October 22, 2012 at 10:10 am by Ted Mininni
When you think about it: America’s iconic rock band, KISS, has a lot in common with the lifestyle brand Hello Kitty.
As Hello Kitty brand owner Sanrio points out: “Kitty already has strong rock credentials – she’s frequently seen with an electric guitar and studded belt – and has a well-established history of co-branded capsule collections (the first was with Paul Frank in 1992) and exciting collaborations”.
What could be more edgy on Hello Kitty than KISS bassist Gene Simmons’ face makeup and signature “Demon” tongue? By the way: this is the one and only exception for Hello Kitty who is never depicted with a mouth or a tongue. But how could she faithfully represent Simmons’ KISS persona without it?
It makes sense that Sanrio would establish a “rock mood” for Hello Kitty – a bolder look with the hard rock heritage of KISS. Is this co-brand imagery ideal for all licensed consumer products? No. It’s especially geared for urban products sold in urban settings. But it appeals equally to kids and adults who grew up with Hello Kitty and KISS. Let’s remember that the group is more popular than ever thanks to the fact that they’re always on tour. Collectors around the world, from young children through adults and across multiple generations, will want to get their hands on consumer products that combine these two mega brands.
The objectives of this licensing program?: to create merchandising, marketing and promotional opportunities in retail stores and all other communication channels and platforms. Sanrio provides all of its partners with strong visual assets to apply to co-branded KISS and Hello Kitty products to ensure instant recognition.
Although there’s surely a well-executed style guide in place to support this licensing program, Sanrio is leaving it up to licensees to determine whether their products align with “rock mood” KISS Hello Kitty. But, seriously… what’s cooler for those that like to “Rock ‘n Roll All Nite” than KISS and Hello Kitty together? What’s going to generate more buzz about both properties than this? Since the licensing program calls for equal billing – as should be the case with co-branded licensing – one brand doesn’t dominate the other. They complement each other.
Please chime in. I’d love to get your thoughts on this.
Categories:Licensing, Licensing Program Design, Consumer Products, Entertainment, Marketing to Kids, Marketing Thought Leadership