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Tales of Winnie the Pooh

Tales of Winnie the Pooh - Marketing Doris

I have history with Winnie the Pooh.

I don’t remember reading the books as a child, but I must have as I’ve always known about him and his friends from One Hundred Acre Wood.

Fast forward a couple of decades, God-daughter Number 2 arrived and fell in love with all things Winne. She instructed us all to choose our favourite character and stick to it!*  I picked Eeyore, partly because the main characters had already been nabbed, but actually I could relate to his purple coloured wisdom, it also made it so easy for us to buy presents for each other for a long time!

Jumping forward again a few years, I was working at a textile designer business. They had the Disney Winnie the Pooh character license for the nursery market, and suddenly I was seeing the yellow bear from a whole different perspective, those detailed in the guidelines we were following by the letter for designs, marketing and merchandising.

Anyone who has worked with licensed brands can relate to the usefulness (and challenges) of these guideline bibles, and I’m sure will also understand when I say that you never look at the character in quite the same way again. Even now, all these years later, I find that when I see a piece of marketing material featuring our favourite furry friend, I am scrutinising it with those guidelines still in my head!

Our paths didn’t cross again until more recently when the Goodbye Christopher Robin film was released in 2017, and once again, I saw Winne the Pooh from another angle. Allowing for some artistic licence as we might expect with a blockbuster film, we came out of the cinema feeling nostalgic, and quite sad to learn about the origins and effects of the stories on the Christopher Robin himself and his dislike of the commercialisation of the books and characters.

So, what do I think of the Winnie the Pooh Awareness day (18th January) which I was asked recently? The answer is I have mixed feelings. From a marketing perspective, I can see there is value and opportunity, and from a non-marketing point of view, I just now try to enjoy the quotes from the AA Milne books, the beautiful EH Shepherd illustrations, and of course, to smile at the many memes!

*She is now a teacher and still has a love of Disney!

Feedback:

Cygnet Group
Matthew Kimpton-Smith, Group Managing Director
"By January 2013 our Sales and Marketing functions had been ‘lumped together’ without any real distinction between the two disciplines, and without any specific marketing expertise within the business."
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