Eric Hill’s award winning title Where’s Spot? was published in 1980 and since then the character has become something of a publishing phenomenon.
Since 1980 over 50 million books have been sold, with the range having expanded from the original lift-the-flap books to include interactive sound and novelty titles. Other product categories include toys, DVDs and a website.
In terms of licensing, Chorion handles a global programme which covers categories including toy, apparel, gift, home décor, stationery, books and DVDs.
“We will be looking to expand the current Spot licensing programme,” says Nicholas Durbridge, chairman of Copyrights, a Chorion company. “Suitable product categories would be apparel, gifting, novelty, toys and games, homewares and outdoor play.”
Of course, the 30th anniversary of Spot provides a good opportunity for new partners to come on board. “The celebrations for the 30th anniversary are already underway in the UK and will launch in other key markets such as Australia and the US in the next couple of months,” Durbridge continues. “The activities will be worldwide, with in-store promotions, consumer press advertising, editorial and interviews with the author Eric Hill and a touring original art exhibition in the UK.
“Events are planned throughout the year, including a celebratory party in the summer in the UK, brand partnerships and exciting new developments on the website such as a fully interactive Spot Google map of events and celebrations around the world. In addition, a theatrical show, Spot’s Birthday Party, will launch in the US in the autumn.”
Support will also be strong across Europe, with translated logos and events planned in all of the key markets including Holland, Portugal and Finland. New publishing, meanwhile, will be led by a special edition of the original title, Where’s Spot?, and novelty book Spot’s Birthday Balloon. On top of this, a special anniversary DVD featuring a collection of the best Spot episodes will roll out in the spring.
Special promotions and events will take place in book and department stores around the world. Spot will be visiting Waterstones nationwide in the UK in January, FAO Schwarz will be continuing its strong support of the brand in the US and stores across Australia will be running events and promotions around both the books and the Spot plush from Jasnor among others.
The website – www.funwithspot - already receives 16,000 unique visitors per month will also continue to be important for the brand. As well as the UK site, there are also Dutch, Australian and US versions.
“The future is very bright for Spot and this is the perfect time to celebrate this iconic, classic character,” Durbridge says. “With new product ranges, innovative and exciting publishing launches and a never ending enthusiasm for the brand around the world, Spot promises to go from strength to strength.
“By definition, a classic brand such as this has a proven track record of appeal and the ability to adapt with time to ensure continued popularity for each new generation of children. Whilst retaining the integrity and core values of the brand, we are always looking for a new direction in which to take spot – be that through new products, digital opportunities or simply finding new emerging fans.
“The new parents of today are those who first grew up with Spot and there is an evident love and nostalgia in those parents who want to offer their children the books that they enjoyed,” Durbridge concludes.