Marketing strategy for 2011 is centred on communicating at every point of the year, not just during the eight-week campaign period building up to the annual November telethon.
The Blush brand will be developed after its soft launch in 2009. Children in Need recently filed a trademark with a view to expanding the character’s merchandising reach in retail stores.
Head of marketing and fundraising Sarah Monteith says: “Pudsey doesn’t have a speaking voice but he does have a voice of endorsement. By bringing in another character we have a new voice that might resonate better for certain projects and audiences.”
A former Sky Media brand manager, Monteith joined Children in Need at the start of the year, attracted by the power of the Pudsey brand.
She says: “I would liken Pudsey to the Mickey Mouse model: he appeals to 5 year-olds, 11 year-olds and right up to adults. It is phenomenal how a cartoon character has that accessibility to all audiences, but we have the same in Pudsey.”
Digital and social media will also be prominent in Monteith’s marketing strategy in order to showcase the work the charity does for communities and disadvantaged children.
Monteith adds: “We have 360,000 Facebook fans, more than Simon Cowell and Doctor Who, meaning our audience has a huge appetite for the brand. The trick is to make sure this vehicle is targeted, relevant and our communication is kept fresh.”