Interview of Marie-Astrid Lamboray – Largo Winch Design Licensing

The licensing rights to Largo Winch used to be handled by Editions Dupuis but the rights owners took them back and entrusted them to Marie-Astrid Lamboray, now Largo Winch's exclusive international agent by way of her company Largo Winch Design Licensing (www.largowinch-licensing.com)

1/ what is your development strategy for Largo Winch?
We want to make Largo Winch into a celebrity, which means placing him in the real world. The character is well suited for this kind of development since its adventures take place in the modern world. Therefore we're not interested in developing products stamped Largo Winch (unless on exception) but instead we favor using its image to enhance products, brands or partnerships.


Interview of Franck Cymes, France Télévisions Distribution's Director of Licensing and Events

Franck Cymes worked for 2 year as product managers for PSG Omnisport before being the commercial manager of TF1 Licences during 5 years. For the past 10 years he has been France Télévisions Distribution's Director of Licensing and Events.

Interviewed by Kazachok, Franck Cymes tells us what the key properties currently are in France Télévisions Distribution’s portfolio?

F. C.: We have well-established properties for every target with an emphasis on classics.

For preschool Noddy remains our leading brand, followed by Mr. Men that was a huge success when it was introduced. We also have Thomas the tank engine that will be arriving in France.

Evidently we are closely involved in developing Roary the racing car with French Master Toy Bandai and we have 2 important novelties: WordWorld that will arrive on France 5 for the spring of 2010… and Lulu Zipadoo's big début on France 5 scheduled for the end of 2010.

For girls Winx Club remains in the news with Season 4 arriving on France 3 and we are handling Rainbow's new animation series called Pop Pixie.

With the World Football Cup taking place in 2010 the Foot2Rue property will be our main priority for little boys with the arrival of Nicolas Anelka in the series and the licensed products coming out.

For older children we have high expectations for The Whizz Report and the new series Podcats that is a mix of music and multimedia, notwithstanding Mr. Men and Little Miss that is a fashion version of Mr. Men for young adults.

The Thalassa license is continuing to enjoy great success with seniors; we just signed new deals to develop watches, binoculars, umbrellas, etc.

Finally for the first time we are going to manage a brand that doesn't belong to the France Télévisions group: Vélib’ (Note of the translator: the name of the rental bikes available in Paris and suburbs).


Pepsi Drops Super Bowl To Focus On Facebook!

This will be the first time in 23 years that Pepsi will not air an Advert during the US Super Bowl. This is a huge change for Pepsi - culturally and financially.

Pepsi will focus its energy and money on its online presence where the brand believes a younger and accessible audience is spending its time.

Just like many other brands (GAP, Budweiser and Coca-Cola) who have switched to an online marketing strategy in order to encourage consumers to engage with their products via the Internet, Pepsi has developed a project called “The Pepsi Refresh Project” which will feature social-networking campaigns that leverage the participate/contribute-and-vote-online model.

Pepsi is looking to appeal to the consumer’s more compassionate side by offering grants "to those presenting the best ideas to improve the communities we call home and, perhaps, transform the society we call America.”

The $20 million digital-based project will highlight a new website and a presence on Facebook. The social platform is now widely used as it allows corporations to contact consumers directly with the creation of brand-centric pages and themed applications.

If this change of strategy reveals to be successful, it will be interesting to see how other major brands invest in Super Bowl commercials in the future!


Naruto Shippuden Sails on to International Success

Naruto Shippuden is into its 6th series in Italy on Italia 1, with a new slew of licensed products ready to go on the Italian and European markets.

The Licensing Machine has inked new contracts with Cartiere PIGNA spa for stationery, Supreme Factory (in Spain and Andorra) for PC accessories and videogames available on DS, WII and PSP platforms and with the French company CTI for a new collection of homewear fabrics distributed throughout Germany.

Naruto’s international success is confirmed by sales totaling 80 million manga (5.6 million in Italy, the Iberian peninsular and Germany), 10 million videogames worldwide and over 330 episodes of the series produced in Japan.