty of Fanservice for both sexes.
- Examples of Multiple Fanservice Appeal can be found in Change 123, not only in the context of the manga itself (through the female protagonist having Multiple Personalities), but also in a cosplay movie within the story, where viewers, during the movie premiere show, comment on various "assets" of the female protagonist and, when she takes off her helmet and the fact that she also has glasses shows up, one of them says: "They've got all the bases covered with this one."
- Detective Conan. How do you make the show appeal to both teenagers and kids? Simple: have the main character be a teenager transformed into a kid.
- Guys watch Baccano!! because of the gangsters, the violence, the Jigsaw Puzzle Plot, and it's resemblance to Pulp Fiction. Girls watch Baccano! for the gangsters, the violence, the Jigsaw Puzzle Plot, its resemblance to Pulp Fiction and (as both reviews and advertisements are keen to point out) the surplus of hot men in suits.
- Chrono Crusade is a shounen series with a pair of Official Couple leads and plenty of pretty girls and boys, not to mention as heavy of a focus on relationships as there is on action. To top it off, the manga version throws in some sci-fi elements in with the supernatural thriller action.
- Hell Girl is another shojo series with a male following.
- Axis Powers Hetalia simultaneously manages to draw in the history geeks, the Yaoi Fangirls and the Moe crowd.
- Why do you think Code Geass is so Troperrific? You've got all The Beautiful Elite, a number of whom are Fetish Fuel Station Attendants and engage (canonically and fanonically) in any and all Yays you can possibly think of; Humongous Mecha that are used in furthering the Gambit Pileup and making giant pizzas; and basically a show that traverses the Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness round and round, sometimes in one episode. It's everything you could ask for in an anime epic. That's not even counting the spin-offs, the games, and the Crowning Music of Awesome.
- Eden of the East clearly seems to be going for this trope, featuring Shojo-esque character designs and female protagonist coupled with a Seinen-like conspiracy thriller. That's because Eden Of The East is a "Josei" title. It's aimed at adult women.
- The prominence of Fanservice, violence and dark themes in Neon Genesis Evangelion endears it to male fans, but the intense drama, extremely well-developed and emotionally complex characters, and of course the pretty boy Kaworu with attendant Ho Yay subplot have managed to draw in quite a few female fans as well, while the series's weighty artistic ambitions, audacious execution and complex themes attract adult and/or arthouse audiences as well.
- Death Note: Despite originally being published in Shonen Jump, the dark and fast-paced thriller plot drew in many older audiences, while the Bishōnen character designs attracted female fans by the bucketload.
- Attack on Titan: Its fast-paced mixture of action, gore and drama drew much more than ordinary shonen readers, despite being published on Bessatsu Shonen Magazine. The popularity of some characters among female readers earned it a spin-off runing in Aria, a Shoujo Magazine that boosted its sales over 500%.
- Martian Successor Nadesico aims for this with a plot that expertly balances comedy, drama, sci-fi, action, intrigue and romance. It was one of the most popular anime of the 90s in Japan, though it never garnered more than a cult following in the West.
- Papa no Iukoto o Kikinasai! is not only suited for all demographics, the publisher demands it to be for all demographics; this series of Light Novels about a young man suddenly finding himself as the legal guardian of his three nieces has spawned six manga adaptations, two for each demographic: 2 Shounen, 2 Seinen and 2 Shoujo.
- Brigadoon: Marin and Melan focuses on a young teenage heroine who has to struggle through some of the usual problems of growing up, surviving seventh grade, and falling in love. This might suggest a female audience which likes Slice of Life with equal parts comedy and drama. But wait! There are fighting robots with swords! There's a serious science fiction plot that occasionally verges on fantasy. And there's fanservice, including an unfortunate amount of lolicon fanservice. Who was this series for, anyway?
- One Piece has a noted (and creator-acknowledged) appeal to females. Female appeal created Ensemble Darkhorses like the shirtless wonder, Portgas D. Ace, after all. Take a look at this age demographic chart◊ of One Piece's Japanese audience. There are more people who are 50+ years old enjoying this series than its target demographic.
- Blue Exorcist has plenty of appeal all around. There's plenty of action and fantasy with exorcists and demons running around. Plus, there's a bit of a subtle romantic sub-plot with Rin, Yukio, and Shiemi. The cast includes a decent number of Bishounen: Rin, Yukio, Mephisto, Amaimon, and a few others. So far, we have two Bishoujo: Shiemi and Izumo. And then there's Shura of course. No wonder this series is rising in popularity rather quickly...
- Tiger & Bunny is, according to its creators, a seinen geared towards those with some interest in more Western media such as comic book superheroes. It's also a very liberal user of the Female Gaze, some of which is lampshaded (Apollon Media has a habit of scheduling Barnaby for photo shoots — clothing optional).
- Black Butler. Although published in a Shonen magazine, it has very Seinen themes (violence and gore, murder, pedophilia and the main characters are villains, among others) and a lot of subtext with art resembling that of a Shōjo series. Nonetheless, the fight scenes and premise (a Deal with the Devil, etc) are fairly common to Shonen series.
