Garfield's Merchandising Masterstroke
Garfield's Merchandising Masterstroke
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Sony Pictures secured over 150 brand partnerships for its Licensing and Merchandising (L&M) collaborations for Garfield. Interestingly, The Garfield Movie’s worldwide earnings crossed $152 million. From turning Garfield into a Chief Pet Officer for Motel 6 to Burger King’s Garfield-themed menus, brands are leveraging the popularity of the lazy, lasagna-loving fat cat. 

The Garfield Movie, voiced by Chris Pratt, had a decent opening on Day 7 at the box office worldwide, including in India and the US. It is currently the second-highest-grossing Garfield film after the 2004 movie, which collected $208 million globally. The Garfield Movie has reached $55.4 million in the US, surpassing Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, which collected $52.5 million.

Garfield’s India Connect

In India, Viacom18 Consumer Products, the licensing and merchandising arm of Viacom18, has announced its first-ever collaboration with Papa Don’t Preach, an Indian luxury couture label, for a limited-edition Garfield collection of garments and accessories.

Celebrating Garfield’s 45th anniversary, the exclusive limited-edition collection includes 24 pieces of women’s wear, 6 pieces of men’s wear, and a line of bags, belts, caps, and shoes.

Sachin Puntambekar, Head of Viacom18 Consumer Products, said, “At Viacom18 Consumer Products, we are all about innovation and new experiences. We are excited to celebrate Garfield, a definitive pop-culture phenomenon, through this one-of-a-kind collection with Papa Don’t Preach. The collection’s fresh designs are bound to appeal to lovers of the orange cat.”

Shubhika Sharma, Founder and CEO of Papa Don’t Preach, said, “I didn’t want it to look gimmicky or like a cartoon character. I wanted his personality to stand out. It had to look like luxury, a one-of-a-kind piece you wanted to own, a collectible.” She added, “Garfield’s personality totally complements the Papa Don’t Preach universe. It’s feisty, rebellious yet warm and lovable. He’s like the wise best friend you would want to have.”

Garfield as Chief Pet Officer

Brands worldwide, including those in the technology, retail, and food industries, are rolling out activations for Garfield fans to engage with their favorite feline and new characters from the film.

Jeffrey Godsick, Executive Vice President, Global Partnerships and Brand Management, Head of Location-Based Entertainment at Sony Pictures, said, “It has been an extremely collaborative process with all our partners to develop unique and creative campaigns for The Garfield Movie. They have actively put the world-famous Garfield front and center, from changing the colors of their products to orange to creating great and interactive content that fans and everyday consumers can engage with.”

Recently, Motel 6 announced an official partnership with The Garfield Movie and appointed the orange cat as its first-ever Chief Pet Officer to help customers travel with pets easier, safer, and more fun. With a campaign in 1,500 motels across the US and Canada, and promotions across streaming TV, social media, email marketing, and experiential activations, Motel 6 also designed 10 custom Garfield-themed suites in the US, complete with orange bedspreads, pizza-themed blankets and pillows, and a mini-fridge stocked with frozen lasagna.

Godsick said, “Through this creative and impressive campaign, Motel 6 will certainly raise the bar for the ultimate pet experience with Garfield’s high standard seal of approval. Who better to provide Garfield’s expertise to help pet travel be a little easier than everyone’s favorite pampered, Monday-hating, lasagna-loving indoor cat!”

Garfield’s Insurer

Fetch, a leading pet insurance provider dedicated to helping pet parents give their cats and dogs a longer, healthier life by offering the most comprehensive pet insurance coverage in the US and Canada, announced its collaboration with Garfield as the exclusive pet insurance provider.

On the collaboration, Godsick said, "Fetch's understanding of the importance of looking after our four-legged family members makes them the perfect fit to collaborate on Garfield, the world's most pampered cat.”

"Garfield perfectly embodies the spirit of what we stand for at Fetch," said Samantha McKinnon, Chief Business Development Officer at Fetch. "Garfield is a cat with an insatiable appetite, so it only makes sense that he is protected by Fetch, the pet insurance provider that covers more. On top of that, Garfield is treated as a true member of the family, which reflects the way we view our pets today – a mindset shift that we believe is a critical step toward creating happier and healthier lives for our beloved cats and dogs. We are thrilled to team up with Sony Pictures to support the movie and promote a more expansive model of pet insurance that goes far beyond peace of mind."

Collaborating for a Social Cause

Garfield, the famous adopted feline, is the face of a limited-edition Fresh Step box benefiting Best Friends Animal Society, a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025.

Eric Jamison, Marketing Director at Fresh Step, said, “Fresh Step knows that adoption is just the beginning of a new journey, and that cats and their families need the right products and resources to have a happy, healthy life together.

Jamison further said, “Just like Garfield, every cat deserves to find a loving home. That’s why we are committed to supporting the important work of Best Friends, creating a wide variety of products to meet cats at every stage, and intersecting cultural moments like The Garfield Movie when relevant.”

Godsick commented on the collaboration, saying, “Thankfully, audiences know that Garfield’s adoption story is a happy one, and we hope that through this meaningful collaboration with Fresh Step, people will support Best Friends Animal Society and their mission to help shelter cats.”

From Food to Furniture

Burger King will feature Garfield-themed menu items, including branded paper crowns, collectible kids' meal toys, and in-store kiosk wraps. Tastykake will sell orange-striped cupcakes at the Philadelphia Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park stadium.

Popchips created a nacho cheese flavor available at major retailers. When it’s time to burn off the extra carbs, fans can turn to Echelon Fitness’ “Train like you love Mondays” series, including morning bike rides. Other participating brands include Purina, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Little Caesars Pizza, Dunkin’ Donuts, Hello Fresh, IKEA, Hyatt, and more.

Furniture brand La-Z-Boy, in its first logo takeover, is rebranding to “La-Z-Cat” outside of North America and showcasing promotional recliners – cat-size as well as human-size – throughout 15 of its international territories.

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