We find out more about new girls brand, Sissi The Young Empress, and how the firm is building up the licensing programme.

THE BIG INTERVIEW: Roberta Puppo, International Licensing & Marketing Manager, Mondo TV

Firstly, can you tell me the history behind the brand?

Sissi, the Young Empress was born from an editorial project by Il Sole di Carta, an Italian publishing company. It is freely based on the original story of the Empress of Austria and dedicated to the younger female audience.

Sissi is in fact one of the historical figures who most impressed the popular imagination. Novels, films and TV dramas have brought back the romantic and tragic events experienced by Elisabeth of Wittelsbach that everyone keeps on calling Sissi.

Given the Italian publishing success, Mondo TV and Il Sole di Carta have decided to continue celebrating the legend of Sissi by producing the brand new TV animated series expected for fall 2015. It will be a story of court life and romance, adventures, love and intrigues with a touch of magic. It will make girls experience the life in a castle, made of fancy dresses, jewels and horses, without ever forgetting the simple values of life.

How many licensees does it have to date (in the UK and worldwide) and in which categories?

Since we are talking of a brand new production that still has to be launched, the licensing programme is in a beginning phase. However, the first deals for Sissi’s products have already been successfully closed: Sissi’s toy line will be produced and distributed by Startrade under the brand Grandi Giochi in all EMEA and Russia, and for 2016 Sissi’s carnival costumes will be in shops in Italy, as well as Sissi branded chocolate eggs and sweets.

Are you looking to expand the consumer products programme further this year – for example into new categories or territories?

Certainly the licensing programme, as mentioned above, is constantly developing also for this year to assure an excellent product category coverage for 2016, such as school line, summer products and recurrences. Also the expanding of TV sales on new territories in the next few months will allow us to extend the licensing program to the whole Western and Eastern Europe and Middle East as well.

Do you have any special marketing initiatives or promotional activity planned for 2015?

Most of the marketing initiatives will concentrate during the launch of the TV series and of the toy line, and will consist in TV and print campaigns together with live events in the shopping centres. In the meantime we are presenting and promoting Sissi in all the trade shows we participate in and advertising it in many trade magazines.

What would you most like to achieve with the brand in 2015?

We are working hard to grow and strengthen the awareness of the brand with the aim of winning both the girls’ and moms’ interest, this is also thanks to partners of great importance that continue to join the project and that will help to give greater visibility to the brand with their retail products able to win over the public.

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