- Just about anything drawn by CLAMP, or adapted from something drawn. Best example being Cardcaptor Sakura. Magical Girl — Oh, so the series is aimed at young girls? Check. Bishounen — Older female fans. Okay. Ho Yay, Les Yay, Yuri Fandom — What?
- Most noticeable with Seinen series Chobits, aimed at men at least of college age, but the romantic story and the cute outfits that Chii wears made it very popular with girls, specially in the west were it seems to have a bigger female fanbase.
- Magic Knight Rayearth is also very appealing to boys for a shoujo series. The reverse could be said for Angelic Layer.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica. A Magical Girl seinen tragedy featuring strong female characters with romantic relationships (exactly what type is up for debate) that enjoys emotionally subtextual action, philosophy, and horror to bring in both men and women.
- Zettai Karen Children is a shounen series with lots and lots of cute girls, but somehow a few male characters rose in popularity above the rest, a feature that was expoited further in the the spin-off.
- Pretty Cure may seem like a simple show for girls judging from the cover art, but what brings it to this is not only the more-often-then-not well written main characters, but the occasional potshot at the genre it's a part of, and most famously, the fight scenes that would make most Fighting Series blush. This was an intentional example from Toei as it not only attracted young girls, but women, and most prominitely, men of all ages to watch with them. In fact, Pretty Cure is seen as THE series paved the way for a new generation of modern day Magical Girl shows that have asskicking fights (see Nanoha above, released later in the same year) and made the genre popular again after Sailor Moon ended in the decade before.
- Sailor Moon Crystal targets the adult women who grew up with the prior incarnations of the Sailor Moon franchise along with new viewers, with director Munehisa Sakai pointedly saying they want the older fans attention, not just their nostalgia. This targeting extends to some of The Merch of Crystal, like "tiara rings" with a price point of over a hundred dollars.
- A common discussion among viewers of Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is "what exactly is this work's demographic?" It is a Slice of Life written by an established Shoujo Genre author that makes fun of shoujo genre conventions, first published in an online magazine for the Seinen/Shonen demographics but later also reprinted in Shoujo Demographic anthologies... Obviously it appeals to readers of both sexes.
- Tintin is appreciated by children for the slapstick and page-turning adventure and, despite being Belgian, has reached a mind boggling audience in all continents across the globe. Adults like the comic strip too for its amazing art work, captivating storytelling and social satire. It's also one of the few comic strips to receive academic attention.
- The continued success of the French comic book series Astérix is commonly explained by its Multiple Demographic Appeal. Children can enjoy the madcap adventures and slapstick comedy, while grown-ups would appreciate (among other things) the multi-layered puns and societal satire. Also doubling the pleasure is the possibility to reread as adult the comics that you so much enjoyed when young, and discovering all you could have missed. Much like Tintin it has a high status among intellectuals.
- Which would also work for The Smurfs if people didn't automatically associate them to the Animated Adaptation that drops most of the slapstick and social satire.
- Tom Poes is a comic strip that was a success with children and adults too. The use of language, full with neologisms and clever choice of words and phrasing, has been appreciated as high literature in the Netherlands.
- Nero has been enjoyed by children as well as adults, though as the comic strip progressed throughout the decades it became more appreciated by adults, who liked the political satire. Though a lot of people who grew up with the comic as a child also appreciate it in old age.
- The Dark Age of Comics can be seen as a deliberate choice by publishers to focus only on the older section of their audience demographic, sacrificing the Multiple Demographic Appeal they had long enjoyed. Along with other factors (high prices, poor distribution), this has crippled the sales of superhero comics for years. Recent years have seen DC and Marvel introduce "kiddie" versions of their printed titles to try to recapture the youth market, but there's still no effort by the Big Two to try and grab both age groups with a single title, with the possible exception of Marvel Adventures.
- Calvin and Hobbes: Good for the kids via the beautiful art and the many imaginative storylines (Snow Goons, Cardboard Box, etc.), and great for adults with social satire, philosophical ponderings, and Calvin's large vocabulary, as well as jokes that kids aren't going to get, leading to many a Late to the Punchline moment as they age.
Films — Animation
- Pixar is known for making movies that appeal to parents as well as children. The Toy Story series is an especially clear example of this; the initial main concept (Living Toys) sounds on the surface like something that is just for children, but as the series goes on, the concept is explored in more depth and eventually treated in a way that has its own meaning for adults. For example, the toys feel about their owner leaving like parents feel about their kids leaving, which is hinted at very strongly, especially towards the end of Toy Story 3. And much like the Harry Potter example below, those who were children when the first movie came out would be young adults by the time the third was released, maybe even about to go off to college themselves. The Incredibles is another good Pixar example of this.
- Many classic Disney films (e.g. Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo,...) are appreciated by adults as much as children, although many of the Disney princess movies do get quite a bit of backlash from older audiences. The art work and cinematography in the Disney films made in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s are admired and appreciated by a lot of artists, film fans and critics. That said, most Disney films remain purely kiddie fodder and don't work on more levels than that. The general public likes them mostly out of fond Nostalgia Filter.
- Most post-Shrek animated films in the US aim for this by inserting swarms of pop culture references, self-mockery, and jokes that only adults will get, with widely varying degrees of success.
