Television

Turner targets young adults with ‘Mr Bean’ licensing products in India

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MUMBAI: His ingenuity and child-like nature have managed to capture the hearts of the young and old alike. We’re talking about none other than Mr Bean. Starring Rowan Atkinson, this British television programme has entertained masses of all age groups.

Riding on the success of the franchise, which has seen TV shows, movies and books, Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific’s licensing division - Cartoon Network Enterprises - has been tasked with the responsibility of driving licensing activity for Mr Bean for the next three years in key Southeast Asian markets including India.

In India, the company is looking at targeting young adults. The company has the rights to license the property for both the animation and the live action series across product and promotional licensing.

Speaking to Indiantelevision.com, Turner International India director - Cartoon Network Enterprises Anand Singh said, “With its lustrous licensing programme, it made great sense to have an internationally acclaimed, parental approved brand in our portfolio. The brand also gives us entry into the 14+ young adult space.”

This is not for the first time when Turner has acquired licenses of popular characters. In the past too, it had got other franchises such as Ben 10, PowerPuff Girls, M.A.D. and Roll No 21 on-board.

This year also happens to be a landmark year for the franchise. In 2015, Mr Bean celebrates its 25th anniversary with the brand growing from strength to strength. The second installment of The Mr Bean Animated Series is set to debut in Asia Pacific in April, broadcast on Turner’s kids’ channels including on Boomerang in Southeast Asia and Australia, on Cartoon Network in Japan and on Pogo in India.

Cartoon Network Enterprises Asia Pacific VP Melissa Tinker feels that the partnership is a perfect complement to its already strong portfolio. “It is extremely exciting to be representing a brand with such a powerful presence in Asia. For a quarter of a century now, audiences have been chuckling along to the antics of Mr Bean – and his famous teddy – and Rowan Atkinson’s unique creation has become a genuine global brand,” Tinker informed.

Market Expectations

Singh informed that the Mr Bean franchise has got a lot of traction from not only India, but also from the South Asia region. What’s more, a few promotional deals with Mr Bean in Pakistan have elicited great response.

“South Asian markets behave fairly similarly in terms of consumer and buying behaviour. I see a lot of scope for Mr Bean to grow as a franchise in the entire region with its universal appeal and a unique style of humour that could translate in several strong categories,” said Singh.

He also expects a number of FMCG, F&B companies and QSR’s (Quick Service Restaurants) to ride on the popularity of the show and the character to promote their products and services.

One of the most interesting propositions Singh reveals for Turner Licensing is the concept of Mr Bean branded Coffee Shops, which are operational in Thailand and Singapore. With the very English imagery and a quirky look and feel, he thinks there could be scope to do something with local partners in the region.

“We expect to see a strong off-take from e-commerce, modern trade and select mass distribution outlets and mom & pop stores,” opined Singh.

Talking about the revenues that Turner will generate through the deal, he said that classic properties and brands with a strong content pipeline tend to have a steady pace but fad properties tend to burn out after creating buzz in the market.

“This will vary depending on the nature of the brand/ IP in question (action or humour), appeal (universal or niche) the quality of creative assets (style guides) and the overall support from the broadcaster/ IP owner. It is not uncommon for a strong brand/ property to contribute up to 25 per cent of the total revenue generated by the brand. Needless to say pure play licensing remains a business with a lower base but with fairly high profit margins,” he concluded.

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