Brand licensing was the logical step for ‘Oggy’ in India

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Reckoning on the success of the Oggy and the Cockroaches TV show I India, its parent company Xilam has licensed out the character in consumer product segment. In a conversation with License India Marie-Laure Marchand, SVP Global Consumer Products & Media Distribution for Asia- Pacific USA and UK explains the licensing strategy for the character in India and the strategy behind the move to launch Oggy in consumer products segment. Xilam has announced a massive deal with Amazon India where Oggy will be offered on an exclusive basis.

Tell us about the journey of Xilam with brand licensing.
I joined Xilam almost an year ago, with the main task of developing a sustainable licensing base for Oggy and the Cockroaches on a worldwide basis, Xilam’s flagship property. Xilam has previously secured licensing activity in France and has appointed two agents in Italy (Discovery Kids) as well as in South East Asia (Empire Licensing). Our goal is now to expand our scope on a worldwide basis with a focus on Asia and Europe as a start.

What made you think of India as a potential market for Oggy & the Cockroaches?
Oggy and the Cockroaches hit TV screens about 20 years old and has been sold to more than 160 countries including India. The show is over performing on TV as well as on social media platforms with more than 3.8 billion views on YouTube alone. Since we are now producing three new seasons, we thought that it was the right timing to launch the property on a global basis with key licensing partners.

Oggy is encountering a huge media success in India. First introduced to Indian kids through Nickelodeon, the new seasons of Oggy will now be shown on Cartoon Network and Amazon Prime. Indian kids love Oggy and developing consumer products is a logical step to meet their needs.

Why and how has licensing been an effective retail strategy for Xilam?
Xilam, as a studio and producer, creates original content and owns all rights. It was logical for us to continue the brand experience through appropriate licensing products which carry the brand values and DNA.

Licensing is another way to strengthen the relationship with our audience. We receive lots of interest in Oggy products on our social media platforms and licensed products will meet this need.

What are the strategies for pushing Oggy merchandise into Indian retail ecosystem?
Oggy is encountering a huge media success in India. The sense of humour, slapstick comedy, works very well in India and our broadcasters are reaching high rating success with the show. We also have a huge fan base coming out India for our YouTube content.

We have just announced a massive deal with Amazon India where Oggy will be offered on an exclusive basis. It is now a natural step to develop licensed products for this captive audience. Moreover, the Indian market has tremendous business potential and have the ingredients to make Oggy licensed products a success!

How different will those strategies be from the global ones?
We plan to use the same approach worldwide, taking advantage of the fact that Oggy is a well-known brand and a proven success on kids’ TV. However, what will differ from the rest of the territories is the categories covered and launch time.

In India, key categories will be back to school, apparel and publishing whereas in many countries, we will need to have a master toy partner first followed by publishing and other secondary categories.

What categories are the best suited for this IP?
Toys and games, publishing, plush, collectibles, novelty products, art & craft, apparel, footwear as well as food and promotion.

How do you zero upon the ideal licensee for your brand?
It will depend on the categories. For products that need heavy development like toys we really need to pay attention to the fact that the items and the lines are in sync with the brand’s DNA and specificities. We will emphasize the fun and crazy ideas that will fit to the brand values as it is crucial to tackle our core fan needs.

According to you what is the ‘trick’ to licensing?
First is content, content should be key then products development needs to be innovative, of superior quality and surprising.

How do you plan to position Oggy in Indian market?
Oggy is our first property to be launched in the Indian market. As a wacky comedy, we will need to position it as a fun and surprising character that can relate to kids and their family.

We are now in production of a very colourful and charming preschool series, Paprika and it will be our next licensing focus.