- Movies like Balto, All Dogs Go to Heaven and Rover Dangerfield, and shows like Road Rovers and Beethoven The Animated Series appeal to fans of cartoon dogs, adult furries, fans of 2D animation, and nostalgia lovers as well as children.
- Blue Sky Studios' movies such as Ice Age and Epic appeal to people of all ages, and it's especially obvious that Ice Age has a Multiple Demographic Appeal, since they are widely acclaimed for appealing to all audiences for having mature stories and themes and Blue Sky Studios' fine adaptations of books like Horton Hears a Who! has given them a widespread fanbase: both children, teens and adults love their movies. A glance at Tumblr's tag for Epic quickly reveals that Epic (like Ice Age before it) captivated both teens and adults.
Films — Live-Action
- Apparently, Hollywood executives divide audiences and appeals into a simple grid: Male/Female under/over 25.
- The Fast and the Furious. Originally the series mostly appealed only to urban youth but has grown into a block buster action series that appeals to multiple demographics.
- The Lord of the Rings
- Star Wars. Mr. Plinkett points out it wasn't as successful in the Prequels.
- Almost any superhero movie (even if a Token Romance has to be added); Watchmen being an aversion.
- The Avengers is a particularly standout example, tracking well in basically every demographic and earning one and a half billion dollars total. This is because it is Hunks and Explosions: The Movie.
- Titanic and Avatar managed to become the highest-grossing films ever because of this.
- The Princess Bride: It's got slapstick for the kids, clever dialog for the adults, romance for the ladies, action scenes for the guys.
- Armageddon sought this as a calculated marketing ploy: while Bruce Willis and company flying into space to save the world by nuking a giant asteroid was a clear draw for a male demographic, they decided to play up the romance between Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler's characters to draw in the female audience too.
- The James Bond series most likely. There's a good reason the Skyfall become the highest ever grossing series in the UK, outperforming the likes of Avatar, and that's because it appeals to pretty much every demographic you can think of.
- Forget Paris: Romance for the girls, tons of NBA cameos for the guys.
- The success of The Expendables and the failure of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is now considered an example of trying to play the demographics game and losing. The movies were released on the same week with the expectation of very little overlap between the target audiences: Scott Pilgrim would attract younger audiences, whereas The Expendables, with its heavy nostalgia for 80's action movies (including multiple 80's action movie stars,) would draw in older audiences. One thing they didn't consider was that, thanks to home video and syndication on cable, the younger set was just as much a fan of the 80s movies as much as their dads and older brothers. As such, The Expendables was a surprise hit while Scott Pilgrim (which already had some Continuity Lockout problems) underperformed.
- Harry Potter. Partly because the fantasy elements have general appeal for people of all ages, partly because J. K. Rowling specifically intended the books to grow up with their audience, and partly because someone who read the first book as a child when it was released in 1997 would have been a young adult by the time the final one was released in 2007. This last is why criticisms of adults reading Harry Potter verge on Critical Research Failure, because by that logic hardly anyone who read the first book when it came out would have been able to finish the series. More specifically, the wondrous, imaginative setting appeals to children, the Epic Fantasy elements appeal to adventure lovers, the detailed relationships appeal to romance lovers, the complex mysteries and sharp (and occasionally subversive) wit appeal to adults, and the colorful characters and exciting plot developments appeal to everyone.
- Dr. Seuss. Children enjoy his stories for the whimsical nonsense, while adults commonly enjoy them due to a mixture of Nostalgia Filter and hidden Aesops about racism and such.
- There's a very good reason that Enders Game is one of the most widely read science-fiction novels of all time. It had something for almost everyone: the young characters attracted adolescent readers, the central Coming-of-Age Story made it enjoyable for people who would ordinarily never look twice at a sci-fi novel, the interstellar war plot appealed to fans of action-driven Space Opera, the ethical discussions appealed to fans of more philosophical sci-fi, the Earth-based political scenario appealed to fans of political thrillers, Battle School's inter-army competition appealed to fans of military fiction, and the realistic treatment of child development and psychological trauma appealed to lovers of literary fiction.
- The Walking Dead is one of the most watched series of all time for this reason.
- Orange Is The New Black became an instant hit exactly for this reason. Women of all stripes liked it because it boasted one of the most diverse and complex casts of female characters of any TV show in years, but it also happily combined crime, intrigue, tragedy, political commentary, Black Comedy and heartfelt bonding well enough that pretty much everyone found something to like.
- LOST has love triangles, science fiction, fanservice for both sexes, fantasy... The list could go on for much longer.
- Doctor Who
- Especially the recent revival, which is frequently criticised for being overly sentimental to appeal to a more mainstream audience. The spinoffs, especially The Sarah Jane Adventures, are written just as much for adults as they are for kids, too.
- While Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures are written to be all-audiences fare, other Who spinoff Torchwood is most definitely not. Written as both Darker and Edgier and Hotter and Sexier, the producers of both series have explicitly stated that the Doctor will absolutely not appear on Torchwood the way he did on SJA since it might encourage kids to watch a show they most definitely shouldn't.
- The Dukes of Hazzard: Originally written for adults, it was toned down when it was discovered that children enjoyed the show as well. It never lost sight of the older audience, however.
