Character Licensing Merchandise Licensing Toys & Games 

Indian comic strips still remain an attractive bet for advertisers. Here’s how

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Amidst all other merchandising and toy licensing, comic books/ e-books and comic strips still remain an attractive bet for advertisers. Despite low circulation and readership of comic books in India, more advertisers are joining the bandwagon.

When we are talking about comics in India, no one can forget Amul Girl’s mascot, who has been creating ripples and a strong connect beyond advertising, giving witty takes on current happenings; banks, stock exchanges and government campaigns. Additionally, comic books and strips have been using to promote themselves or to communicate messages.

The Amul girl is a hand-drawn cartoon of a young Indian girl dressed in a polka dotted frock with blue hair and a half pony tied up. The Amul girl advertising have often been described as one of the best Indian Advertising concepts because of their humour and sarcasm.

Not to forget the ‘RK Narayan’s comic strips’, where he has been regarded as a comic writer, or at best, as a writer of serious comedy – with the seriousness, not properly apprehended, lost in the more striking comicality.

According to Salil Kolhe, sales head at TBS Planet Comics, every industry today looks for a comic character to promote their products or at least a comic strip campaign for social media. “We have worked for Ajay Devgan Films and Balaji Motion Pictures to non-profit organizations who wanted to promote using comic means. Comics are one of the best ways to publicise a material because it’s fun and easy, especially to communicate with the new generation,” Salil was quoted as saying from the License India.

Indian comics haven’t washed-out completely but have been a little pushed out of the way by global content.

“Our comics don’t sell in that volume that we could expect a living out of it. We use our comics as a stepping stone to grasp projects,” shares Abhijeet Kini, an independent comics publisher in India told License India.

Recently, Creative Licensing and Dark Horse Comics have partnered for a new comic book series, based on the Terminator film franchise. Titled “Terminator: Sector War,” the new comics will focus on a second Terminator who has been sent to 1984 New York City to take out Lucy Castro, a rookie NYPD officer assigned to one of the worst sections in the city. When Castro faces off against the Terminator, she will have to rely on unlikely allies to survive until dawn.

Anindya Roy, founding director of the Delhi Comic Arts Festival (DeCAF) told Media India Group, “Indian comics are not sustainable. They don’t sell that much. I have a publishing house and over a period of time I found that I was not able to sell a lot of comics. There wasn’t a culture that was as excited to consume the comics as we were when it came to producing them.”

The major reason attributed for the low-pick up of Indian comics is the domination of American comics all across the globe.

Abha Sharma, a resident of Mumbai feels children in India are not subjected to Indian comics from the tender age. A kid in India doesn’t know who is Valmiki, but she/he is well aware of superheroes – be it Spiderman or Superman. All these characters are so popular on various social sites – YouTube or Facebook, you cannot simply ignore.

According to Siddharth Sood, founder of the Fan Merchandise Store, the pop-culture in India is still lagging behind other western countries.

However, India is witnessing a great surge in the toys and merchandising, thanks to some of the amazing start-ups. From customization to merchandising, E-commerce in India has changed the way, something that was unthinkable years ago.

Fashion is the highest margin category in e-commerce, with most online marketplaces reporting that first-time customers often prefer to make fashion or mobile phone purchases. In fact, this category has given rise to a bunch of startups in the last few years.

Three youngsters from Mumbai turn their love for Star Wars into an online marketplace for pop culture merchandise – The Souled Store, one of the famous online destination, where you can get customized items. Want to know more? CLICK HERE.

However, the main problem is the understanding the reality of the retailers. With more fake shops cropping up, it has become difficult to know the ground truth.

“The licensing industry in India is indeed broken, but it can be fixed if the licensers understand the reality of retailers. But one of the problems is also that licensing is a consumer factor and in India, the consumers are not conscious enough to make a licensed purchase. If we sell something authentic for Rs 600-700, they will say we get the same for Rs 300 in Lajpat market,” Jaineel Aga, CEO and co-founder at Planet Superheroes told License India.

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