Smiley brand re-emerges

Revitalised licensing strategy sees launch of two new collections.
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The famous Smiley logo is poised to make what it hopes will be a significant mark on the licensing market in 2008.

Originally designed back in 1971 by French journalist Franklin Loufrani, the ‘Smiley’ has been around for almost 40 years. Now Smileyworld – headed by Franklin’s son Nicolas Loufrani – is looking to sweep through the market over the next 12 months and build on its existing branded products which include clothing and accessories collections, plus a fragrance.

First up, the Smiley Collection is being positioned as a lifestyle brand aimed at tweens and young people. Meanwhile, Smileyworld is aimed at younger children.

“Smiley has spread across the world as a brand with hundreds of licensing partners including Sony, Levi’s, Mars and many other major companies,” said Loufrani. “We now have a huge presence in the fashion industry and the number of famous names wearing Smiley gives us celebrity chic. I am confident that everyone will be wearing a smile next year.”

However, Loufrani is keen to point out that Smiley is much more than a brand; it’s way of life. All of the Smiley Collection products are made from organic cotton, while ten per cent of Smileyworld receipts go to independently managed charity SWA – the Smiley World Association – to allow people to share their smile with people in need.

Loufrani added: “Smiley is a happy virus and we want to use it to make the world a better place.”


Smiley Licensing

Different generations have differing views of the smiley icon. To the pre-punk hippies of the ?70s it was the flower-powered face of peace and love. To the rave kids of the ?80s it was reborn as the day glo icon of acid house.

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