OPINION: The low down on licensed promotions

Recent developments in the world of advertising have had a profound effect on the level of activity involving promotions with licensed characters.
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Look along any cereal fixture and where in the past you would have seen shelves crammed full of promotions advertising the latest blockbuster, or a DVD release from one of the major movie studios, along with accompanying gadgets being given away, now there is a distinct change in tone.

The traditional big players in the promotional licensing arena market are only too keenly aware that they are being watched for anything that the regulators believe is going to encourage children to eat more than the recommended daily intake of anything.

It's not just the promoters who have had to look at how they do things. Licensors are equally keen not to have their brand associated with anything perceived to be 'unhealthy'.

It's a confusing time if you want to develop a licensed promotion in the 'age old' way, with many of the most straightforward routes now barred. Where in the past the owner of a licensed children's property would simply add a big FMCG promotion to their objectives (which was difficult enough), now it's compounded by the difficulty of not knowing who would work with you unless you were going to support their eco-friendly, healthy eating option.

Equally, where in the past as promoter you could be confident in landing a big licensed property if you were willing to give over your pack space or advertising to support their latest film release, now you will have the licence in question checking your health and ethical credentials to ensure that they aren't going to damage their reputation by associating with you. Strange times.

I believe that there is an opportunity in the current climate to develop innovative campaigns that reflect the change in opinion and look at new ways to develop promotional licensed actvities.

However, many promoters and promotional agencies don't really know where to start when they consider how they could add a licence to the brand they work on, and produce a promotion or advertising campaign that really adds value and will capture the consumer's imagination.

Equally, licensors and their agencies habitually struggle to know what to do first if they want to drive awareness and revenue for their property by associating with a commercial product in a promotional campaign.

It's for this reason that I am running some training courses to build mutual awareness of the two industries, which has been backed by LIMA and the Institute of Sales Promotion.

There are courses for people in the promotions industry to get a greater understanding of how licensing works and how they can use licences to add value to promotions.

There are also courses for licensing people to help then to understand what promoters are looking for, what mechanics they use and how to get themselves on the promoter's radar as a potential partner.

The one-day courses are being held at the IPA Building in Belgrave Square London as follows:

Promotions for Licensors and Licensing Agencies: February 13th, March 12th, April 9th and May 14th.

Licensing for Promoters and Promotions Agencies: February 20th, March 19th, April 23rd and May 21st.

For more details, simply click here. If you would like to book or for more information call on 01279 505455 or 07859 362323.

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