- Charmed mixed multiple genres into its original supernatural drama premise, including horror, wacky comedy, and Sex in the City-like soap. Along with the occasional fanservice.
- House is becoming a fusion of soap opera and gory medical drama. The sometimes-labryinthine relationships between characters is balanced by the "Oooh, that man's testicle just exploded" moments. This phenomenon becomes even worse when taking into account House fanboys versus... less committed fans.
- Supernatural has a bit of everything. Fanservice for absolutely everyone, gore, awesome music, comedy, angst, urban legends and a decent myth-arc to boot.
- The creators of the '60s Batman series did this deliberately. The Silver Age was in full swing in the comicbooks, so the producers adapted it to TV so that children 10 and under would watch because Batman was a cool superhero — while anyone over 16 would watch because he was campy and hilarious.
- So... let's have Chris Barrie, who has an established fanbase and his own personal estrogen brigade and give him a supporting cast that includes his sexy, snarky Number Two, a pair of hot Yaoi Guys who run around in shorts and a cute Genki Girl with an enthusiasm for firearms. Now let's make the comedy a blend of Work Com humour, absurd surrealism and Black Comedy about death, suicide and pill-popping...yeah, it's not surprising the BBC extended The Brittas Empire for two seasons past its planned five.
- Although not at blatant as some others, Power Rangers is starting to go this way. They've brought back actors from the first few season (who the intended kid's demographic won't recognize) and did quite a few callbacks in RPM (that younger kids wouldn't know about) and there is a rumor that they're trying to get Super Sentai to ditch the costumes for something a little less hokey (namely switching them from Spandex to a more subdued material, possibly leather like the X-Men films). They may not be trying to catch both markets (kids and the nostalgia set) but they're at least acknowledging them.
- Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters did ditch the spandex in favour of leather (however, Go-Busters in general somewhat underperformed, so they were switched back to spandex for the next season.)
- Super Sentai has this from time to time. Adults could enjoy the action and the drama of the story, while kids could enjoy some fun superhero-y goodness.
- Kamen Rider, even moreso than Super Sentai. Especially the Heisei series. The male adults can enjoy the action, drama and beautiful female actresses, female adults can enjoy the handsome male actors, kids can enjoy the superhero adventure, cool gagdets and costumes.
- The Big Bang Theory: Nerd culture references, romantic subplots and a sitcom format for the mainstream, and fanservice for both sides. Only semi-successful; it has a large and vocal Hate Dom among the "nerd" demographic for playing up outdated stereotypes. Just Google the title of the show plus "nerdface."
- The Sopranos: The mafia action appealed to fans of mob movies (up to and including actual mobsters), the well-realized characters and drama appealed to fans of family dramas, the excellent acting, directing and production values appealed to film lovers, the excellent soundtrack appealed to rock lovers, the wry wit and middle-aged characters appealed to older audiences, and the complex themes appealed to intellectuals.
- Good Luck Charlie tries for this. The creators worked on a show that would appeal to the whole family (as opposed to Disney's usual attempt to appeal to young girls or boys), which is seen in the lack of a "gimmicky" premise. It has Parental Bonuses for the adults, Teddy's love problems for girls, and most of Gabe and PJ's plots for boys.
- True Blood has attractive characters of both sexes, fantasy, love triangles, even some gore... the list goes on.
- Parodied on Black Books, when Bernard manages to sell the same book to a couple with very different reading tastes.
Bernard: There's this temp, right? She's 29, she can't get a boyfriend, oh my god.
Female customer: Sounds great!
Male customer: No, no way.
Bernard: And she's got 12 hours to stop nuclear war with China.
Male customer: Great!
- Now and Again suffered from trying to serve too many masters. The basic premise was similar to RoboCop or a gender-inverted Bionic Woman, but the writers tried to throw in too many genres, including modern and retro sci-fi, comedy, espionage and family drama. Its cancellation had a lot to do with the fact that it cost a lot for a show that used action scenes sparingly.
- Girls. Despite how the series was initially promoted, the show's smart writing and realistic (if not exactly "commonplace") characters have given it multi-generational appeal. Lena Dunham herself has vehemently denied rumors of the series being a Gen-Y manifesto (and, for that matter, allegations of her being a Gen-Y spokesperson) and has even publically criticized the idea of "generations" in today's culture.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer has action, romance, humor, complex, realistic drama, fantasy, fanservice for everyone, and relatable characters. As a result, the fanbase is incredibly diverse.
- Dark Shadows was just another housewife-oriented soap opera until it started running supernatural plotlines, at which point it picked up a horde of young monster-movie fans who hurried home from school to watch it.
- Top Gear has cars for the gearheads and comedy for everyone.
- Malcolm in the Middle is a Kid Com that has good enough writing and characters that older audiences can easily appreciate it just as much.
- The Red Green Show has fans ranging from kids to older folks, and from more urban liberal-leaning audiences to more rural conservative-leaning ones. The show's sheer variety of humour (ranging on everything from Doom It Yourself handyman projects to wacky Three Stooges-style slapstick to jokes directed at everything from big business to feminism to politicians to yuppie lifestyles) provides something for just about everyone, and the overall high quality of the writing also means that people who aren't necessarily the main intended audience for certain types of jokes can still enjoy them anyway.
