Can you imagine being able to use the Sesame Street brand and characters in a branding initiative free of charge? That’s exactly the deal between Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) for its Eat Brighter campaign. As GOOD Magazine summed up the agreement: “Sesame is handing over billions of dollars worth of valuable intellectual property to be used however each vendor and retailer sees fit.”
The agreement brings the well-known Sesame Street branding to fruit and produce as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Partnership for a Healthier America initiative. Sesame Workshop’s collaboration with the PMA has already signed on 20 produce companies and retailers to the “Eat brighter!” campaign, including Sunkist, the largest marketing cooperative in the fruit and vegetable industry.Sunkist’s manager of advertising and public relations, Joan Wickham told The Grower, “Sesame Street is a brand parents trust and kids love, and we’re excited to be leveraging the power of the beloved characters to encourage families to eat more fresh citrus.”
Although you’ve probably seen plenty of licensing deals displayed in your local grocer’s cereal aisle (Kellogg’s SpongeBob SquarePants, Scooby-Doo, etc.), this agreement is one of the largest for healthy foods. The PMA has conceded that the produce industry has, until now, lagged behind when it comes to branding. PMA President Cathy Burns said: “What our industry is starting to recognize is that the power of brand, depending on how it is marketed, can create a tremendous relationship between that brand and the consumer.”
Keep an eye out—Big Bird and Elmo will be hitting the produce aisle soon.