With approximately 130,000 attendees at Comic-Con, it can be difficult for brands to stand out in the sea of large crowds, vibrant costumes, and free swag. To find products that would cut through the noise while paying homage to its retro brand, The Splat, Nickelodeon reached out to branded merchandise partner, Axis Promotions.
The Splat is a programming block that airs nightly on TeenNick showing reruns of classic ’80s-’00s children's shows, and there was no better place to tap into the nostalgic feelings of thousands of Gen Xers and Millennials than on the floor of Comic-Con.
For more than a decade, Axis and Nickelodeon have partnered on creative projects that have garnered press and accolades for both companies, setting the bar unbelievably high. With a strategy-first mind-set, they hit the drawing board looking for ways to flood consumers with a strong dose of nostalgia.
“With any event, it's important to tap into your attendees’ emotions,” said Valerie Dorinson, senior branding executive. “In a world of digital media and marketing, doing so proves to be challenging. We wanted to create wearable products derived from The Splat's most beloved figures. These products would give attendees the emotional satisfaction of transforming into their favorite characters in place of merely spectating.”
With a clear strategy in place, Axis worked with Nickelodeon to design a product line of drool-worthy swag that people couldn't wait to get into their hands and onto social media.
The products included: oversized tote bags; custom foam wearables shaped like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hands; foam reproductions of Chuckie's signature red-orange hair from The Rugrats as well as corresponding paper eyeglasses; collectible Legends of the Hidden Temple pins to create buzz for an upcoming movie release; and custom red and blue Double Dare contestant T-shirts that were also available for sale to the public.
Once it was all said and done, the products created by Axis and Nickelodeon drew attention and intrigue into Nick's immersive space as well as throughout the convention hall. The space was highly publicized and generated significant buzz for Nickelodeon's new Legends of the Hidden Temple movie. In total, Nickelodeon generated more than 147,000 reactions to the event on social media. As a bonus, this project earned Axis a coveted 2017 Gold PPAI Pyramid Award—the top award for creativity in the ad specialties industry.