With his blue duffle coat, red hat, and marmalade always somewhere about his person, Paddington Bear is a figure you would recognize from miles away, so buying the Paddington Bear franchise was a sure bet for Vivendi.
With his extraordinary adventures, coordinated and related by all our businesses, Paddington has become a perfect illustration of the benefits of an integrated group and a brand poised to take on the world.
A MADE IN VIVENDI FRANCHISE
THE COPYRIGHTS GROUP X STUDIOCANAL X UNIVERSAL MUSIC X GAMELOFT X HAVAS
Paddington began as a lovable bear, first penned by Michael Bond in 1958. Over the last 60 years, his kindness, manners and positive outlook have made him a classic figure in children’s literature and a true icon that transcends all ages and boundaries.
Paddington’s first mark at Vivendi? A success: the filmPaddington, released in late 2014 and produced by Studiocanal, is the highest-grossing non-Hollywood family film to date, with nearly $300 million in gross box office revenue.
By acquiring The Copyrights Group in 2016, Vivendi became the world’s sole owner of the Paddington franchise (excluding publishing rights), which includes the rights for live entertainment, video games and theme parks. The universality of Paddington’s values makes for incredible “entertainment” potential, and Vivendi wanted to take advantage of this to build a new business model and develop a brand within our Group.
When Paddington 2 was released, it was all hands, and paws, on deck for all of Vivendi’s businesses, as they worked to make the launch of this second installment a major event: while the film was produced by Studiocanal, the trailer was the work of Universal Music, Gameloft developed a mobile game called “Paddington Run” for the occasion, and Havas organized a jam-packed launch campaign, which saw Paddington wreak havoc across London: the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, had a dance with the bear at an event at Paddington Station, and five sculptures of Paddington were unveiled across the English capital by the then London Mayor, alongside the film crew. The critics were unanimous, and the press went wild for it: “The very British film every family MUST see this Christmas” (The Daily Mail) “A superior sequel full of charm and humor” (The Independent). The collaboration between our businesses was a great success and, to some extent, Paddington gave a pioneering demonstration of the “Vivendi machine”.
In 2018, to celebrate Paddington’s 60th anniversary, The Copyrights Group, a member of Vivendi Village, created a fun and interactive digital treasure hunt. Many of Vivendi’s entities got involved in supporting the treasure hunt. Studiocanal, Dailymotion and Universal Music Group provided clues on their websites and supported the event through public relations initiatives. Gameloft created a mini-games app for cell phones. Digital Factory, a subsidiary of Havas, developed the digital platform for the treasure hunt. Finally, Organic, another subsidiary of Havas, was responsible for promoting the event.
In 2019, Studiocanal and Nickelodeon signed a global deal for Paddington to continue his journey across all media by taking to the small screen in a new series for pre-school children.
Finally, in 2019, Paddington’s benevolence and generosity made him UNICEF’s new champion for children’s rights.
Paddington is now a reference within our Group, illustrating hand-in-hand collaboration between all our businesses. Their work to deploy their resources on all media is behind the success of Paddington as a global brand.