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How Spot is gearing up to be fabulous at 40

Penguin Ventures discusses just some of the plans for the classic publishing character.

As the home of Spot publishing, Puffin will release a commemorative edition of Where’s Spot? alongside a range of new preschool publishing to celebrate the 40th anniversary. Marketing activity will kick off to coincide with World Book Day and will continue on May 16-17 in bookstores nationwide.

Sarah Hulands, junior brand manager at Penguin Ventures, explained: “We are targeting the nursery space via partner activations including a partnership with Sport Relief in February, which will see Spot feature as the ambassador for their nursery fundraising campaign, and also with Fit for Sport, who will be developing a programme to promote fitness within preschool settings throughout spring.”

The illustrations in Eric Hill’s books will be the inspiration for a range of anniversary licensed products. Rainbow Designs launched plush last year and will release wooden toys towards the end of 2020. Dennicci will roll out infant apparel across key grocers this quarter, and Smiffys will launch a range of dress-up in time for World Book Day. Play Press Toys and Boxine have also signed for greetings cards and audio figurines.

Having adapted well to changing times, Penguin Ventures has been building its digital footprint for Spot. Sarah continued: “We’ve launched a dedicated Instagram channel and ramped up our marketing activity on Facebook to ensure our community there will be the first to find out about our anniversary plans for Spot. We will be establishing a home for the existing Spot animation on YouTube.”

The brand’s refreshed creative treatment encompasses a style guide and trends which will be attractive to contemporary families. While moving with the times is key for success, Penguin Ventures also ensures the core themes of the property are kept central.

Sarah concluded: “While the way families are accessing content has changed immeasurably since Spot was first conceived, the core values remain as relevant to children today as they were 40 years ago.”

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This feature originally appeared in the spring 2020 edition of Licensing Source Book. Click here to read the full publication.

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