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Dear reader Welcome to a new, in-depth issue of Licensing Magazine, always richer. We are very pleased that our magazine has been growing steadily, without experiencing any setbacks during the difficult period we have all been experiencing. In simple terms this means that The Licensing Magazine has established itself as an exceptional point of reference in the industry, in Italy and abroad, and that the content and news we offer are effectively distributed on all possible platforms. Of course, we have missed live events and look forward to seeing you all again. But we can’t ignore the fact that a year and a half of pandemic has completely changed the way we used to network, and we will probably never return to exclusively physical events. The true success of in-person events in the future will depend on how well it incorporates a parallel digital option. This is what the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, together with the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair, is doing in a very effective way with the creation of the GLOBAL RIGHTS EXCHANGE, a matchmaking and rights platform. Launched in June during the online version of the fair, the Global Rights Exchange is a unique tool that can be used to discover publishing properties, as well as brands that can be developed across publishing, audio-visual and licensing, on a WORLDWIDE basis. This is a permanent platform that will support the international industries attending these events in the lead up to the 2022 Bologna Fairs. Hopefully these events will be live, but with an increased focus on digital, thus maximizing the content, business opportunities and the number of professionals participating. Back to the magazine, this issue is full of insights into the latest news, trends and market analyses to be read, studied and shared, as always.
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Cover story 10
THE POKÉMON COMPANY INTERNATIONAL Pokémon’s 25th Anniversary
MAURIZIO DISTEFANO LICENSING An evolving digitaloriented offer for today’s companies
ETS LICENSING Innovative approaches and synergies in licensing of digital native properties
MONDO TV MeteoHeroes goes down a storm across Europe and beyond
SESAME WORKSHOP Sesame Workshop’s new important initiatives
SANRIO 50 years of global success for Mr. Men
VIACOMCBS ViacomCBS Evolutions and Commitments
VIACOMCBS Blues Clues and You
PLANETA JUNIOR New brands in the Planeta Junior portfolio
VICTORIA LICENSING & MARKETING From Barbie to Masters of the Universe. All the latest news
IMPS / LAFIG A new TV series and the latest news from The Smurfs
EL OCHO El Ocho Licencias y Promociones keeps amazing everyone adding new brands to their portfolio
ENANIMATION Nina & Olga in bookshops this autumn with Mondadori
IMC TOYS IMC TOYS: from toys to licensing
WILDBRAIN SPARK – WILDBRAIN CPLG Brand success through digital evolution, according to WildBrain
ANIMUNDI The inclusive cartoons of Sparky and Caramella
BAVARIA SONOR LICENSING Bud Spencer & Terence Hill. The unforgettable spaghetti western duo is ready to become a European licensing hit
STARBRIGHT The great return of Dragon Ball
MANGA PASSION The irresistible appeal of anime and manga for children and teens
IGT – COOL THINGS This summer in Riccione a themed Puppy Club Friends Beach Club
KIDSME A new player in kids entertainment
CHINA Global retail, opportunities in China
CRAFTSMANSHIP Trends, big brands rediscover craft traditions
SUMMER PRODUCTS Outdoor Toys for Summer
BACK TO SCHOOL Back to School: novelties and trends
Fashion & Lifestyle 86
VIDEOGAMES Videogame boom
THE LATEST NOVELTIES The latest news from the Fashion & Licensing world
LOVE BRANDING Love brand, the relationship between customers and brands beyond the product
BODY POSITIVE Body-positive, the benefits of inclusion
CHILDREN’S PUBLISHING Children’s publishing properties: the latest news
Trends Retail 88
SOCIAL INITIATIVES Commitment and responsibility, social initiatives in retail E-COMMERCE Direct to consumer, the retail strategy of the future
THE INSIGHTS FAMILY The Insights Family: Post Pandemic Children’s Habits
KIDINFLUENCE GLOBAL 2021 Every child is an influencer
KIDZ GLOBAL The trends of the moment according to KidzGlobal
THE POKÉMON COMPANY INTERNATIONAL
Pokémon’s 25th Anniversary Pokémon continues to celebrate its 25th anniversary in style with a dynamic programme of activity across the rest of the year. Encompassing video games (VG), mobile apps, the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG), animation and movies, Play! Pokémon competitive events and licensed products, Pokémon continues to have a major impact on popular culture. From regular exciting new releases for core pillars VG, TCG and animation to innovative collaborations and bold expansion into fresh areas, it is constantly
Pokémon x Levi’s The iconic evergreen brand, first launched in Japan in 1996 with two Game Boy™ titles – Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green, which were released internationally in 1998 as Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue – is now one of the world’s most popular and successful entertainment properties with an enormous, loyal and multigenerational global fanbase.
innovating to remain vibrant, relevant and at the forefront of entertainment.
