Thursday, January 24

Top Brands: The Indian Licensing Report 2014

The Licensing Report for only Indian Originated IP’s in Global Market

licensing101As holders of the IP Rights, Animation Studios has been able to leverage the commercial value of its brands through a series of profitable licensing agreements. These agreements define and structure the business relationship between the licensee and the licensor, outlining the terms and conditions by which a manufacturer may produce a product in the likeness of a given character.

Popular characters can be very effective at driving sales for a variety of products. Research has shown that children respond more favorably to products with packaging that includes cartoon characters. The effect is so strong that children even rate foods with cartoon character packaging as tasting better than other foods.

In a rapidly evolving marketplace, character merchandising takes on a number of different formats. For the purposes of this report, they have been segmented as follows:

  • License merchandising: Confers the right to reproduce a character (eg, a popular cartoon figure), a vignette or logo on specific manufactured goods. Examples include a jigsaw puzzle featuring a cartoon character or pajamas featuring a character, such as Winnie the Pooh.

License merchandising generally adds value in that the character enhances the product in such a manner as to make it the overriding reason for the consumer to purchase the product.

  • Promotional merchandising: When a character is linked to a product for a specific period of time in order to boost sales or help establish a new product. The product remains the same but is accorded additional attention value by including a depiction of a character on or in the packaging, such as a free sticker or model inside the pack.

Character-based merchandise is a sub-set of the larger licensed merchandise market, and while the overall market has been treading water, sales of character-based goods has risen almost 4% over the period. Toys and games dominate the character-based merchandise market, accounting for over a third of all sales, with other sector generating more than 10%. Thus, while character merchandising can be quite effective, it is also important to examine consumer attitudes and behavior, as well as industry trends and innovations, to ensure that such efforts are successful.

Characters typically derive from a number of different media, the most popular being the following:

  • Television series
  • Animation Movies
  • Live Action Feature films
  • Toy Creations
  • Comic Books
  • Fiction Books
  • Newspaper Strip Cartoons
  • Computer Games


Character merchandising is not exclusively aimed at children, and while children are generally the key target audience, adults tend to be the principal purchasers. Children are key consumers of character-led products, especially the under-10s.

Examples of merchandised goods embracing media-led items include but are not limited to:

  • Media-led merchandise of any kind such as books, book sets, magazines, films, videos, DVDs, computer games
  • Greetings cards and other stationery like Bags, pencil cases, and sporting goods
  • Character-led toys and board and other games including soft toys and action figures or dolls
  • Character-led bicycles, scooters, tricycles such as the Barbie 12” girls’ cycle, skateboards, switchboards (scooter-cum-skateboard), cycle helmets, and accessories
  • Character timepieces, including both alarm and “talking” clocks and watches such as a Harry Potter watch, adult collectibles such as figurines and limited-edition pieces
  • Oral hygiene items: toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Adult and children’s/infants’ clothing and accessories including novelty socks, ties, boxer shorts
  • Home furnishings and house-wares including inflatable chairs, themed tableware, cutlery, and giftware, bed linens and other textiles such as nursery linens, lampshades, wallpaper, and wallpaper borders
  • Mobile phone accessories such as covers
  • Food and drink character items of any kind such as fast food, cake mixes, cakes, cookies, yogurts, and soft drinks

We spoke to the Brand Originated in India & based on that we present to you the TOP Brands of Licensing in India. Unsurprisingly, the one who holds top position turns out to be a TIE between Green Gold Animation’s – Chhota Bheem which is also a Top Brand when compared with other International Properties And Purple Turtle from Adarsh Pvt. Ltd. which is a Global Hit.

Chhota-Bheem-HD-Wallpaper-1024x578Kids relate to Chhota Bheem for simplicity, values, ethics, morals, adventure and marvels with deep Indian ethos. Being present in about 15 countries worldwide the show is performing extremely well in Asia and the Middle-East. Licensing Chhota Bheem Character Merchandising contributes to more than 40% of the revenues for Green Gold Animation with a spike of 30% in sales for the year 2014 vs. 2013 with the range of merchandise around 4000 SKUs giving a bountiful choice for the consumer

PurpleTurtlePurple Turtle is the only Indian originated IP that lures the kids as well as young adults globally.  Purple Turtle books are available in 21 countries. The Apps and E Books have reached around 50 countries. Purple Turtle books are available in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Gujarati, HIndi and English. No other IP in India has ever reached so many languages in books even Disney has not been able to have this reach.


