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How does a teddy bear become a fashion icon?

Project stories / BBC Children in Need

Guardians of the bear

We have worked with BBC Children in Need for 5 years, looking at their core brand as well as bespoke fundraising initiatives. The vision of the BBC’s UK corporate charity is simple and inspiring – that every child in the UK has a childhood which is safe, happy, secure and allows them the chance to reach their potential.

So over the years we’ve got to know the Children in Need mascot, Pudsey Bear, pretty well. You could say we’re his brand guardians. But at first even we found it hard to imagine Pudsey as a fashion icon. And for this, the Designer Pudsey project, that had to change.

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Pudsey becomes a fashionista

The Designer Pudsey project asked 35 leading fashion designers – from Vivienne Westwood to Victoria Beckham, from Prada to Gucci – to reimagine Pudsey, giving him a makeover so he was the most stylish bear in town. The designer bears were to be displayed in the windows of Selfridges, then auctioned at Christie’s and online. The idea was inspired by the charity’s strategy of targeting specific audiences. In this case the project, curated by Katie Grand, set out to involve those who work in – or simply love – fashion and style. It was also a good example of designers working to make a difference to the wider world.

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A bespoke approach

With responsibility for all branding across the project, we were there every step of the way to ensure Pudsey didn’t put a paw wrong. From designer logo to auction catalogue, luxury invitation to venue design – we took Pudsey to the catwalk, to the Christmas windows at Selfridges, we splashed him across the style magazines, and shared him with the world in a whole new light. Pudsey never looked so good. And we’re delighted to say the project raised £195,000 for Children in Need.

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Fivefootsix took a long-term strategic approach to our brand from the start. Their thoughtfulness 
quickly gained our trust and gave us the confidence 
to free up our identity and play with how we use Pudsey. What matters is that they did it with respect for our brand and its assets – they took good care of our bear.

Sarah Monteith
Director of Marketing/Fundraising
BBC Children in Need
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Key services
Logo design
Art direction
Exhibition graphics
Literature
Packaging

Time for a change in direction

A little update from us at Fivefootsix. 

The fast pace of running Fivefootsix hasn’t given us much time to stop and properly think about the future. However, celebrating our tenth anniversary this year presented an opportunity to both reflect and to look forward. And, after a hugely exciting journey, we’ve taken the decision to bring our current agency operations to a close, allowing us to end things on a high, and turn our attentions to new challenges ahead.

Although we’re sad to say goodbye to Fivefootsix, we are also incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to achieve in that time, and the calibre of clients we’ve worked with. Brands like BBC Children in Need, Ben & Jerry’s, Birley, UEFA and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), as well as our own projects, like The Art of Ping Pong, which will continue to develop.

Most importantly, the last ten years would not have been possible without the support of the hugely talented Fivefootsix team, both past and present.

Thanks to everyone who’s joined us on the journey and been part of that success. Hopefully we’ll have the chance to work with many of you again in the future.

If you can, please join us for some drinks at The Art of Ping Pong 2015 launch event, on November 5th at 7pm at the KK Outlet in Hoxton.

Algy & Mark

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