Ravensburger. Pokémon has also become a real fashion icon following innovative and bold collaborations with designers from high-end to high street. To mark its 25th anniversary, Pokémon has designed its most ambitious programme yet. Teaming up with other iconic brands and global superstars, Pokémon is helping fans celebrate the anniversary with unique promotions, merchandise and activations.
Criminal Damage More than 368m video games have sold worldwide, making Pokémon one of the most successful gaming franchises ever. Mobile game sensation Pokémon GO has achieved more than one billion downloads globally since its launch in July 2016. One of the most popular TCGs in the world, Pokémon has been shipped to 77 countries and regions in 13 languages. Pokémon animation is licensed for broadcast in 176 countries and regions in over 30 languages, with more than 1,000 episodes of the TV series, spanning 23 seasons, and 23 animated movies to date. The first live-action Pokémon film, 2019’s POKÉMON Detective Pikachu, generated more than $430m in global box office revenue. Pokémon’s robust licensing programme covers a huge range of categories including gaming, toys, apparel, accessories, tech gear, home décor and more, and is constantly seeking more ways for audiences to engage and interact with the brand. Key licensees include Jazwares (master toy), Funko, Mattel, PowerA and
A highlight of the festivities is P25 Music – Pokémon’s first-ever music venture. A year-long celebration of Pokémon through the power of music, in partnership with Universal Music Group, it promises superstar collaborations and surprise activations matching music artists with the Pokémon brand. It launched with a global online party on Pokémon Day, 27 February, when Post Malone played an exclusive virtual live concert which included the first outing for a surprise original cover of Hootie and the Blowfish’s smash ’90s hit I Only Wanna Be with You. The track is one of 14 that will feature on an end of year album, to be released by Universal Music Group’s Capitol Records, alongside more Pokémon inspired songs from some of the world’s biggest and buzziest artists, including J Balvin and P25 The Wand Company
Music headliner Katy Perry. Perry starred with Pikachu in the video for her uplifting new track Electric, her contribution to the P25 Music album released on 14 May. The video accumulated 22 million views within its first two weeks of release. Released in April, the colourful and exciting video game New Pokémon Snap sees players take on the role of a budding Pokémon photographer to snap Pokémon in their natural habitat, the beautiful Lental region. Players file photos in their Photodex, where they receive star ratings based on factors such as the rarity of behaviour and how well it’s captured. Photos can also be saved to a separate personal album, where they can be edited and customised with stickers, frames and filters. Online features allow players to share photos and compete with others globally through ranking systems. To enable players to easily print their snaps, Fujifilm launched a Nintendo Switch app for their handheld smartphone printer plus a silicone Pikachu case. Later this year on November 19, fans can enjoy Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl. Faithful revitalisations of two iconic Pokémon games from 2006, the adventure has been
a decorated band and special packaging to resemble a Poké ball. Streetwear brand Criminal Damage also launched a new limited-edition collection in April emblazoned with Pokémon graphics to mark the 25th anniversary along with their 30th. Zara KIDS and Pokémon teamed up to launch a new collection which includes t-shirts, a hoody, bottoms, footwear and bags. In addition to Zara, other global high street giants including H&M, Bershka and Pull&Bear have become regular partners launching new lines each year, as Pokémon continues to wow the world of fashion. More covetable and collectible CP across a wide range of categories is due from Jazwares, Mattel, Scholastic, Funko, PowerA and The Wand Company, who are all launching exclusive anniversary merchandise. Looking ahead, following the launch of the McDonalds Happy Meal in the US, the popular promotion is now rolling out across Europe starting with Germany, France and the UK with more countries set to follow. And, after a successful partnership with Estathé Ferrero in 2020, a new special 25th anniversary character selection of the iced tea drink is due to launch later this year. Next year looks set to continue the excitement with more dynamic activity and intriguing partnerships, including an innovative children’s collaboration with leading Italian luxury fashion house Iceberg which launches in spring 2022.
