London agency Sunshine has brought together two of its clients – clothing retailer Boden and storytelling icon Roald Dahl – to create a partnership that unites the two quintessentially British brands.
Both brands are looking to build their businesses in the U.S., and Sunshine's solution was to suggest a collaboration between them. The result is the Boden & Roald Dahl clothing range, which launches exclusively in North America on October 3.
Al MacCuish, co-founder and chief creative officer of Sunshine, said in a statement, "This goes beyond marketing and into true commerce: harnessing the power of culture in this way gives Boden a competitive edge and Roald Dahl the opportunity to connect with Boden customers in a brilliantly imaginative way."
The Roald Dahl Literary Estate asked Sunshine to help it reach new audiences and remain relevant. Roald Dahl is a huge brand in the U.K., but in the U.S. the author is less well known than the stories he created, including "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "The BFG," which was released as a film directed by Steven Spielberg this summer.
A campaign to promote the clothing range will be activated in the press and through Boden's own channels in North America.
Boden is the No. 3 U.K. clothing brand in the U.S., behind Burberry and Topshop, and makes more than half its sales from outside its home market. The retailer's Global brand director, Penny Herriman – one of Ad Age's inaugural Women to Watch Europe this year – said that a U.S. store opening is key to driving awareness of the brand, but plans are on hold until the concept has been rolled out in the U.K.
Ms. Herriman said, "We're never one to follow conventions. Nor is Sunshine. We wanted to… create something unique and different for our U.S. customer, something that encapsulates our British spirit, imagination and quirk."
The Boden & Roald Dahl concept neatly addresses both company's issues. There are 36 designs, all inspired by six of Roald Dahl's classic stories, including "Matilda," "James and the Giant Peach," "The Twits" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox," as well as the aformentioned "BFG" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." The hidden design details (for which Boden is well known) have been adapted for the range, including a book print lining on the dress of Matilda.
Mr. MacCuish added, "This partnership brings together two organizations with near identical values: imagination, warmth, wit and an understanding of their audience."
Sunshine recently hired Bartle Bogle Hegarty London's managing director, Mel Exon, as its CEO. The agency was founded in 2012 and has offices in London and Los Angeles. The agency's clients include Diageo's Baileys, BBC, Gucci, Google, ghd and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
This year, Boden is celebrating its 25th anniversary and Roald Dahl is celebrating its 100th.