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Walker on a high after Bear Hunt TV success

Licensing programme set to grow further in 2017 for classic property across key categories.

Walker Books is lining up a raft of new licensing activity across various categories for We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, following the success of the TV adaptation over Christmas.

The film reached over eight million viewers making it the highest rating Channel 4 programme of 2016.

It aired on Christmas Eve at 7.30pm and on Christmas Day at 5.25pm, and was subsequently aired on More 4 and E4. The Christmas Eve broadcast took a 23.5% audience share.

The film was supported by a C4 on-air marketing campaign reaching 34 million viewers and received extensive coverage across national press, including taking the much sought after Christmas Radio Times cover.

Repeat transmissions are confirmed throughout 2017, while it is also now available on Amazon Prime Video for the US audience. A DVD will also launch in February, backed by an extensive marketing campaign.

Moving into consumer products, and The Bear Hunt app – created by All 4 Games – launched in December and reached number three in the Apple iPad app chart.

New publishing titles coming from Walker Books in spring will form part of the film tie-in publishing range and will draw on the theme of exploring and nature and will include We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: My Explorer’s Journal and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: An Adventure Field Guide.

These will be supported by an extensive consumer and digital marketing campaign. Aimed at 4-7 year olds, they are for a slightly older age group than the classic picture book in line with the film’s broader target audience.

Aurora, which launched the Bear plush in November, is reporting sales exceeding its expectations.

Nigel Layton-Hill, business development director, told The Source: “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt was the most sought after line from retailers at Autumn Fair, where we previewed the range.

“Following a very strong sell through at retail, Waterstones have been a major supporter of the collection and have reordered three times now, while we are also receiving a good level of repeat orders through the independent retail sector which is a very positive sign.

“Bear Hunt was a stunning animation at Christmas and we are keen to build upon the success of the brand, already our product development team are working on new pieces of plush for release this year.”

On top of this, Paul Dennicci will launch its first apparel line in Sainsbury’s in February, in time for World Book Day, while Cooneen is currently developing a range of nightwear and underwear for launch later in the year.

Paul Lamond will also release film tie-in product in February including a floor puzzle, 4-in-1 game and a card game, while Portico Designs will launch a 2018 calendar.

Promotional partnerships will also form a part of the 2017 brand strategy for Bear Hunt, with discussions under way.

Bear Hunt was part of a successful Whitbread partnership in December, reaching 2.5 million customers with branded activity sheets in restaurants and online, plus social media promotions.

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