reimagined for Nintendo Switch with a fresh take and enhanced features. The games are set in the nature-rich Sinnoh region, a land of many myths passed down through the ages and on January 28 2022, fans will be able to explore the long-gone Sinnoh region of old in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which promises an experience unlike anything Trainers have experienced before as they embark to create the region’s first Pokédex. This year also sees a host of exciting collaborations across consumer products, which kicked off in February with the launch of the Levi’s® x Pokémon
collection. Inspired by the first season of the original Pokémon animated series, the colourful and fun range includes a range of Levi’s® denim, tops, bottoms, fleece, tees, and accessories that feature graphics and prints of both the popular characters and the woodland settings of the Kanto region. Also in February, G-SHOCK unveiled its latest collaboration with Pokémon following last year’s exclusive model to celebrate BABY-G’s 25th anniversary. The new, 90s-inspired women’s BABY-G watch features silhouettes of fan favourite Pikachu in a camo pattern on the face, with
Sesame Workshop’s new important initiatives On the occasion of the Masterclass “Content Reigns Supreme”, organized the last 22 april by Bologna Children’s Book Fair, LM interviewed Gabriela Arenas, Vice President, Global Licensing, Sesame Workshop. The main mission of the Sesame Workshop organization is to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder, by creating innovative and appealing content. On the occasion of the Masterclass “Content Reigns Supreme”, organized the last 22 April by Bologna Children’s Book Fair and dedicated to the evolution of children’s content from publishing through licensing and digital, LM interviewed Gabriela Arenas, Vice President of Global Licensing, North America, Sesame Workshop, to learn more about their latest activities and projects. The #Caringforeachother initiative was born as support during Covid19. What will be its next activities? When the pandemic hit, Sesame Workshop responded with Caring for Each Other, a global initiative with resources focused on healthy habits, routines, physical movement and feelings. This last year and a half, we produced and distributed public service announcements to 102 countries
Storybook “Even Grouches Wear Masks!”
in 41 languages, three primetime TV specials, five CNN Town Halls, and a web hub posting Muppet playdates, games, and strategies for caregivers to comfort children and promote home learning. We also pivoted to a speed-to-market licensing model. We released “Heroes Wear Masks” with Sourcebooks, “Even Grouches Wear Masks” from Penguin Random House, “Happy Healthy Monsters” with Studio Fun, and “Stay Healthy with Sesame Street” with Lerner. We worked with Trevco, Accessory Innovations, Zazzle, Strategic Partners, Out of Print on masks, selling 150,000 and donating 25,000 to America’s first responders. With TV Azteca, we donated 15,000 masks to
Gabriela Arenas vulnerable communities in Mexico. Bombas and Champion provided email and social media support reaching out to their over 7 million followers. As always, we’ll continue to produce new content, resources, and products to meet families’ most pressing needs. When and how did you start collaborating with Headspace Team Up, to create the “Monster Meditations” series? To help families combat stress and anxiety during these challenging times, last year, we teamed up with Headspace, a global
leader in mindfulness and meditation, on “Sesame Street Monster Meditations”. The animated shorts, available on YouTube and YouTube Kids, teach children the fundamentals of mindfulness, meditation, and social and emotional learning. They feature animated versions of the Sesame Street Muppets having feelings like frustration, nervousness, disappointment, and excitement. Headspace co-founder Andy Puddicombe, who is also former Buddhist monk, helps each monster learn various breathing and sensory activities, and other mindfulness techniques to better manage everyday situations. The response was amazing! The total views-to-date for all six videos was 29 million and the total hours watched was 484,000. “Goodnight Body with Elmo” was the #1 newly released video for 2020. We know the need is there. And in the next few weeks, we’ll be expanding our partnership with Headspace in additional content areas. How are you planning to develop the health and wellness category through licensing? Sesame Workshop is committed to children’s healthy development. With the pandemic, racial injustice, and climate change, today’s kids are under more stress and pressure than ever before. We’re working on new content and collabs to help the whole family stay strong and healthy together physically and emotionally. Fans can expect to find books based on the Headspace meditation and mindfulness videos with Penguin Random House, as well as yoga mats and new
