Bloody Bunny and Co prove popular

Published on November 29, 2005

Kris Nalamlieng, 34, began his business of creating cartoon characters a little more than a year ago with the intention of making it a part-time job – but it has succeeded beyond his expectations. A son of Chumpol Nalamliang, president of the country’s largest industrial conglomerate, the Siam Cement Group, Kris is managing director of 2Sport Communications Co Ltd and holds a 7-per-cent stake in the business.

He claims it is the first firm offering a full service in the design of Thai cartoon characters, like the vengeful critter Bloody Bunny.

Its business activities can be separated into four categories: digital products (wallpapers, mobile phone uses, and video-clip java games); traditional products (apparel, gifts, stationery and dolls); licensing (children’s apparel and stationery for snacks and toys); and character design (custom-designing cartoon characters and related merchandising for corporate clients).

Initially, the company created characters and made them into digital content for mobile-phone operators such as DTAC, AIS, and Orange.

But consumers have received Kris’s characters so warmly he

has devoted more and more time to them, until 2Sport Communi-cations became a full-time business. Now, he wants to make it Thailand’s leading designer of characters in the next five years.

Earlier, Kris worked as a freelance marketing strategy consultant, after serving as a full-time consultant for AT Kearney Co Ltd.

Soon after his characters began to gain popularity and recognition on the mobile market, he began to exploit them in tangible products, including clothing, stationery, dolls, and notebooks.

His main target group is girls from 13 to university age.

His products have been accepted by many middle to high-end stores and department stores, including Loft, Zeen Zone, Kinokuniya book store, Central, Isetan, The Mall, The Emporium, Chulalongkorn book centre and Thammasat book centre.

Then, at an international gift and house-ware fair in Bangkok, his character dolls attracted a foreign buyer and Kris’s company became an exporter.

Kris’s company is selling its products to a Singaporean importer. It is also negotiating the sale of rights to his characters to a mobile-phone operator in Hong Kong.

Kris didn’t plan on trying the export market until his third year of operations.

At home, has bought the rights to use the company’s characters and Kris is negotiating with another buyer.

Kris said his characters can capture the imagination of customers more intimately than the likes of Disney’s characters, Sanrio, Hello Kitty, and Doraemon because they share and exhibit the same feelings as the customers – like Unsleep Sheep, who cannot sleep well, and Bloody Bunny, whose forte is revenge.

While the export plans have surprised him, Kris maintains he will focus on the domestic market for his first three years to build a strong foundation. 2Sport Communications devotes 20 per cent of its annual revenue to marketing.

It builds awareness by publishing a miniature magazine called Colon, advertises in magazines including Cleo and Seventeen, co-operates with Channel V to use its characters in its programmes and attends major trade fairs.

The company has more than 200 characters in 20 sets. However, its four main character groups are Bloody Bunny, P4 and the gang, Unsleep Sheep, and Biscuit and Bakery.

Currently, half of 2Sport Communications’ revenue comes from mobile-phone digital content and the rest from tangible products. Next year, tangible products are expected to generate 60 to 70 per cent of total revenue.

And Kris expects total revenue to reach Bt10 million next year – no bad from an idea that began as a part-time job. He declined to reveal what the company made this year.

Nitida Asawanipont

The Nation

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