Sanrio's Hello Kitty has partnered with Sony Creative Products, to launch a new licensing programme in collaboration with French children's book and animated cartoon series Gaspard et Lisa.
The first glimpse of this collaboration came when creators of Gaspard et Lisa, Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensblen, and Sanrio's Hello Kitty designer, Yuko Yamaguchi, created seven oil paintings showing a visit by Hello Kitty to Gaspard and Lisa's hometown of Paris on a private jet.
During the visit the two Parisiens show Hello Kitty around the city of Paris and the three friends enjoy spending time together – all of which is captured in the oil paintings.
Following the creation of these paintings, this year will see an expansion of the collaboration into licensing, including the launch of merchandising from Sanrio featuring designs created from these oil paintings. The launch will start in Japan, with Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and other territories to follow.
“This collaboration between Hello Kitty – one of the most successful character-based properties in history – and Gaspard et Lisa – an enormously popular property with a strong market in Japan – is both innovative and extraordinary. The charming friendship shown in these inspired paintings will not only capture the imagination of fans of both properties but will also drive a strong merchandising campaign.”
Gaspard and Lisa are two cute animal friends created by Anne Gutman together with her husband, illustrator Georg Hallensblen. They have appeared in 40 books and an animated series broadcast in over 80 countries. The two friends are exceptionally popular in Japan, where the books have sold over two million copies and inspired a strong licensing campaign that today includes fashion items, stationery, mobile accessories, and even pet care items. The property has also inspired a theme park, La Ville de Gaspard et Lisa, in Yamanashi.