Sesame Street Monster Meditations
The Power of We, family movie against racism audio offerings on this topic. What changes have you observed in the licensing industry in the last years? Families are gravitating towards the causes
they care about. They’re attracted to brands with a mission and that are safe for their kids. With a 50+ year history, Sesame Street is a brand kids love and parents trust. Sesame Workshop has created unique collaborations with other missionaligned companies. We’ve teamed up with socially-conscious partners like TOMS, Bombas, Out of Print, DIFF, and Pair Eyewear so that when you buy one Sesame Street product, they will donate one to someone in need. Fans are able to support Sesame Workshop and show off their love for Cookie Monster, Elmo, and the rest of the gang while helping plant seeds of long-term change. What other product categories are you focusing on now? We have a broader approach when it comes to licensing and are focused in three areas. The first is our core audience, preschoolers and their parents and caregivers. Here, we have a traditional licensing program. The second is our adult
Video Campaign “Different Ways to Wash your Hands” fans. Sesame Street has multigeneration appeal so these products offer a different aesthetic and style reflective of pop culture. Recently we’ve worked with Champion, KAWS, and Moschino on apparel, accessories and/or shoes for this demographic. The third is creating programs with a give-back component. It’s so important for us to team up with mission-aligned companies who are committed to creating positive changes in communities. What will be your future choices on the retail front? Retail space is still competitive. With the country slowly opening back up, we’ll see the return of big movie releases and retailers wanting more exclusives. But with the pandemic, we’ve also seen the growth of e-commerce. Consumers needed and wanted the convenience of shopping at home. We’ve also seen the power of DTC. Being able to communicate directly and having a relationship with the consumer is incredibly appealing. I don’t see either going away. Another important initiative is Coming Together, born from the core values of Sesame Street (diversity, inclusion ...), to fight against racism. What resources does it include? Building a positive sense of identity is critical to all children’s healthy
development – and valuing the identities of others can help children grow into more tolerant, respectful and caring adults. Sesame Workshop is here to support families with resources that break down issues of racial literacy and racial justice in age-appropriate ways. Our initiative Coming Together tackles the issues of race and racism by providing families with the tools they need to talk about them with young children, build racial literacy, and engage allies and advocates to become upstanders against racism. We’re building on recent efforts focused on tackling racism and its impact on children, including The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special, the CNN Town
Hall Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism, and related short-form content. Coming Together includes an educational framework for content development, ongoing research, a rolling release of new content (such as videos and resources on Sesame Street in Communities) and products. In publishing, we’re working with Lerner on Come Together, Change the World: A Sesame Street Guide to Standing Up for Racial Justice, Penguin Random House on Let’s Stand Up For What Is Right! and We’re Different, We’re the Same. And more with Studio Fun in 2022. In the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing music and we will expand into additional categories in apparel and accessories soon.
50 YEARS OF GLOBAL SUCCESS FOR MR. MEN In 2021 the Mr. Men brand will turn 50 years old. Following the Masterclass “Content Reigns Supreme”, organized on April 22 by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, LM interviewed Silvia Figini, COO of Sanrio- EMEA, India and Oceania, Mr. Men – Worldwide, who was a speaker at the panel.
Silvia Figini The Mr. Men and Little Miss brand was born in 1971 and is celebrating 50 years of global success. In addition to having sold 200 million books featuring its nearly 90 fun and beloved characters, the brand is highly coveted in many product categories. Following the April 22nd online Masterclass
“Content Reigns Supreme”, organized by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and dedicated to the evolution of children’s content, from publishing to licensing and digital, LM interviewed Silvia Figini, COO of Sanrio - EMEA, India and Oceania, Mr Men - Worldwide.
