Sony Creative Products (SCP), which manages worldwide licensing for the hit French children’s book series and animated cartoon Gaspard and Lisa, has announced a licensing and merchandising collaboration with Sanrio’s Hello Kitty. The agreement will initially target the Asian market.
The opportunity to collaborate came almost after 11 years.
Here’s how the collaboration will work:
The creators of Gaspard et Lisa, Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensblen, and Sanrio’s Hello Kitty designer, Yuko Yamaguchi, between them created seven oil paintings showing a visit by Hello Kitty to Gaspard and Lisa’s home town of Paris on a private jet.
During the visit, the two Parisiens show Hello Kitty around the city of Paris and the three friends enjoy spending time together.
This year will see a growth of the collaboration into licensing which include the launch of merchandising from Sanrio featuring designs created from these oil paintings. The launch will start in Japan, followed by Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand.
Yuko Yamaguchi was first inspired to paint Hello Kitty with oil on canvas after seeing Gaspard et Lisa in a commercial in 2006.
Who are Gaspard and Lisa?
Gaspard and Lisa are two cute animal friends created by Anne Gutman along with her husband, illustrator Georg Hallensblen.
Both the characters have appeared in 40 books and an animated series broadcast in over 80 countries.
The two friends are exceptionally popular in Japan, where the books have sold over two million copies.
Gaspard and Lisa have inspired a strong licensing campaign that includes fashion items, stationery, mobile accessories, and pet care items. The property has also inspired a theme park, La Ville de Gaspard et Lisa, in Yamanashi.
Who is Hello Kitty?
Hello Kitty, one of the most successful character-based properties in history was created by Sanrio in 1974.
She is a perpetual 3rd grade student who lives outside London. Though she appears to be anthropomorphic, according to her creators she is not a cat: she is simply a cartoon character with a red bow and, notably, no mouth.
Hello Kitty vinyl coin purse was introduced by Sanrio in March 1975.
Hello Kitty’s market has broadened to include adult consumers, being found on a variety of products ranging from school supplies to fashion accessories.
According to Takeshi Nakamura, Global Business Group Licensing Manager, Sony Creative Products, the collaboration between Hello Kitty and Gaspard and Lisa is both innovative and extraordinary.