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Bamse’s batteries

It’s not every day someone gets a new idea, helps the environment – and earns money all in one. However, this is exactly what Egmont Kärnan in Sweden did when it launched a battery-collecting campaign for Bamse readers.

  • Bamse's batteries

    Bamse's batteries

Bamse is one of the best-known Swedish children’s characters. When the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency came up with the idea for children to collect batteries, joining forces with Egmont was natural. What started as an idea for a collection box ended as a campaign featuring a special issue of Bamse, a super memory game and a battery box for all preschoolers in Sweden.

Children influence parents

The cooperation with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency was conceived during a meeting between the Bamse editorial department and Egmont Kärnan’s product managers. They reviewed Bamse’s theme issues for the next 12 months and produced a plan for each.

Someone brought up the issue of the environment, and product manager Jessica Mikkelä suggested using a battery box as a gimmick.

“I think children can influence their parents to become environment-friendly. Adults can be lazy, but if their kids have a box where Bamse told them to collect their used batteries, then that’s what they’ll do,” Jessica Mikkelä explains.

Putting a battery box in a Bamse comic as a gimmick is not as easy as it sounds. The box proved wider than the magazine’s pages. The box also had to be sustainable and made of environment-friendly materials.

Finally, Lise Jörgensen, project manager on the Bamse editorial team, succeeded in obtaining a prototype that sales assistant Anders Ericsson could take along to a meeting with the environmental agency. It was running a campaign to collect used batteries.

“I presented the box and our ideas about it. The environmental agency spotted the potential of promoting the campaign via Bamse, and we worked together on various campaign proposals,” Anders explains.

Entertains and teaches

The environmental agency paid some of the production costs in return for having promotional text printed on one side of the box. It also ordered a special issue of Bamse and a memory game for all the youngest school classes in Sweden. All in all, this represented revenue of over SEK 1.4 million.

The agency was happy it could use Bamse as a vehicle for urging kids to collect used batteries. The special issue offered an entertaining way for children to learn to collect the family’s used batteries.