Actress Toby Marks wears the Chuckie Finster foam hair and paper eyeglasses from Axis Promotions.
Distributor Axis Promotions (asi/128263) turned back the clock to the neon days of the early '90s at Comic-Con in San Diego. As part of a long-standing relationship with Axis, Nickelodeon reached out for help in promoting the network’s retro brand The Splat, a programming block that airs nightly on TeenNick showing reruns of classic cartoons, game shows and comedies. With approximately 130,000 attendees at the event, Axis accommodated its client by developing wearable products featuring the network's most beloved characters of yesteryear.
“With any event, it’s important to tap into your attendee's emotions,” says Valerie Dorinson, senior branding executive at Axis. “These products would give attendees the emotional satisfaction of transforming into their favorite characters in place of merely spectating.”
Axis provided giant branded tote bags for carrying a variety of vintage Nickelodeon swag: custom foam Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hands shaped like a high five, custom foam Chuckie of The Rugrats’ hair with signature paper eyeglasses, paper Good Burger hats, collectable pins for Legends of the Hidden Temple, Double Dare and other classic game shows, and The Splat branded T-shirts.
Axis also created custom Double Dare T-shirts that were worn by the cast of All That during the fanfest. “I love doing this kind of stuff,” Dorinson says. “I watched all those shows during junior high and high school. Going to Comic-Con is actually on my bucket list.”
The collaboration was a rousing success with Nickelodeon making a bunch of re-orders on the Chuckie hair and glasses for New York Comic-Con and other events. Millennials and Gen-Xers were also buzzing on Twitter and Instagram, basking in nostalgia and posting photos of the promotional products. In total, Nickelodeon generated over 147,000 reactions to the event on social media.
“That’s the great thing about social media,” Dorinson says. “It’s a quick and easy way to see what’s out there and get a feel from the end-user.”