We are halfway through 2021, the year of Mr. Men Little Miss’ 50th anniversary. What initiatives are planned for the rest of the year? 2021 is a very important year for Mr. Men Little Miss: we are celebrating 50 years of history and international growth is progressing fast. These first few months have been exciting: in January we launched a campaign called “Discover You”, a celebration of selfaffirmation and inclusivity that has had impressive media coverage: we’ve reached more than 1 billion people and more than 330 mentions across TV, Radio, Print and social media around the world. And for the first time we held a public vote on the www.mrmen.com website, asking fans to vote for their favorite
fan of the brand.The film told the story of these colorful little characters, from their creation by advertising executive Roger Hargreaves in 1971, to their rapid rise in the publishing world, and their pioneering role in a world of inclusivity and openness. The show explored the brand through iconic moments as well as the extraordinary stories from artists, child psychologists, super-fans, and the Hargreaves family. And that’s not all: the second half of the year will also be full of initiatives to celebrate the socio-cultural relevance of the brand for generations of children and adults, with special events and prestigious collaborations that will excite their many fans. First of all, this summer there will be a
Cath Kidston x Mr. Men Little Miss partnerships launching in the coming months: a capsule collection signed by the iconic British brand Cath Kidston, a Marks & Spencer clothing line, a limited edition with casualwear brand GCDS, as well as partnerships with important names in the beauty, promotions and
Matt Lucas personality from a list of new characters: Mr Calm, Little Miss Brave, Little Miss Kind, Little Miss Energy and Mr Brilliant. All five characters received a substantial amount of votes, but Little Miss Brave and Mr Calm made an immediate and special connection with the public who voted for them overwhelmingly. Thus, making Little Miss Brave and Mr Calm the new stars of the next Mr. Men Little Miss books. The announcement of the winners took place during a special documentary, which aired on on May 16 on British broadcaster Channel 4. The documentary 50 Years of Mr Men was presented by writer and comedian Matt Lucas, who’s a huge
‘Mr. Men Family Discovery Trail’ at the Museum of Brands in Notting Hill, London, a truly British institution that takes visitors on a nostalgic journey through 200 years of social change, consumer culture and lifestyle. Next, our characters will be the stars of a huge event in Hong Kong: an immersive experience in the world of Mr Men Little Miss, with several props and lots of activities for children. Also, the characters wil be the main attraction at the largest corn maze in Europe, the York Maze, which is also celebrating its 50th anniversary with a huge themed maze and dedicated events. In addition, there will be many more
Assassin’s Creed x Mr. Men Little Miss
publishing industry. There is even a newly launched project with Assassin’s Creed, designed for an adult audience. The first launch includes three new books starring Madame Kassandra, M. Ezio and Madame Eivor, the most famous characters of the video game, recreated in Mr. Men Little Miss style, with a humorous and entertaining approach. A source of great pride for the brand is the prestigious partnership with the Royal Mint. Every year the UK mint produces commemorative coins to celebrate the most significant British icons and in 2021 it selected Mr Happy, Little Miss Sunshine, Little Miss Giggles and Mr Strong, who were designed by Adam Hargreaves himself, to be featured on special edition £5 coins. What strategies will you use to grow the brand’s online presence? Now more than ever, digital channels allow us to interact directly with our audience and are therefore a priority. We are significantly improving the quantity and quality of our web and social communication, with formats and initiatives that allow direct and reciprocal exchanges with Mr Men Little Miss fans, allowing us to be more attentive and responsive to the needs and preferences of a loyal and devoted community. We are active on the main social networks - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter - with both global and local accounts in the territories where the brand is most established, and in China, where we have a very large following, on Weibo, WeChat and Red. As previously mentioned, Mr. Men Little Miss is considered a brand of great sociocultural relevance. Through which product categories can this important feature be successfully expressed? Publishing is definitely, and has always been, the category in which the brand can express itself most effectively: since their creation in 1971, Mr. Men and Little Miss characters have become increasingly relevant to the point of integrating into the daily lives of their fans. They connect with a multi-generational audience through self-affirmation, simplicity and humor. There is no other character capable of communicating emotions and feelings in
GCDS x Mr. Men Little Miss such an immediate and accessible way. From the very beginning, one of the founding themes has been inclusivity: Mr. Men and Little Misses are all different and the books celebrate their differences; no matter if you are tall or short, talkative or quiet, shy or outgoing, you can achieve your goals by believing in yourself and surprising those around you. Our books are positive, inclusive and inspirational and have the very ambitious goal of helping children believe in their strengths and abilities and most importantly, that they can make a difference in the world. Indeed, one of the strenghts of the brand is the extraordinary ability to communicate human behavior and feelings in a simple
and funny way. Of course that has allowed us to go beyond the world of publishing and quickly develop other product categories for all age targets, to increase our presence on social networks and to soon develop new animated content. What categories will future partnerships target? We have a plan in place to provide our fans with a comprehensive offering that covers all categories and reflects the values and attributes of the brand. We have always focused on simplicity and fun, but also on the ability to inspire and surprise the consumer. Our core category, publishing, is well established through long-standing
lots of surprises in the coming months.
