After a major boost from the return of consumers to the high street in 2022, Rainbow Productions, the UK’s official supplier of licensed children’s characters for events, has announced plans to ramp up character appearances at retail venues throughout 2023.
If you’ve spotted pre-school and early years family favorites such as Bing, The Gruffalo and the Octonauts at an in-store event, chances are it’s all thanks to Rainbow Productions.
As well as generating brand visibility and increased customer engagement, retail tours directly boost average sales on character-related merchandise, in some cases by as much as 200%.
An excellent example of how this works in practice comes from hit brand Elves Behavin’ Badly. Following its success at the end of 2021 when Covid restrictions were easing, the owner and creator, PMS International, appointed Rainbow to manage the 2022 Christmas EBB Tour of UK shopping centres for the second year running. Not only did children have the chance to see Elfie and Elvie in action – playing tricks and festive games and spreading Christmas cheer – but the tour also helped to raise the festive brand’s profile and support retailers stocking its merchandise.
With high streets promising to be even busier in 2023, Rainbow expects almost half of its planned character appearances to be taking place in retail venues. And, when planned with key dates and product launches in mind, retail appearances really do have a positive impact on brand awareness and consumer spending.
If you add quality marketing and tactical sales points, these appearances can generate large increases in public attendance, as well as a spike in sales of licensed merchandise wherever the live events take place.
As Simon Foulkes, Managing Director, Rainbow Productions, says: “Character appearances deliver high-quality experiential brand interactions with families, allowing children to see their on-screen heroes in person, and retailers to create in-store theatre and boost footfall. No wonder we’re already experiencing a very busy 2023 – but we expect it to get even busier!”