The Very Hungry Caterpillar is continuing to build on the success of its 50th anniversary celebrations last year, having seen the successful launch of a new half-term activation with Bluewater shopping centre.
In a deal brokered by Rocket Licensing, the UK licensing agent for Eric Carle’s classic children’s book, the popular children’s character took centre stage during half term with sold out story time sessions that ran from February 17th to 20th at the shopping centre.
Families were also treated to an immersive 20-minute interactive show, followed by craft activities and a costume character appearance from the caterpillar himself.
Throughout the week of activity, Bluewater also promoted a number of the licensed product ranges. The 3,000 children and parents that attended the story telling sessions were each given a The Very Hungry Caterpillar apple drink from Cawston Press, while, Boots held a promotion from Bloom and Blossom.
Action for Children also gave away 2,500 promotional bookmarks to children visiting Bluewater over the half term break in an effort to promote the Giant Wiggle fundraiser. The charity drive is now in its sixth year and is set to have a fundraiser event at Bluewater in May.
Children and families were then able to enjoy The Very Hungry Caterpillar themed Nature Trail in the grounds of Bluewater.
The Very Hungry is now wiggling its way from the south-east to the west country, where Rocket Licensing has just extended its partnership with the Cornish visitor attraction, the Eden Project. The collaboration began last year with the successful The Very Hungry Caterpillar weekend, which welcomed close to 6,000 visitors over one weekend.
The event also gained industry recognition as a finalist in the Licensing Awards for the Best Promotions category, and in the Progressive Preschool Awards for the Marketing Award.
From this weekend (March 14th and 15th) the activity will return to the popular venue. This year, children will enjoy a focused story trail around the biomes, where each station is an activity linked to a day of the week described in The Very Hungry Caterpillar book.
Families will also be able to enjoy story telling sessions and face painting, as well as The Very Hungry Caterpillar-themed craft activities, where children will be able to create and take home items such as origami butterflies, balancing butterflies, caterpillar head bands, stained glass butterflies and even pompom caterpillars.
There will be a range of the licensed merchandise for The Very Hungry Caterpillar available in the visitor shop, and the activity will be supported by an extensive marketing campaign.
Melissa Satterly, brand manager of The Very Hungry Caterpillar at Rocket Licensing, said: “We are thrilled to be extending the activity with Bluewater and The Eden Project. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a favourite story across generations, and families love getting hands-on with the brand together and incorporating it into their days out to make them extra special.
“The wonderful character and bold, recognisable designs lend themselves really well to experiential brand activations and help to immerse the audience in the world of the much-loved tale.”