Bethan Garton, head of licensing at Acamar Films, tells how the brand is set to be 'truly global' by 2016.

Acamar Films’ Bethan Garton on making Bing an evergreen brand

How has 2015 been for Bing in the licensing space?

In a word: fantastic!

We had such a great response to our big launches. The DVDs with StudioCanal have sold over 70,000 units in four months, and our first line of toys has just arrived at retail from Fisher-Price to overwhelmingly positive feedback.

Just like with the TV series, which took 12 years to make, we’ve invested a lot of time and research into the products and we’re so pleased that it’s clearly paying off. The series itself has been so lovingly and carefully crafted, which is an approach we wanted to replicate in our licensing partnerships.

What areas has it flourished and why do you think it has done so well?

As above, our home entertainment and initial toy launches have gone really well, but as Bing is based on Ted Dewan’s beloved books, publishing is another big area for us and one which we have worked equally hard on with our partners.

We have Harper Collins with their book range, as well as CBeebies and Egmont magazines. I think our success has come from the level of love and time put into developing every single facet of each brand extension.

Our motto has been ‘thoughtfulness takes time’, and we haven’t shied away from taking that time to make sure we’re delivering fans something really special.

Are there still areas you feel Bing should be entering?

Definitely, our strategy is about building an evergreen brand over the long term, so while we are exploring complimentary categories to our existing licensees, we are committed to finding the best possible partners to work with and getting it absolutely right before we release anything.

The television series has been sold in over 40 territories, with the global launches happening from September our next goal is to foster the same strong partnerships and curated product lines worldwide, as we have both here in the UK and Australia.

The toy line has been a great success. What makes Bing such a good fit for toys?

Bing resonates with Bingsters (our young fans) and the grown-ups in their lives because it reflects their world and experiences back at them, and celebrates the joyful, messy, reality of growing up and exploring the world around you.

The toys have been developed to recreate play patterns and ‘Bang!’ moments from the series which pre-schoolers respond to. We’ve become a trusted brand, offering premium quality toys at realistic, affordable prices, but while our adult facing fan base is really strong, we’ve never lost sight of the fact that who we’re really developing for is the Bingsters.

What does next year have in store for Bing, both with regard to the show and the licensing activity around the brand?

Next year Bing will be truly global, so there’s a lot of exciting developments to look forward to.

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