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Campaign Celebrates Babar's 80th Year
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Long Live Babar, King of the Elephants! 

Babar and his Queen Celeste will be celebrating their 80th anniversary in the United States in 2013. The anniversary will kick off with an advertising campaign estimated to cost around $100,000 and has the purpose to reintroduce Babar and his elephant kingdom to American children and their parents and grandparents.

As one of the many children of millennial age, we grew up with Babar, Arthur, and their adventures. Needless to say, the nostalgia itself will win many over.

And that's the point. Elliot noted that this campaign is meant to trigger that kind of emotion. Also known as comfort marketing, brands and advertisers will seek characters and themes that we know well, and that were with us growing up. It gives us security, brings back good memories, and helps us cope with today's troubles, especially when times are tough.

Babar always had good timing.

The shops involved in bringing the elephant rules back are Nelvana, a segment of Corus Entertainment, and the Clifford Ross Company. Nelvana specializes in children's entertainment, and Clifford Ross represents several artists in the same realm.

The campaign features several advertising and retail elements. The campaign will include Babar playthings and plush dolls made by Yottoy Productions, and Saks Fifth Avenue will be stocking Babar merchandise in stores, displays windows, and in catalogs. Also, Saks, Books of Wonder, and later Target and Walmart will be selling more copies of the books. The initial phase of the campaign will focus more on the higher tier of retailers, like Books of Wonder.

Babar is receiving some TV programming help as well. A new animated series called "Babar and the Adventures of Badou" was recently launched in the U.S. and Canada. Badou is the grandson of Babar.

It remains to be seen if this campaign will make the Elephant King relevant again. But if there's any time to try, now is it.


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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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