On speaking the reasons behind the success on huge following among Kids and rising as Top Brand Mr. Madhav Prabhala, Vice President Licensing & Merchandising, Green Gold Animation Pvt Ltd says,Our property Chhota Bheem is the Super Hero in character licensing in India followed by Mighty Raju. This is due to continous presence on TV and yearly theatrical movies. Books and other merchandise have helped tremendously with the visibility of our characters. So all adds up to greater longevity and shelf life. It is due to this that we’re adjudged among “Global 150 licensors” and have been awarded “Licensor of the Year” for the last 3 consecutive years. However, theatrical movies help global characters become visible due to increased marketing during release time and various brand associations.”

Manish-Rajoria“Traditionally all properties that have reached the top came from books. Even today we see books have the highest success rate as the success of a TV show can be pre judged by the success of books. IP’s coming from books last long. IP’s that come from TV and Games go up very quickly but they have a short life span. Purple Turtle has added 7 new licensees in various countries, 7 new licensing agents and released the pilot episode which has won 4 awards”, says Mr. Manish Rajoria, Director, Adarsh Pvt. Ltd.

Discussing on the buying habits of the parents Mr. Madhav adds, “Parents today go to any extent to satisfy their children and if they see value in the character, they go all out. This has helped us in launching new merchandise and overall sales and distribution. We do a lot of social media interaction. We send mailers / offers for our online and offline stores. We also do a lot of ATL promotions through our brand association and BTL activities using our mascots / costumes in malls, schools and exhibitions. Our presence on iOS and Android platforms for games and apps, enable us to keep releasing new stuff.”

Reaching towards the end of our conversation about Challenges with Licensing in India, Mr. Manish who has successful global exposure of licensing over a period of 4-5years says, India is learning licensing and in the next 5 years we will be able to understand this potential. And Mr. Madhav states; “I think piracy is creating a lot of trouble for organized retail to compete and survive. We need stricter checking norms on imports of kids’ merchandise and in getting rid of corruption in clearance of goods being imported from China into India. Also, the government needs to look into uncontrolled dumping of cheap merchandise and toys. We need an effective legal and police framework in enforcing action against piracy. The police forces have limited knowledge and are short-staffed in handling I.P violations. Awareness and attitudes also need to undergo a change and it needs a push from the government just as schemes Swachch Bharat or Jago Grahak Jago brought about atleast genuine thought in people’s minds.” 

In the End, ADD believe’s that Licensing in India is at the nascent stage but has a lot of potential to grow. A lot of India Companies / Studios require learning Licensing as a revenue generation medium for their IP’s. Concluding the report, ADD would like to mention the brands that’s gaining momentum and raising bars for Licensing IP in a new innovative way globally. We truly hope to see these brands on a global platform in 2015.

Top 3 Brands to look for in 2015

1.       Kiddyworld

KiddyworldKiddy World is a unique pre-school cum entertainment show for children especially within the age of 0-6 years & 7-12 years. The show is set against the backdrop of a magical amusement park called Kiddy World with four cute and friendly characters – BLUBO, PASHU, SURI and DODO accompanied by their pet friend PATTU the rat. The characters are colorful as well as attractive, with an innocent and cute appearance to them. The story moves around the four main characters who are amazingly sweet and will appeal to any audience whether a kid or an adult. KiddyWorld is already out in public with over 20,000 KiddyWorld Memberships sold to consumers, lots of Social Media Activity engaging consumers and has wide variety of Character Merchandise available on their Online 


2.       Vir – The Robot Boy & Kisna

vir-robotboyViR – The Robot Boy & Kisna. Both have two young male protagonists, targeted towards young boys. ViR is set in the contemporary times and is all about gadgets and technology and how he utilizes his powers to save humankind. On the other hand, Kisna is the story of a super boy, with naturally endowed super powers and is set a couple of hundred years ago. He too uses his powers to fight all evils. ViR has been really well on Disney Hungama India for over a year now, and Kisna has just been launched on Discovery Kids India, with a good initial response to the series. The brands are well recognized and preferred among kids. 

 3. Eena Meena Deeka

emdAnother IP is a series called Eena Meena Deeka that will launch in the first half of this year. These are three chicken siblings, two brothers and a sister. Collectively they lend themselves to a host of product categories, for boys as well as girls.