From television to retail, cartoon characters are now sharing our space at home and life.
“Hello”, coaxes the salesman to a nine year old who retorts with a sigh. Semi-shocked, father intervenes and escorts the child inside the mall saying, “Ninja Hattori invites you in to the shop, will you come?” The little one strikes a deal with dad and says, “I hate Ninja Hattori, I want a Chota Bheem T-shirt and bag.” Today, the responsibility of saving the world from alien attacks; ugly asuras and zombies lie in the tender hands of laddoo gorging Chota Bheem, cute Bal Ganesh, Krishna and even Ben 10. Indian kids are totally in awe of these most famous cartoon characters that appear on the television throughout the day, much to the misery of mothers.
Parents may forever struggle to understand their children, but retailers today are busy cashing in children’s love for their favourite cartoon character. All major designer brands like Versace, Gucci, Ed Hardy, Burberry etc have their kids’ collection present in the Indian market for quite sometime now. Global lifestyle brand Nautica has Nautica Kids, International brand Zapp tied up with Raymond to foray into kids’ apparel. Local Indian brands like Catmoss, Lilliput, Mom n me apart and various retail chains like Westside, Shopper’s Stop, Lifestyle etc are actively selling kids apparel, utility items and stationery with cartoon branding. Disney also launched its exclusive retail chain by the name of Disney Story, which stocks Disney character-based stationery and is a favourite among kids.
Understandably the apparel business is leading the kids’ retail revolution, which accounts for almost 80 per cent of the revenue, with kids’ clothing in India following international fashion trends. According to researches, the branded segment comprises Rs 3,000 crore of the total kids’ apparel market-size of over Rs 13,000 crore. Undoubtedly, the kids’ retailing is growing as fast as kids do. If industry experts are to be believed, the sector will see an annual growth of 30-35 per cent.
Toys, stationary, sportswear, outerwear, tailored clothing, eyewear, watches, fragrance, footwear, the segment is growing at a rapid pace. Margins for dealers are lucrative as well. Why only apparel, the kids theme is permeating other markets too. The next in line is FMCG. Welcome to the world of kid food products. With tailor-made edible products, brands are now exploring this untapped territory that promises great return. Go Cheese, the brain behind convenient cheese like shredded and nacho liquid cheese, recently introduced a new product that stars legendary cartoon superstars Tom & Jerry. Go Cheezoos squeeze tube is a novel concept, launched for the first time in India and greater Asia for which Parag Milk Food Pvt. Ltd. entered into a licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products. Speaking at the launch, Bianca Lee, Managing Director, Greater China, SE Asia and India, Warner Bros. Consumer Products said, “We are very excited to be working with Parag Milk Food Pvt. Ltd. to bring Tom & Jerry to the homes of our fans in India, through this healthy and innovative product, Go Cheezoos.”
Celebrating with style
Even famous cake brand Monginis launched 3D cakes with toon characters like Chota Bheem and friends, Angry birds on its delectable variety of birthday cakes. If you don’t want to irritate your child on his birthday better bring the cake adorned with his favourite toon character because today the kids are in no mood to settle for a simple pineapple or a black forest cake. And with cake, you would also need paper cups, paper plates, balloons, decorations and a matching cake cutting knife – everything with your child’s favourite cartoon. That’s the minimum children want today. No kidding, India is home to almost 20 per cent of the world’s child-population. Cartoon branding for sure has a great market to explore and satiate the demand.
Face it the little Indian is now the most promising member of the largest market in the world. No wonder brand-savvy Indian kids are being pampered—and how! No more colouring with crayons, kids today rather check out different stuff available at the mall, where retailers are offering their favourite cartoon merchandise – angry birds water bottle, Winnie the pooh sippers, Popeye notebooks, Ben 10 wristwatch, Barbie hair clips, Chota Bheem bags, Rapunzel erasers, Cars pencil boxes or even a Superman rakhi.
Recently when Rakhabandhan was celebrated across the country with much excitement, markets were filled with all types of rakhis with branding of cartoon characters – Ben 10, Krishna, Bal Ganesh, Bal Hanuman, Batman, Cars and the list goes on. With 30 per cent of the Indian population below the age of 15, and the awareness about animated characters is increasing exponentially among children, there are stores and shopping websites for kids already. Talking about the trend, Vijay Jumani, co founder and CEO, hoopos.com says, “Kids are attracted to cartoons and character merchandise because they identify with the character or aspire to be like the character. Character merchandise is also fun, colourful and exciting and that appeals to children. Girls and boys at different age groups relate to different characters, viz., a 3 yr old girl to Barbie while a 8 year old girl to Hannah Montana or a 4 year old boy to Ben10 and a 10 year old boy to Batman or Superman. The Indian Superhero Character Chhota Bheem has found a great place in the Indian market and appeals to both boys and girls from the age group of 2-9 yrs. At hoopos.com we carry an extensive range of cartoon merchandise that is genuine and officially available in India. These include Barbie, Dora, Batman, Ben10, Spider man, Chhota Bheem, and many more across categories like Apparel, Footwear, Stationery, Mugs, Room decor, Bags and lots more.”
There are shopping websites, which exclusively sell everything needed by a child in his growth years. There are: hoopos.com, babyoye.com, allschoolstuff.com, homeshop18.com, mybabycart.com, which sell products ranging from furniture to toys, apparel to birthday gifts. Hoopos.com boasts of over 300 brands, including well established Indian and international brands like Chicco, Funskool, Disney and Fisher Price with service delivery across 3500 pin codes in India. Our message to parents: grow up to the retail reality. For companies and children alike, the future is a fairy tale, wherein one lives happily ever after.
Famous cartoon merchandise
Angry Birds T shirts, pouches
Winnie the Pooh piggibanks
Ben 10 school bags
Chota Bheem pencil cases
photo courtesy: Hoopos.com