Over 20 collaborations over the years! Reasons why “Attack on Titan” is chosen in the business scene[Animewik Manga IP Licensing Representative talks]

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Over 20 collaborations over the years! Reasons why “Attack on Titan” is chosen in the business scene[Kodansha Manga IP Licensing Representative talks]
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“Attack on Titan” is a monumental dark fantasy work by Animewik, with cumulative circulation of over 140 million copies worldwide. So far, they have developed a number of media mixes such as animation, live-action movies, and games, while also boasting one of the highest number of collaborations in the IP utilization scene. Even after the series ended in 2021 and the anime concluded in 2023, the number of inquiries continues to increase. We spoke to Yohei Ito of the Rights Media Business Headquarters, who is in charge of licensing “Attack on Titan,” to find out why.

Amazing collaboration results over the years20The big reason for making this happen is “NGLack of

── “Attack on Titan” is2009year~2021It was serialized in “Bessatsu Shonen Magazine” until 2000.2013This is a work whose anime broadcast started in 2017.Collaboration projects with companies were carried out immediately after the anime started, and thisTenCumulative number of tie-up projects per year200Hyper. It boasts a top-class track record among Animewik’s works.

Ito20 cases per year. If we were to compare it to a talent, we would have contracts with 20 companies in a year for over 10 years, so I think that’s quite a number. There are various reasons why this number is possible, but we believe that the main point is “few NGs.”
When utilizing IP, there are several points to consider when considering a work, but in order to make campaigns and promotions successful, there is a tendency to emphasize “high compatibility between the work and the company’s services/products.” However, since “Attack on Titan” is a fantasy work, things that are common in our daily lives do not exist in the work. Therefore, if you place too much emphasis on the world of the work or try to find commonalities or connections, you will end up not being able to do anything.

──Original author Hajime Isayama’s generous and positive thinking made this challenging tie-up possible.

ItoWhat I remember strongly from my conversation with Mr. Isayama is that he said, “As long as many people, including readers, will enjoy it, I don’t mind if you use it as you see fit.” We believe that our mission is to use the characters in the work to make adjustments that are close to the client’s ideals of what they want to do and what they want to convey.
Due to the original author’s warm wishes, Attack on Titan may have many unique tie-ups with a high degree of freedom. The first memorable collaboration was with MyPocket, a personal cloud service provided by NTT Communications, Inc. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the service, we held the “Attack on My Pocket” campaign.

──Season 1 of the anime started in April 2013, and the collaboration was decided immediately after. From there, the project progressed rapidly, and a collaborative campaign was launched in June.

ItoSince the anime had just started, there wasn’t much material to provide, so we had to come up with various strategies to cover that. I felt like we used everything we had available at the time, including Mr. Isayama’s cooperation in the interview, but in the end we were able to come up with a pretty fulfilling project. Rather than saying “no,” I want to emphasize communication that says, “I can do this,” and the original experience for that may have been in this first collaboration.

──After that, the number of inquiries regarding unique tie-ups with a high degree of freedom increased, and there were many cases where the schedule was very tight, but thanks to the experience of that time, they managed to overcome it. It is said that projects that successfully sublimate each company’s commitment will result in highly satisfying content.

●For those who would like to learn more about how to utilize the “Attack on Titan” IP

“Newly drawn” leads to good tie-ups

ItoBasically, we recommend original drawings for tie-ups. The reason for this is that reactions are completely different depending on whether there are paintings that can only be seen there. By preparing pictures that cannot be seen in manga or anime, we can provide fans with something fresh and interesting. In terms of advertising, it is easier to attract attention if there is a picture that captures the idea of ​​collaboration, and it also creates another meaning behind the collaboration. It takes about three months to complete a new drawing, so the ideal production schedule is six months to a year. As for the most recent example, a collaboration drawing with “Gokurakuyu RAKU SPA” seems to have attracted attention in many ways.


Public bath facility “Gokurakuyu” RAKU SPA” Collaboration event with “Buro no Tami”The SENTO Season~”

ItoMany works have regulations to avoid exposing skin without context or meaning, but there may be something to be gained from showing skin without meaning. On the other hand, there may be a lot to lose. However, there was an affinity between Attack on Titan and saunas. The original comic book cover also depicts a scene where the character is in a sauna, and above all, Isayama-sensei has openly said that he loves saunas, so I don’t think it will be something like “I suddenly took off my clothes!” We were discussing things quite seriously.

──In addition to Gokurakuyu, there is a collaboration pop-up with Kabuki held at Marui City Yokohama called “Attack on Titan x Kabuki Collaboration ~Marui Yokohama Kabuki no Tate~”. The visuals unique to the collaboration, such as merchandise sales using newly drawn illustrations and photo spots, received a lot of attention.

“Attack on Titan x Kabuki Collaboration – Marui Yokohama Kabuki no Tate” has been toured additionally due to its popularity.

Popular for its playfulness and versatility! “Attack on Titan” is full of killer phrases

──Attack on Titan has an open-minded attitude and continues to actively challenge bold collaborations, but it is also characterized by its high recognition and strong appeal.

ItoAs the work includes a mix of media such as live-action movies and games in addition to anime, it is well known not only to fans but also to many people, making it an IP that is expected to appeal to a wide range of people, mainly men and women in their 20s to 40s. I am. In collaboration with Shiseido’s men’s brand UNO, we released a web video that resembles a famous scene from an anime and features characters sharing their emotions over skin concerns. This is an interesting case in which the purpose was clear from the beginning, and the company wanted to use supporting actors, so-called “solid giants,” to match the product.