- The Beatles appeal to both children and adults, males and females and both fans of mainstream pop music, as well as alternative rock fans.
- David Bowie is equally popular among regular pop and rock fans, as well as alternative rock lovers.
- When Michael Jackson's Thriller became the best-selling album of all time it was save to say that this record had also reached a multiple demographic appeal. People of all races bought it. Soul and R&B fans were ecstatic. Lovers of catchy dance music played and danced to it in clubs. Rock fans were converted because of the inclusion of "Beat It", which has a guitar solo by Van Halen. Children, adults and older people also enjoyed listening to it.
- Louis Armstrong had this effect on music fans too. Both people who love traditional jazz as well as fans of more experimental forms of jazz look up to him. Fans of big band, crooners and easy listening music enjoy Armstrong's work and even people who don't particularly like jazz are easily charmed by his delightful trumpet solos, melodies and stage antics.
- Bob Marley has also reached a world wide audience over the decades since his death. He is popular world wide, especially in the Third World, but even in the West people find his work irresistible. Children adore the sing-a-long melodies, teenagers consider Bob to be a "cool rebel", adults appreciate his socially conscious messages and very melodious and powerful songs. The general public enjoys him as easy listening music, while fans of alternative music also like Marley. Even people who don't like reggae often do own a copy of Legend, because to them Marley is "the exception".
- Older people, younger people, boys, girls, all around are hailing Doctor Steel as their new Emperor. There's even a division in his fan club for the over 35 crowd now!
- Celtic punk bands often attract older fans of Irish and Scottish Traditional Folk, as well as their more typical young, punk-orientated fanbase.
- Go to a concert for a reunited band. Chances are you'll not only see the band's original fans in the audience, but younger ones as well.
- Much of the 40-year success of Sesame Street can be its intentional Parent Service, it was once quipped that the show "entertains parents so much they force the kids to watch."
- This trope is invoked because the research informing production indicates that children are more able to take in the show if they watch it alongside their adult caregivers.
- For that matter, The Muppet Show was meant to appeal to all ages, not just kids or adults.
Stand Up Comedy
- Bill Cosby calculated his material to shy away from politics and instead focus on family life and childhood stories. He took it as a point of pride that his humor shattered perceived racial barriers because his angle was not on what it is like being a young black kid in Philly or a black parent but instead was just about the adventures of being a kid hanging out with his friends and how bemused and lost some parents can get.
- Christopher Titus grew up in an intensely dysfunctional world and his stories on his life are on the far extreme from what the average person has ever had to deal with (in lieu of a long list, his mother was certifiably insane, killed her abusive last husband and he has memories of visiting her at the mental hospital). But his humor is grounded so completely in the concept of using humor as a mean to escape his pain that almost everyone who listens to him can understand what it is like to have an "inner retard" who is trying to convince you that you are nothing but the sum of all your mistakes. He has gotten fan mail from some amusing sources, including a conservative mid-west housewife.
- Warhammer 40,000, on multiple levels. Without even involving the miniatures and the rulebooks, the game's grim, dark setting of eternal, hopeless war and vivid gothic imagery appeals to the Maturity Is Serious Business mindset, as there can't be many settings much more scowlingly serious than the galaxy of 40k. At the same time, the unflinching commitment to these grimdark elements in a setting where FTL travel sends you through hell and nine-foot armored supermen fire rocket-propeled grenade launchers one-handed while fighting underneath towering combinations of cathedrals and humongous mecha equipped with chainsaws the size of apartment buildings... it's all so over-the-top that other fans can enjoy a more lighthearted take on it, even without involving the Orks. A good case study is the Gaunt's Ghosts and Ciaphas Cain novels - both involve commissars leading the Imperial Guard against the Imperium's enemies, both are wildly different in tone, and both are equally valid representations of Warhammer 40000.
- This trope is also why the game has so many different, highly distinctive armies to choose from. The Space Marines are the mascot faction with a unique blend of futuristic and gothic themes, while the Imperial Guard appeal to historical military buffs thanks to the World War II look of their infantry and tank kits. The Eldar's sleek aesthetics and colorful uniforms give pro painters a chance to shine, while the Tau's battlesuits and hovertanks have a near-future look to them aimed at anime or cyberpunk fans. The Tyranids are ideal for anyone who likes big scary monsters, while Chaos or the Orks are perfect for modelers who enjoy conversion work and creating mutated horrors and ramshackle war machines, respectively. Want to field an army of kick-ass women (both stripperiffic and in very reasonable armor)? The Sisters of Battle are the faction for you! This isn't even all the factions!
- Finally, the way each army handles on the battlefield is also designed to appeal to players with completely different tastes. Want a balanced army of a few elite supersoldiers holding their own against a numerically superior foe? Field Space Marines. Imperial Guard players meanwhile get to use something approaching actual military tactics as they coordinate expendable infantry, armored squadrons, and air support. Tau fight like a modern contemporary army, with lots of mobility, unit-interdependence, and hi-tech support. The Eldar or Dark Eldar provide a different challenge, and are powerful but specialized and relatively fragile armies that require clever coordination and planning to win with. If you want to just rush with a horde of monsters, go with Tyranids or Orks — the latter especially if you enjoy an element of randomness in your army. Want a little Confusion Fu with monstrously-powerful beasts, give Chaos Daemons a try. In short, some force will fit you no matter how strategic or aggressive you want to play.
