Mr Men

a brand campaign

Background

Following Chorion’s recent acquisition of the iconic children’s brand, the company was keen to revive awareness of the Mr. Men & Little Miss in order to generate interest amongst potential new licensees.

Taylor Herring Brand Communications had to create stand-out for the brand in order to cut through the vast array of children’s brands in the market.

Objectives

  • Re-establish the Mr. Men & Little Miss within the consciousness of adult and children consumers
  • Communicate the heritage of the Mr. Men & Little Miss brand via 35th anniversary activity
  • Generate desire within the target market for the two new characters - Mr Birthday and Little Miss Birthday


Campaign Strategy & Plan

THBC’s aim was to create activity that appealed to adults and children, tapping into the nostalgia of the brand, as well as exciting new developments with the introduction of two brand new characters and storybooks published by Egmont UK. The agency developed different strands of activity to appeal to both markets.

To launch the campaign, THBC proposed the first ever Mr. Men art exhibition, working with current licensee - The Animation Art Gallery. The exhibition was planned to coincide with the release of the new books featuring Mr Birthday and Little Miss Birthday, written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves, son of original creator Roger.

A press release announcing the arrival of the new characters was issued to all national news desks and agencies. This was coordinated with a photo call revealing the new characters to consumer press, with pictures syndicated through various picture agencies to all national picture desks. An exclusive private view event at the Animation Art Gallery was held on the same day, which was attended by Adam Hargreaves and displayed rare memorabilia from the Hargreaves archives.

Limited time with Adam meant that interviews were carefully selected to ensure that the campaign generated maximum awareness. All coverage was coordinated to appear in the weekend preceding the exhibition launch and on the day of the exhibition opening to the public. Two pre-launch features were arranged as exclusives with The Sunday Telegraph: Seven magazine and PA News. Interviews on the day of launch were organised with BBC Breakfast News and ad hoc interviews were conducted with national and regional media throughout the day utilising Adam and the exhibition curator for comment.

THBC also worked with media to create individual angles, which included celebrity Mr Men comparisons in the Daily Star and the Daily Record.

This was supported with activity in children’s media that engaged readers with the brand. An exclusive partnership was set up with Redan Publishing which saw Adam creating two double page spreads of exclusive artwork featuring ‘Tips for Kids’ in Fun To Learn Favourites and Sparkle World. The agency also worked with Five’s Milkshake to offer one lucky viewer their very own Mr Men birthday party as well as a number of product competitions placed in adult and children’s media including BBC2’s Mighty Truck of Stuff, Pick Me Up and Your Family.

Measurement and evaluation

The campaign was extremely successful in reviving the Mr Men & Little Miss brand, with coverage appearing in a range of media and the two new characters featuring on the front page of The Times on the day of release as well as The Sunday Telegraph: Seven magazine. BBC Breakfast News coverage was also picked up on BBC News 24, BBC World News and BBC News South East and Adam’s interview with PA News was picked up by over 150 regional titles.

Radio interviews were conducted with LBC, BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Three Counties Radio, BBC Radio Derby, BBC Radio Newcastle and Century FM utilising Adam and the exhibition curator for comment.

The campaign also established the brand’s position within popular culture with a spoof character story in Private Eye, a question asked about the Mr Men on National Lottery Jet Set and as a conversation topic on This Morning. Robbie Williams was even asked which character is his favourite during a webchat (it’s Mr Bump!).

Adam was also requested as a guest on Channel 4 News, Five News, BBC 6 O’clock News, This Morning and even as far reaching as Radio New Zealand.

Results

Chorion received numerous enquiries from potential new licensees as a result of the launch and firmly established the company as the new IP owner of the Mr Men & Little Miss brand. The Animation Art Gallery received a record number of visitors for any single exhibition in its history.