Thursday, August 25, 2011

Humphrey Bear - A brand in need of a cuddle

I recall the days when the politically correct were calling for Aussie children's icon, Humphrey Bear, to be banned because he wore no pants. The other day I noted that, like the Emperor, Humphrey now has no clothes.

You see, the production company that owned the Humphrey Bear character went into administration a couple of years ago. The upshot of that is that Humphrey's most recent public appearance, after a two-year absence, was in 'For Sale' advertisement placed in The Financial Review by the company's receivers.

Question is - what is Humphrey worth? This is a crumpled brand that will need to emerge from hibernation and tackle a whole array of far more contemporary characters and distractions. And let's face it, the tail end of Gen Z and the emerging Gen Alpha are a pretty savvy and hard bunch to please as they practice their keyboard strokes from birth to engage with modern-day entertainment.

I challenge brand gurus to throw up some ideas about how they would tackle the rejuvenation of the Humphrey Bear brand. Does he need to rap with Eminem? Perhaps throw away the green waistcoat and climb into an Industrie ensemble? Perhaps enter the bear pit of The X Factor or Australia's Got Talent to re-establish his credentials? 

The sad thing is that any brand equity remaining with Humphrey is among the generations who were brought up with him - boomers and Gen X - neither of which is going to be of any value now. I even heard Kochie on Seven's Sunrise commenting this morning that he might be worth buying.

Now that would hasta la vista for Humphrey B - Kochie buying the rights and donning the bear suit for the Sunrise audience!

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