- William Shakespeare, easily the mostly widely-performed playwright of all time and the most widely-read writer at least since The Bible. He has stayed popular for over four centuries, each generation claiming him all over again and reinventing him as their own. In his own day, he deliberately maintained Multiple Demographic Appeal, writing plays that managed to please the uneducated lower classes, the moderately-educated emerging middle class, and the well-educated members of the court (up to and including Queen Elizabeth and later King James).
- Cirque du Soleil's success is largely built upon this — the fact that it has mounted permanent, successful productions at both Las Vegas casino resorts and Disney Theme Parks is a sign of that. They have enough productions now that some are aimed at more specific audiences (Zumanity is adults-only and Hotter and Sexier, Wintuk was a Lighter and Softer holiday-season show), but in general they cast their net wide with stunts and comedy that appeal to all ages. At Mystere (Vegas) you'll often see children sprinkled admist all the adults in the audience while at La Nouba (Walt Disney World) adults without children attend alongside family groups.
- Pokémon Live!'s writers invoked this. The people behind the show wanted to create something parents would enjoy as well as kids.
- Most of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise has a multiple demographic appeal. This may be due to the fact that many of the people who played the original game in their childhood are now in their twenties/thirties and it's nostalgia setting in. In addition, the series attracts new fans for its Scenery Porn, Awesome Music, Darker and Edgier stories (though they're going back on that one recently), Fanservice, and Sonic's Badass attitude making the series enjoyable for kids and young adults alike.
- The same is true of all the Sonic animated series. Unfortunately, this seems to have resulted in those demographics turning on each other.
- Nintendo thrives on this. Not only does the Mario franchise have a multiple demographic appeal that greatly exceeds that of Sonic, but most first party Wii titles are specifically designed for it.
- In fact, with the Wii, DS and software therein, Nintendo has taken advantage of this trope not only to bring itself back from the brink of the mid-2000s, but to re-establish itself as a dominant force in the video game market.
- Nintendo also has Pokémon. Boys come for the badass monsters and the battles, girls come for the cute monsters and things like Contests, you have the competitive players who breed for IVs and natures, EV train for a long time, and try to build the best possible team, and then there's the wide variety of adult fans on imageboards who have come in all generations, for countless reasons.
- On the most extreme end of the scale as far as Nintendo goes is likely the Kirby series; its design and target audience aim for younger kids and game beginners, with very easy normal levels. Each game in the series quickly becomes known for having an insane amount of Nightmare Fuel, awesome boss battles, and surprisingly difficult moments. The True Arena, anyone?
- Super Smash Bros. is lots of fun and brings together characters from very different genres, but it's also filled with hints to the history of Nintendo and gaming more generally. Especially prevalent with the latest installments.
- In general, by implementing Dynamic Difficulty along with a ranking system and Bragging Rights Rewards, a game can be designed to be enjoyable but still challenging at any skill level.
- The different classes and playstyles of Team Fortress 2 seem to have an interesting side effect of being more accessible to fans of certain other games. Halo veterans apparently adapt well to the fast, jumpy Scout playstyle, Quake arena players will find the Soldier familiar, and Counter-Strike veterans can take advantage of years of honed skills as the Sniper.
- And outside of the first-person-shooter aspect of it, the Pixar-esque art and humor draws people in to those unaccustomed to normally serious games of this genre. To say nothing of how the all-male cast has created a thriving shipping community among Yaoi Fangirls who have never played the game...
- Space Channel 5 has the strong female protagonist and Camp to draw in the demographic that the arcade action and fanservice wouldn't.
- World of Warcraft is one of the biggest examples in video game history, expanding its audience far beyond the pre-existing MMORPG crowd to become a bona fide global phenomenon.
- StarCraft breached the limitations of the PC strategy game demographic to become one of the most successful and long-lived PC titles in history.
- The Sims was a breakout success that challenged conventional notions of not only what a game could be, but also to whom it could appeal; studies have cited it as being played by girls and women more than any other video game in history.
- Metal Gear Solid has found major appeal among multiple demographics; the exciting gameplay and deep game system attracted both mainstream and hardcore gamers, the well-developed (and often attractive) characters drew in female players, the labyrinthine plots and mysteries drew out the geeks, and the uniquely Japanese sensibilities appealed to anime fans.
- The Final Fantasy series has found great success across age, gender and national barriers, particularly after its breakout title, Final Fantasy VII. The cinematic qualities and detailed storylines wowed mainstream gamers, the customization-heavy game systems and lavish production values appealed to the hardcore crowd, and the extensive character development and character designs drew in female players.
- The Persona series, particularly after breakout hit Persona 3, has transcended its status as a Widget Series to become a hit with players of different genders, ages, demographics and nationalities and a critical and commercial success both in Japan and abroad. Here's how it works: the strategic battle system, stat management and extensive customization features appeal to the usual Atlus audience of hardcore RPG enthusiasts, the art style and setting appeal to anime fans, and the social sim element appeal to female players (so much so that the PSP Enhanced Port of Persona 3 introduced a new female main character and respective campaign).
