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Born Licensing reveals its first advertising campaign

Campaign sees popular licensed characters join forces to tell UK adland ‘Don’t Say Can*t’.

Born Licensing has today (26 April) launched its first ever creative campaign targeting UK adland.

In a unique mash-up, the company is deploying a crack team of well-known characters to challenge the can’t-do attitude the industry has relating to the use of licensed characters in creative campaigns.

The aim is to illustrate the engaging use of characters in ads, bringing together SpongeBob SquarePants, Grumpy Bear from the Care Bears, 90’s icon Daria, a Ninja Turtle, Garfield, Beavis from Beavis and Butthead and Mr Grumpy from Mr Men Little Miss.

The bold creative tells the industry ‘Don’t Say Can*t’ and encourages adland to explore the realms of possibility that come from licensing fictional characters to engage and connect with audiences.

The campaign comes a month after Born Licensing published its first ever white paper which addresses how fictional characters are under-utilised in advertising.

Born Licensing discovered that 85% of industry creatives believe that using film and TV characters more frequently would help their work to gain more attention. However, 100% of industry creatives had experienced campaigns where the IP did not go ahead due to preconceptions of licensed character use.

The research also showed that 38% of UK adults most like to see fictional characters in advertising – 78% more than celebrities or musicians, and 111% more than sports stars. Despite this, celebrities, musicians and sports stars are 13.4 times more likely to appear in UK ads than fictional characters.

“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,” commented David Born, founder of Born Licensing. “They’re hugely and instantly recognisable, carry very positive associations to audiences, and their use is tremendously flexible – as shown with the success of the He Man and Skeletor ads for MoneySupermarket, and Robocop, Bumblebee and Donatello for Direct Line.

“When our research showed that most creatives would love to use them but consider the process too arduous, we knew that we had to do something to bust this myth. Licence holders are a lot more open to their characters being used in advertising than people think. We wanted to show the industry that they should see endless possibility when they think of character licensing, rather than perceived obstacles.”

The campaign has been created by creative duo Will Grave and Sander Vos with designs by Xavier Segers. The campaign will be running across digital channels from 26 April.

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