Inside the Beano brain

While it remains a hugely successful weekly children’s comic, via its insights consultancy and content studio, the Beano brand is now also a valuable bellwether on the tastes of Gen A

It’s hard to think of a brand that’s as loved by Gen A as it is their millennial and Gen X parents, boomer grandparents, and those who are now so old as to have largely ­avoided generational pigeonholing. Beano, however, bucks that trend: it’s simultaneously a nostalgia-inducing childhood relic and at the forefront of research into kids today, using innovative and playful ways to dig deep into how kids think, the brands they like and why, their future in the workforce, and more.

It’s this pivot in recent years towards creativity-led insights that has ensured Beano (the ‘The’ was quietly dropped in 2016) is as relevant as ever in the 21st century, despite the fact that it launched back in 1938, becoming the world’s longest-running weekly comic in 2018.

Today, Beano has expanded its offering in numerous ways. Its ­comics-led side of the business, helmed by content hub Beano Studios, includes TV show ­Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed!, Beano.com, which features quizzes, online games, jokes and the ‘Beanotown’ section of character-led comics and other content, along with the Annual, its much-loved weekly comic, consumer products, and more. And then there’s the B2B aspects of the business, comprising insights consultancy Beano Brain and Emanata Studios, which makes TV and film content for adult and YA audiences across drama, comedy and animation, all of which is based on publisher DC Thomson’s archive.

Graphic of Beano's logo
Beano logo

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