This is by far the commonest way that expensive licenses are used in packaging design. It’s the equivalent of the ‘draw a face on it’ strategy in terms of effort and imagination, but of course you get better faces.

The hope here is that Kids and parents are happy to consume a product just because ‘Shrek is on the pack’. How does the product fit into the Shrek world? It doesn’t. How come Sponge Bob is also a big fan of the same brand? Don’t know. And why does some other juice brand have Shrek on it the next time you go shopping? Because the license ran out and someone else bought it.

The subtle difference between this and the previous example is in the storytelling and its integrity. Those cookies are built around the story of Noddy and Dora. These drinks have hired some talent to make them look good this month/quarter/year. What Kids research expert Bryan Urbick would call ‘logo slap’ (he has a lecture on that).

Of course it’s hard to integrate your brand with a film or TV show that isn’t related to what you make. But read on, it can be done.