Cartoon characters have an appeal that is indisputable. Think about some of the advertisements you see on T.V. from animated paperclips selling office products to Tony the Tiger selling Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, cartoon characters are popping up everywhere, and for good reason; they capture the consumer’s attention.
Blame it on Sesame Street and Saturday morning cartoons if you want, but those consumers under the age of 50 have been shown in laboratory tests to react positively to cartoon characters and, as a result, marketing firms around the globe have been making a mad dash to develop their own cartoon characters to sell their products.
Sometimes a business will enter a licensing agreement with a ‘known’ cartoon character (such as Winnie the Pooh or Mickey Mouse) in order to sell their product, but this requires a contract between the licensor (the owner of the cartoon character brand) and the licensee (the one who wants to use the character) and the licensor is not going to enter into a contract that they do not think will be financially beneficial to them. In fact, most major brand names or owners of major cartoon characters require that the licensee have a proven product track record before they will sell them a license to use their character on their product, or in order to sell their product.
In response to the desire to have a character to help with marketing, many companies and smaller businesses have been turning to small 3d animation studios who have stock piles of characters to choose from or who will create a character (such as Sedo Dog) specifically to represent the business, company, or product. So, what kind of business will benefit from adopting cartoon characters and looking into cartoon character licensing?
Businesses that Will Benefit from Cartoon Character Licensing
Nurseries and Daycare Centers. This should be self-explanatory. Having a brand character will make the kids fall in love with your center, especially if it is a character that they know and love, and happy kids make for happy parents.
Toys and Novelties. If you are looking at developing a line of toys or novelty products, your business could definitely benefit from adopting a character; something that will come to be associated specifically with your product. This is particularly true if you are marketing to children or ‘tweens’ (both groups who responded high to characters in studies).
Credit Cards. Does this one make you pause? Think about it – if you can associate your credit card with a character, you just might find that you are getting more business than you can imagine. This is true for one major reason; University and college students and recent grads are flooding the workplace in droves, and they are sick to death of boring looking corporate credit cards. Indeed, imaginative use of known cartoon characters on ‘personalized’ credit cards have resulted in huge surges in credit card applications, something that most credit card companies are taking very seriously.
Books and Games. Are you looking at writing a children’s storybook, creating a puzzle book or some sort of self-help guide for adults? If so you may want to consider licensing a character. While this is self-explanatory with the children’s products, you may be wondering how this would work with products aimed at adults; fairly simply actually. Cartoon characters don’t have to look “cute” to work. They can be sleek or funky or just downright quirky (like the Simpsons). If you can manage to match the right product up with the right character for the right demographic area, your book, game or other product may just start selling on the character recognition alone.
These are just a few of the companies/products that would benefit from cartoon character licensing, but they are far from being the only ones! Quite frankly, any business can benefit from adopting a cartoon character, if for no other reason than to give your brand a warmth and honesty that it would not otherwise have, so no matter what business you are in, take a look at the many ways that character licensing can.