Why Hong Kong?

I just arrived in Hong Kong today. After and 11 hour flight from a snowy and cold Amsterdam it’s great to arrive in this warm and lively city. I’m in my Airnbnb now and starting to feel the jetleg hitting me. Also the sudden change in temperature is quite taking its toll 🙂 From what I’ve seen so far I’m already in love with this city. Busy streets lots of markets and so many delicious looking restaurant. Next to that is the 23 degrees a comfortable temperature.

Dinner of the first night:

The reason for my visit to Hong Kong is the start of my long vacation/Lars&Rosa Asia tour. Tomorrow the largest Character License fair in Asia will kick off here in Hong Kong and I decided that we could not miss out on that. Of course its also a nice excuse to escape from the cold weather in the Netherlands. My goal for this trip is mostly just to walk and observe. How do other big characters do and what can I learn. Expect for maybe Nijntje (Miffy) the Dutch and maybe Europeans in general are no large fan of characters. We do have a few but characters but they are not deeply woven into our daily live, as much as they are in Asia. Here its different almost every brand or business and even government departments have some sort of mascot or character.

A good example is Kumamon. He was brought to live to promote the prefecture of Kumamoto on the southern island Kyushu of Japan. Its a black bear with big white eyes and read cheeks. The marketing strategy behind Kumamon allowed everybody to use Kumamon if and how they wanted, as long as in some way they also promoted Kumamoto. So basically there were no copyright. The great design and smart plan made Kumamon to be declared the most popular characters in Japan in 2011 and in the first half of 2012 alone he was responsible for a €93 million revenue on merchandise. Now I want to immediately say that its of course not all about the monies. Actually for me it is the opposite. I enjoy making Lars&Rosa come alive very much. I just wanted to give an idea of how big the character market is here.

Kumamon

As the creator or Lars&Rosa I’m constantly thinking where to bring them next. What is their new goal or how I want to develop them further. Also what do I not want to do. Since I’ve started Lars&Rosa its funny to notice that most people who I tell about them, usually come with their own “ideas” for me. Not all of these idea’s are good. But once in a while I have a conversation with somebody and they surprise me with a great idea. This exactly how Rosa was born 🙂 I learned that staying open for new ideas and recognizing the ones that seem good is a very important skill if you want to grow. Even If the outcome is uncertain just to do stuff.

At the moment the largest Character License Fair is held here and that’s one of the reasons why I’m here in Hong Kong right now to learn, see and get new inspiration. Because it seems like a good idea 🙂 Follow the link bellow to find out more:

HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show

 

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