FRIDAY 7 MAY 2021 12:29 PM


Research by licensing agent, Born Licensing, found that 85% of industry creatives believe that using film and TV characters more frequently would help their work gain more attention.

The research found that 100% of the industry creatives surveyed worked on campaigns where the IP did not go ahead due to preconceptions of licensed character use. Born Licensing has created a campaign titled 'Don't Say Cant', in partnership with adland, to illustrate how cartoon characters can be used to create engaging content and change misconceptions.

Of 1000 UK adults surveyed, 38% said they like to see fictional characters in advertising, 78% more than celebrities or musicians and 111% more than sports stars. Despite these figures, celebrities, musicians and sports stars are 13.4 times more likely to appear in UK ads than fictional characters.

David Born, founder of Born Licensing, says, “There is so much potential to be explored with licensing fictional characters – their use really does make people sit up and take notice, especially in a B2B campaign.”

Licensed characters are instantly recognisable and carry positive associations for audiences. They are also extremely flexible and can be moulded to suit the brand identity within the campaign.

Born Licensing used well-known characters and family favourites to challenge the creative comms industry. It used current characters from SpongeBob SquarePants and the Care Bears, to 90s icon Daria, Garfield and the Mr. Men characters.

“This campaign is a challenge to this can’t do attitude, delivered by an iconic cast of characters. It was a lot of fun to develop a tone of voice for them individually, one in keeping with their character too, especially 90s favourite ‘Daria’,” adds Will Grave, freelance senior creative at 180 Amsterdam.

Will Grave and Sander Vos partnered on the creative with designs from Xavier Segers. It has been launched across digital platforms and channels.