For a global licensing program, the goal is always to find a balance between maintaining a consistent brand image that crosses borders and satisfying tastes in individual territories through localization.
Several recent anniversary programs tailored to the Australian market, all based on global character/entertainment properties, illustrate:
- This year, several local licensees are honoring the 80th anniversary of the global comic property The Phantom, including Perth Bullion for silver coins, Australia Post for a Phantom stamp pack, and longtime licensee Frew Publications for special-edition comic books. Australia has been one of the strongest markets for the character throughout its history.
- Also in 2016, a group of Australian and global artists, including Bei Badgirl, Ben Brown, and Meggs, reimagined the Mr. Men and Little Miss characters in a month-long exhibit in Sydney to mark the British-born characters’ 45th anniversary. The exhibit, part of Vivid Sydney, an annual creative arts and ideas festival, was the first time artists have been allowed to recreate these characters in their respective styles.
- Last year, Sesame Street’s 45th anniversary in the Australian market was the occasion for a range of Australian Football League balls that were co-branded with Sherrin, the AFL’s official, made-in-Australia brand of game ball. The junior-sized balls featured characters such as Cookie Monster and Big Bird and logos of clubs including the Hawthorn Hawks and the Port Adelaide Power.
- Back in 2013, when Dr. Who turned 50, several manufacturers in both Australia and New Zealand continued to introduce new anniversary products leading into the holiday season, even after the official anniversary events were finished. Examples ranged from silver coins, stamps, and collectible prints, to men’s apparel, pillows, and a TV remote control, among others.
These sorts of territory-specific initiatives are essential for any global property whose owner hopes to see its licensing program succeed around the world.