- Deep within the heart of the Touhou fandom are those who have actually played the games. Surrounding, possibly even overshadowing it, are fans drawn to ever-increasing, evocative cast members, the thriving fan art/fan comic community, all the Fanfic Fuel, or if nothing else then the Awesome Music.
- Homestar Runner doesn't have a particular target audience. It's enjoyed by people of all kinds and ages, from kids to the elderly, from geeks to relatively "normal" people. With squeaky clean PG rated humor with nothing worse than a mild innuendo, that is kid safe, geeky parodies and references for the geeks, pop culture references for the "normal" adults, and zany, wacky, and surprisingly clever humor for just about everyone. There might be some parts one person might not laugh at, but another scene will get them cracking up.
- The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! began as a print comic for a college publication, and the dialogue and science fiction concepts are clearly directed at an older audience, but it's also clean enough that the strip has appeared on the Kidjutsu.com child-friendly webcomics site.
- The Dreamer has elements of a high-school drama, American Revolutionary action, romance arcs, and gorgeously-drawn characters.
- Artists (or anyone who likes extremely realistic artwork) will love the artwork in Lackadaisy. If you like comedy, there's plenty of that. If you like drama, you'll get bucketloads of that. If you like shipping, you'll have plenty of fuel. History nerds can enjoy the realistic portrayal of The Roaring Twenties, and of course, if you like cute anthropomorphic kittens, you'll like that aspect.
- Homestuck. It has an unbelievably high amount of characters, a different species with a complex romance system and where Everyone Is Bi so a lot of shipping opportunities for the girls. The characters are fun and quirky and pretty much everyone can relate with at least one of them. There is a metric tonne of pop culture references and the humor is sharp and witty. Also, there are 25 albums worth of songs based on it covering a wide range of musical genres. The action sequences are awesome and fast-paced so the guys are also able to get into it. A few of the references are a kind of Parental Bonus that some younger readers wouldn't get too. Add all that to the complex plot that really gets you thinking and all the suspense of waiting for the next update make Homestuck a great story for people of all ages or genders.
- Betty Boop: The cartoons were appreciated by children, but adults liked it just as much for the sexual innuendo and catchy jazz music.
- Tex Avery's work is funny to children as well to adults for pretty much the same reasons: the absurd comedy, slapstick, great timing and jokes that break the fourth wall.
- Looney Tunes: The first cartoon series to appeal to both children and adults in equal measure. Not only because of the hilarious gags, but also for the sarcastic jokes and Break the Cutie gags. It still has this effect on viewers after all those years.
- As far as audience breakdown goes, Kim Possible is probably the closest thing to a shojo series created in America, yet. It gets males and females, from about seven all the way up to college, and their parents like it too.
- Transformers. The sheer number of cars out there that have Autobot logos on them sums it up nicely.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender has a massively diverse fanbase for a Nickelodeon kids' show. Action, romance, crazy adventures, a solid plotline, and Fanservice for everyone. The Sequel series The Legend of Korra follows in its predecessor's footsteps in this way.
- Arguably, another show that came on the same network around the same time is also this: Danny Phantom. Kids and people up to their college age, of both genders are watching both. These shows have pretty wide fanbases.
- Animaniacs has Shout Outs to every conceivable demographic.
- W.I.T.C.H. is a show aimed at young boys, which is based on one of the most top-selling comics in the world, which was aimed at girls, featured main characters who are female, an epic story reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings, and has the name "Greg Weisman" attached to it. They made sure to cover all their bases.
- A recent ad for a Batman: The Brave and the Bold DVD claimed that it was one of the most popular shows among boys ages 6-12 and among men age 18-49. Most people, upon hearing this, simply wondered what the hell was wrong with 13-17-year-olds.
- Code Lyoko, for an action series aimed at 6 to 12-year-old boys, has a surprising amount of teenage and older fans of both genders.
- Occasionally (though perhaps not accurately) cited as a reason for the cancellation of Invader Zim, as it was apparently popular with a number of demographics, often older than expected, but unfortunately not enough so with its TARGET demographic. During it's original run it had a healthy fanbase with the younger crowd and the pilot episode that they showed to a test audience was Nick's highest positive reaction at the time. Sadly, airing at 9:30 on Fridays doesn't help much if you want a younger audience.
This is not actually quite true of Zim, and neither is the rumor about moral objections to the show; Zim had very high ratings and viewership, and the management didn't really have much objection to the content. The problem was that Invader Zim was just really expensive to make, and they simply were losing too much money on it.
- Freakazoid! was presumably cancelled for the same reason.
- Phineas and Ferb seems to be thriving on this. Sharing writers with Family Guy is a pretty clear sign.
- Almost any Nicktoon: SpongeBobSquarePants, Rugrats, Danny Phantom, KaBlam!. The Angry Beavers, The Fairly OddParents, Rocko's Modern Life and many more wre targeted for 6-11. However, the shows' Parental Bonuses and Getting Crap Past the Radar earned it fans of a higher demographic as well.
- The same goes for the Cartoon Cartoons.
