ZAG America's president-global brand strategy and consumer products, André Lake Mayer talks to Licensing.biz about the power of Miraculous and plans for building the ZAG Heroez franchise into a planetary sensation.
By today’s standards it takes some doing to outperform Star Wars in the children’s entertainment space.
So, when season one of Miraculous, Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir ranked ahead of the infallible franchise’ Star Wars Rebels in the Top 10 Kids Show Overall European table in September 2017, you can bet the team at ZAG America had something to celebrate.
Then again, what would you expect from the firm that considers itself to be the modern-day Marvel for the younger generation?
Originally launched in 2015, Miraculous, Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir now airs in over 120 countries where it regularly scores number one rankings with key broadcasters such as Disney EMEA, Disney Latin America, France’s TF1, POP in the UK and Super in Italy.
“Miraculous is a digital planetary craze with over 17 billion watch-time minutes and 3.4 billion views in its lifetime on YouTube,” explains André Lake Mayer, president-global brand strategy and consumer products at ZAG America.
“We had the number one most viewed video on the Nickelodeon USA YouTube Channel in 2016 and we have ranked number two and number three on Tumblr in the last two years.
“Plus, the Miraculous theme song for season two, performed by Lou Jean and Lenni-Kim Lalande from The Voice France, racked up 21 million views since its YouTube debut in November last year.”
With such a strength of audience base, ZAG America is now looking ahead at a big year for the Miraculous brand, as it continues to relay merchandise success stories from across the globe, while expanding the portfolio into new area such as mobile gaming and stage shows.
“Miraculous is now recognised with high TV ratings and merchandise success stories in many countries around the world, especially in Brazil, Spain and France and seasons two and three will continue to roll-out across EMEA, Latin America and the US,” continues Mayer.
“ZAG is also adding a web series in 2018 that will feature the ‘chibi’ style versions of all the funny and colourful heroes and villains from the series. The first official Miraculous Ladybug mobile gaming app will also be available worldwide starting in March 2018.
“Additionally, a live touring stage show is in development for Europe and Latam, and a major global promotion is coming in 2018, but this is not yet formally announced.”
Miraculous now boasts an extensive licensing and merchandising programme with more than 300 licensees around the globe; that translates to more than 3,000 product SKUs across al categories, which, if you do the maths, translates to one hefty net worth for the brand.
“On the consumer products front, in Brazil and Spain, Miraculous has won several prestigious industry awards for Brand and Toy of the Year 2016 and 2017,” says Mayer.
“Bandai is our global master toy partner and it has done an incredible job. Other global, pan regional and super-star licensees include Novabrink for large dolls in Brazil, Danone for water, Ferraro for Kinder Joy & Surprise Eggs, Panini for magazines, Pez for collectable candy dispensers, Funko for collectable vinyls and Guess x Kids for a co-branded Miraculous Fashion Collection coming to retail shelves in Europe this August.”
Miraculous Ladybug is well represented across most relevant girls’ categories from apparel to décor, lifestyle, publishing and school products. In Spain and Brazil, ZAG has even secured apparel and accessories partners for boy’s depicting Cat Noir, the boy super hero of the story.
“In the US, we have great licensing partners on board who are currently focused on our active fan community of teens and young adults. Our short list includes: Action Lab Comics for comic books, Bioworld for fashion accessories, Baretree for digital stickers, Changes for graphic t-shirts, Great Eastern Entertainment for gifts and novelties, We Love Fine for fan art t-shirts and lifestyle products, Rubies and Spirit in the Halloween costumers, Sakar Internaitonal for electronics, Shout Factory for DVDs, Sunstaches for cosplay sunglasses and more,” says Mayer.
“This year, however, ZAG is looking to expand its publishing segment and party goods in particular. Internationally, the Miraculous expansion will link to season two and three and we are looking for more tailored retailer programmes, lifestyle products for young adults and more healthy food and packaged good promotions.”
Three years on from its launch, it is the success of Miraculous globally that now positions ZAG for building global commercial brand franchises through TV, film, digital content, toys and consumer products under the ZAG Hereoz label that will house all current and future original IP and continue to tell stories about kids.
“We consider ourselves to be a modern-day Marvel, building long-term franchises that cross over into each other’s worlds,” says Mayer. “Plus, we already have three TV series and an animated feature that movie studios are interested in, so expect to hear more on that front soon.”