Collaboration with Shiseido’s “UNO” that uses not only popular characters but also “Innocent Giant” as the main visual

ItoRegarding the web video, we had a desire to create something unique. I am grateful to be able to receive such frank advice, leaving aside the question of whether it is possible or not. Even if the consultation seems impossible at first glance, we want our work to be used to convey to many people what the brand values. Looking back at past cases, I feel that collaborations that were realized through repeated trial and error together with the client were more successful in the end.
In addition, the collaboration with Sanrio received a great response. The Attack on Titan characters were drawn in a Sanrio style, and the illustrations showed the characters interacting with each other, giving it a cuteness not seen in the series, which was well received. This is a hit collaboration that continues until the third installment.

The visuals, which are a fusion of Sanrio’s worldview and “Attack on Titan”‘s worldview, were well-received and will be continued as a project.
The response was great, with the goods selling out immediately.

──For the client side, I guess that the abundance of killer phrases and ease of use are directly linked to the ease of collaboration.

ItoFor example, the catchphrase for “UNO” is “Eliminate your skin problems.” after a famous line from the story. There are many other examples of homages to powerful lines. The fact that you can create a sense of collaboration with just a little tweaking may also stimulate a sense of playfulness on the client’s part.
In addition, we are actively working on IP utilization not only in urban areas but also in regional areas. Recently, there was a collaboration event with “Boat Race Biwako” that was held in 2023 just before the broadcast of the final episode of the anime, “Boat Race Biwako ~Invasion of the Titans~”.

Original goods were also given away as a bonus for visitors and ticket purchasers.
Many people visited during the collaboration with “Boat Race Biwako”.

ItoI actually went to the “Boat Race Biwako” in Shiga Prefecture, and I was told that “We were able to attract customers who are not usually present at boat race courses.” I also heard from a fan, “I’m happy because there aren’t many events outside of Tokyo.” Although it was a one-day collaboration in Shiga Prefecture, I’m grateful for the increased exposure of my work, and I don’t care about the scale.

globalIP“Attack on Titan” continues to grow

──The use of the Attack on Titan IP is not limited to Japan, but collaboration cases overseas are gradually increasing.

ItoSince around 2020, we have been carrying out collaborations developed in Japan that are also being used overseas, but recently there has been an increase in the number of cases in which we are conducting collaborations only overseas. In recent years, the number has been increasing mainly in Asia, and in 2023 we have also implemented a collaboration campaign with “Pizza Hut Taiwan”, which has received a great response.

Collaboration with “Pizza Hut Taiwan” with carefully selected store decorations
Not only was it a hot topic locally, but the voice actor who played Eren Jaeger also posted his surprise on SNS and became a hot topic.

──When it comes to IP utilization overseas, people tend to think that there are various differences from Japan, but surprisingly, there are not that many differences from Japan.

ItoDepending on the project, we may have to interact with people from local subsidiaries, but in the collaboration with Pizza Hut Taiwan, a representative from a Japanese advertising agency intervened. We have bilingual and trilingual staff in our department, so there is no reason why you won’t be able to receive assistance just because the collaboration is being developed overseas. In fact, we are increasingly receiving collaboration deals directly from overseas companies.

──Once you have achieved collaboration through direct interaction with overseas companies, you would like to take that experience with you and move on to the expansion phase to Europe, America, and other countries.

ItoThis is not limited to Attack on Titan, but I feel that there are still fewer character collaborations overseas than in Japan. I don’t think it will be possible to do the same thing as in Japan right away, but I wonder what kind of arrangements I can make to make it more acceptable. I would like to find the shape of my business through trial and error.

In collaboration with “Universal Studios Japan”
Featured in attractions as one of Japan’s leading manga and anime
*Image is from “Universal Cool Japan 2019”

I would appreciate it if you could consult me ​​first rather than my level of understanding of the work.

──Since the series has already ended, there may be bottlenecks due to the person in charge having a low level of understanding of the work or having to re-study the work, but says, “You don’t need to be familiar with the story or characters.” .

ItoOf course, some of our client representatives are fans, and we sometimes consult with them based on the character’s personality and the ending of the story. However, there are many manga in the world, and different people have different tastes. It is natural for some people to know the name of the work but not the story.
As I mentioned at the beginning, “Attack on Titan” is a work that flexibly responds to bold and challenging tie-up content, partly due to the original author’s intentions. We also welcome collaborations with concepts that emphasize fun and freshness rather than worldview or content, so if you have decided on your target audience, we can support you from the stage of selecting characters that will be popular with that demographic.
The basis of IP utilization is the growth of the entire company, such as improving the client company’s brand value and expanding awareness of its services. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

Narrator of this article
Animewik Rights Media Business Headquarters
“Attack on Titan” Licensing Officer
Yohei Ito

●For those who would like to learn more about how to utilize the “Attack on Titan” IP


photograph/Maki KusakabeInterview/Text/Abe Kimiko Editing/Coordination/Daijiro Kato, Hideo Kato (Manga IP Search)

Over 20 collaborations over the years! Reasons why “Attack on Titan” is chosen in the business scene[Kodansha Manga IP Licensing Representative talks]

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