- Every show in the DCAU.
- Ren and Stimpy, to the extent that reruns have aired on non-children networks like MTV and VH-1.
- South Park thrills teenagers with its shock value and iconoclastic worldview, while amusing adults with its pop-culture parodies and social satire.
- Jane and the Dragon is an example, with its target audience in the U.S. being 5 and 6 year olds (due to the fact that it airs on the Saturday-morning programming block Qubo, along with other shows like Maisy and Babar); but it has a lot of adult fans.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is (or rather, was) primarily aimed at young girls, but clever writing, excellent humor and solid overall performance have earned it an audience among many adults. The show's creators acknowledge this, and work material for adults (not just Getting Crap Past the Radar, but stories with their own meaning for adults) into the show. That, and some aspects of the show are more appealing to male viewers than you'd think, such as the most significant male character hanging out with a group of girls. (Especially since he has a crush on one of them.)
The dark side of the trope rolled around recently, too — the studio thought they'd give the "bronies" a big shout out by giving "Derpy Hooves", a walleyed pegasus the fans had adopted as a sort of mascot after her initial gag appearance, a voiced appearance. Unfortunately, a cascade failure of miscommunication and poor judgement resulted in a final product that appeared to be a dig at the mentally disabled, offending a vast minority of the people watching. Then they changed itnote , and offended the people who weren't offended the first time.
- This is very much behind The Simpsons' long lasting success. Children laugh at the slapstick elements, while adults will recognize the innumerable cultural, political and historical references and love the social satire. There are also a lot of subversive jokes that are so child unfriendly that teenagers and adults love them on a totally different level. "The Simpsons" is also one of the few TV shows, cartoon shows for that matter, which is loved by the general public as well as intellectuals.
- Recess attracted both children who could identify with it for being a show set at an elementary school, and adults who loved the historical and political references, as well as humor that not only would the kids laugh at, the adults would, too. ABC noticed this when the show was running, to the point where they would play commercials for the show during late night news showings or more adult-oriented programs.
- Adventure Time has enough Fantasy/Science Fiction elements to attract the fans of both genres, and it also includes enough random humor and slapstick to attract kids and teens. Additionally, it also contains enough Parental Bonus to receive the atention of more mature audiences. Also it has a couple of romantic and musical elements.
- Codename: Kids Next Door: Young fans liked the action, comedy, and kid heroes, while older fans liked the world-building, Character Development, and satirical elements.
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, which has (arguably) the widest appeal of any Scooby-Doo show ever produced. The colorful characters and sight gags appeal to kids and pre-teens, older animation fans can appreciate the nuanced storyline and the smart writing, adults who grew up on classic Scooby-Doo can appreciate the deconstruction of the show's classic formula, horror fans can appreciate the affectionate spoofs of famous horror icons (including everything from Saw, to HP Lovecraft to Twilight), and girls can appreciate the new emphasis on romance.
- Regular Show features a cast consisting of FunnyAnimal's and other random designs (like a walking, talking, gumball machine), and a bunch of slapstick, Toilet Humor, and surreal humor to keep the interest of young kids (though the surreal moments can appeal a lot to adults and teens), but the fact it's also partly a Work Com, has a lot of stuff getting passed the radar, makes many references to the 1980s (including music from that era, and the main video game system the main characters love to play is obviously a Sega Master System), features guest voices from well known people who's works aren't always child friendly (like Tyler, the Creator), and features some situations that adults can identify with, this series has a pretty large Periphery Demographic.
- Arthur takes a leaf from Sesame Street's playbook, deliberately making the show watchable to anyone who can help a child learn, i.e. everyone.
- Steven Universe has a decent amount of appeal for both boys and girls of all ages. The title character is a hyperactive young boy who is very cheerful (but without getting annoying), making him identifiable with the show's likely indented demo of boys ages 6 to 12. But the show also has the Crystal Gems, Steven's unofficial big sisters who are strong female characters with varying personalities and styles, making them good role models for young girlsnote and identifiable characters for older female viewers (double if you're a girl with a younger brother).
- They can be seen not only as big sisters, but as a complete pseudo-family unit. Garnet is the always-calm, generally supportive yet emotionally-distant father figure, Pearl is the doting, responsible mother figure, while Amethyst is the boisterous, engaging big sister.
- Ask any parent of a toddler what their favorite Disney Junior show is, and they may say it's Sofia the First. And it's easy to see why-stories and music on par with Disney films, celebrity voice actors, and appearances by old Disney characters such as the Disney Princess girls and Flora, Fauna and Merriwether. Teens also enjoy the show as well for these reasons-oh, and Cedric too.
- Anything produced by Britt Allcroft will have a huge adult fanbase due to the quality storytelling in her works.
- Young Justice appealed to a broad audience over the course of its run by having a complex, interesting, and dark Myth Arc, lots of action, multifaceted male and female characters (as well as fanservice for both), and plenty of humor. Unfortunately, Paul Dini revealed that Cartoon Network didn't care if college-aged women were a huge part of the audience since they weren't buying the toys and pulled the plug on the series after the second season. The series never had a strong toyline in the first place, which definitely hurt it in the long run. Dini also said this led to the cancellation of the Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Tower Prep.