Brand Extensions Russia has been appointed to handle the licensing programmes for Forever Friends and The Little Prince in Russia.
Both brands will be present on BER’s stand – L54 – at the Russian Licensing Forum in Moscow which runs from March 13th to 15th.
The initial target market for The Little Prince licensing programme is likely to be boys and girls between six and ten years old. BER’s plans for the property will initially focus on key categories like back to school, apparel and home fabrics.
The Antoine de Saint-Exupéry masterpiece remains one of the most widely read and translated novels ever written, with 150 million copies sold and sales of over a million copies each year, 70 years after its first appearance. A TV series is doing well in Italy, Latin America, the UAE and more.
Series one of series is broadcast on CTC, one of the leading entertainment networks in Russia, with series two coming soon.
For Forever Friends, early categories will be based around its potential as a design-led licence, with a strong application to apparel and textiles, notably in the fashion and bedding categories.
The initial Russian market for the brand is expected to be the young adult women’s market, with a secondary teenage women’s market also likely to find the brand appealing.
Hallmark’s Karen Mitchell-Layton said: “The Forever Friends bear has become a design classic but never lost its uncomplicated emotional appeal as a brand that is all about love and friendship. We are very excited to have the chance to to extend that appeal to a brand new audience and certain that BER will be the ideal partner to introduce this much-loved brand to the Russian market.”
Eric Edery of Propertiz added: “The continuing development of the Russian licensing market, the long-established popularity of the Little Prince and the arrival of the new series mean that there will be growing demand for licensed product.
"We believe that BER has both the experience and the sensitivity to take this legendary and universally adored classic to a number of product categories for a wide Russian audience.”
Paul Berrington, Director of BER, commented: “The vast sales and universal awareness of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic novel are extraordinary. There is clearly an enormous potential market for licensed output, which our own licensing campaign will build on. But it is a campaign that will at all times keep in mind the enormous affection that all fans of the book everywhere — and especially in Russia — feel for this classic."
Talking of Forever Friends, he added: “Recent years have seen the growth in Russia of an affluent youth market keen for high quality design brands. Forever Friends, a delightful and instantly recognisable property that Hallmark has nurtured and developed for over 25 years, is the perfect brand to meet that demand. We are delighted that Hallmark has appointed BER to bring Forever Friends to this vast and exciting market.”
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