Beyond kids: brand and creators by Maurizio Distefano Licensing.

The latest events of the market, Milano Licensing Day and Brand Licensing Europe, show us how the brand category keeps growing. Companies seeking new insights from the “entertainment factory” often rely on lifestyle brands so that they can stimulate new narratives in an exclusive, personal and reinterpreted way, engaging higher target ages.
Market research shows us that after the age of 8/10 years, children, who now may be considered as “teens”, have among their best-known and most beloved figures who come from the “real” world (such as characters from reality shows, talent shows, artists from the music world including rappers and trappers at the forefront or influencers, all the way to star chefs). According to many analysts, they are precisely the most difficult generation to reach because they eschew classic trends, are immune to traditional advertisements, are less and less following classic media such as television and newspapers. On the contrary, they are attached to social media content and look for reference points that are truer and closer to their way of thinking and communicating.

We have the pleasure to deepen this theme with Maurizio Distefano Licensing, a leading agency in the pre-school sector, which over the years has been able to expand the offer by involving different targets.

Maurizio Distefano Licensing is the Italian agent for numerous properties, its portfolio ranges from cartoons to music and from brands passing on to creators of the latest social media world.
Among the agency’s – and the Italian market’s – most successful IPs are those with the strongest preschool target audience of the moment. Bing, Bluey, CoComelon, Masha and the Bear, are finding a very strong interest from the market with record-breaking successes and a lively and constant interest from licensees. But the licensing world closely follows trends, and the segment dedicated to brands and creators in the licensing market is getting bigger and bigger.

More and more Youtubers and Influencers have become “entertainment characters” for the licensing world. This is the case of Charlotte M., whose popularity is constantly growing and there is great anticipation for her first film.

This is a natural evolution of the licensing market: the content that influences the consumer world today comes largely from social media. And this consequently is reflected in licensing, so influencers or creators become new phenomena, creating new stimuli for licensed products and promotions.

One example that Maurizio Distefano Licensing proposes is definitely Charlotte M.: a young, multifaceted and professional character who is perfect for female-targeted licensing projects.
The companies that have invested in this property are many and for this season (and the next) there are many licensees on board. Mondadori for publishing, Giochi Preziosi for electronics and schooling-particularly the newly released back-to-school line of backpacks and stationery-, Easy Shoes for footwear, Salati Preziosi with their chips, Dolci Preziosi with Easter eggs, Mitama for slime and glitter sets, and Grani for kiosks.

Just last weekend, her success was confirmed at Coin in Milan’s Piazza V Giornate where Charlotte M. presented the FW22/23 capsule collection developed exclusively with To BE Too, and the event definitely proved her popularity.

Charlotte M. was also cast as the voice actress of the main character in the animated film “The Nutcracker and the Magic Flute,” which will be released in theatres on Nov. 3rd. This summer filming took place starring her as an actress and singer and will release in theaters on January 1, 2023: “Charlotte M. the Movie – Flamingo Party.” The film is eagerly awaited, and we have already been at work for some time on many projects related to this production.

Sense of belonging and nostalgia would seem to be the engines of the musical world. What are the main brands of the agency and the main active collaborations.

The agency works with the strongest music master agents globally by providing team professionalism and strategically analyzing each license and possible development: compared to the past, Maurizio Distefano Licensing ‘s appointment as Italian agents for such a large and varied roster of more than 130 IPs among bands and artists, has facilitated the accession of new Italian licensees to this sector.
The music licensing market is of strong interest especially for softlines and accessories: many Italian licensees have realized that this type of offering, which can range across all styles of music, stimulates the “nostalgia” effect and gives collections a niche style, which appeals to the most passionate fans but also to emerging one who love to show that they are part of celebrating iconic legends. The most desired bands and artists include Pink Floyd, AC/DC, and David Bowie, whose career spanning, vintage inspired graphics connect perfectly with multigenerational consumers.

Corto Maltese, Charlie Chaplin and Albert Einstein for the young adult target: how the greatness and the peculiarity of these three renowned characters is transmitted.

Here are three examples of properties related to famous characters, which carry strong distinctive elements belonging to the collective imagination. Their common denominator is the target audience: famous character brands are suitable for products that appeal to young adults, with a high positioning and reflecting the iconic allure peculiar to the individual.
Corto Maltese provides a style guide rich in artistic elements: the entire graphic novels, the watercolor and the black-and-white sketches, in which the unmistakable hand of its creator Hugo Pratt can be recognized. A traveler, an ironic sailor who combines Mediterranean looks and character with an Anglo-Saxon culture.
Corto is an anti-hero who prefers freedom and fantasy to wealth; he is a modern Ulysses who can take us to the most fascinating places in the world. Corto Maltese will star in a clothing line with a very prestigious fashion brand.

Charlie Chaplin and Albert Einstein are two globally renowned personalities, and the iconography they both carry with them is genius in itself: Chaplin’s bowler hat and Einstein’s trademark hair are iconic elements from their image and immediately recognizable to all.
The style guides available for the two properties offer numerous graphic elements for the development of iconic Consumer Products collections.

The Charlie Chaplin brand offers possibilities for use of the property, for example, in clothing and accessories, but also in art, collectibles, appealing to not just movie buffs, but anyone looking for a bit of nostalgia.

Einstein evokes thoughts of unmatched brilliance and scientific revolution, inherent in his character and his discoveries, which allows the development to create innovative and unexpected partnerships.

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