Mr Tickle book – anniversary edition partnerships like Hachette in France and Farshore in the UK. We have another extraordinarily rich launch plan for this year, including two new books based on the adventures of the vote’s winners Mr. Calm and Little Miss Brave, a 50thanniversary collection, and 10 new titles! Promotional activities also play a crucial role in the growth and development of the brand, both in “heritage” countries, where the property has been known and loved for decades, and in “emerging” countries, where the category plays a fundamental role in market penetration and increasing awareness.
The Royal Mint – 50th anniversary coins
A business that has certainly been growing strongly is fashion, thanks to the various licensee partnerships launched in recent months, most notably the capsules collections created with GCDS, Cath Kidston, Marks & Spencer and Tesco, which have covered all targets, from infants to kids and adults. Several other projects are in the pipeline and will be unveiled in the coming months. Several internationally known licensees are also paying tribute to our 50 years of success: from gifting and confectionary to health & beauty. Every category has jumped on board to provide our fans with
What products and experiences would you like to reach millennials with? Millennials are certainly one of the most relevant targets for our brand, they are a great resource but also a complicated and continuous challenge. We call them a “resource” because they are our natural interlocutor: in the “heritage” markets, where awareness is over 98%, Mr. Men Little Miss is widespread in the social and cultural fabric, it is one of the most beloved properties, and young people have grown up identifying with our characters. They consider them an integral part of their childhood and are very keen to pass on this affection to their children, generation after generation. In emerging markets, on the other hand, it is the brand’s values that lead the conversation: inclusiveness, the validation of diversity and self-expression are themes that are very important to millennials. But they are also a challenge because they are a large and varied community, subject to constant changes, requiring an alwayson approach. Our goal is to offer a complete experience based on three main factors: the first is communication and in this area we are working to significantly improve our web and social presence with dedicated campaigns, exclusive content and a direct and mutual exchange.
Marks & Spencer kids range
The second is experiential activities, such as the above-mentioned events, in addition to Mr. Men Studio, the first dedicated store in Asia that opened in 2020. The third and last factor is collaboration in fashion, from aspirational ones like GCDS and Lazy Oaf, to more unexpected ones like our partnership with Dr Who, the Spice Girls and the recently announced Assassin’s Creed. What are the next territories to conquer in the world or Mr Men Little Miss? All of them, of course! Starting with Europe, which represents the first step towards true global recognition. The brand is now well-established in Anglo-Saxon countries like the UK and Australia, in France, and in Asia (where it has a constant doubledigit growth rate!). But the real challenge is in emerging countries where the brand is not very well-known yet and on which we are particularly focusing. From the b2b point of view, we are always looking to establish new partnerships. We recently started a collaboration with BLA!, a new agency that joins our existing network of agents, giving us full coverage of Europe. On the consumer side, our priority is to explore new ways to reach the consumer, through dedicated awareness campaigns and diversified content depending on the target, to maintain the multigenerational feature that sets us apart. We are confident that for emerging markets, our
Creme d’Or 50th anniversary collection
Mr Men Studio - Hong Kong strength lies, once again, in our values inclusivity and valuing diversity above all else, iconic character illustrations and
a strong sense of self-expression. All enhanced by an original and ironic British sensibility.
ViacomCBS Evolutions and Commitments On the occasion of the Masterclass “Content reigns supreme”, organized on April 22 by Bologna Children’s Book Fair, LM interviewed Laura Abril, Head or ViacomCBS International Studios EMEA & Asia and SVP all Brands for South Europe and Middle East. ecosystem, covering our own ecosystem, 3rd parties or a hybrid of both. The content produced covers all genres, from pre-school to young adult and across live action and animation under VIS KIDS,
Laura Abril ViacomCBS is working on a many new content and has launched a global policy and licensing strategies for Diversity & Inclusion. On the occasion of the Masterclass “Content reigns supreme”, organized online last April 22 by Bologna Children’s Book Fair and dedicated to the evolution of children’s content from publishing to licensing and digital, LM interviewed Laura Abril, Head of ViacomCBS International Studios EMEA & Asia and SVP all Brands for South Europe and Middle East. ViacomCBS has recently launched a kids’ content division, VIS Kids. What productions is it developing? Yes in 2020, VIS Kids was established to feed the entire VCNI kids content
as well as made-for-television films, documentaries, soap operas, dramas, short and long-form comedy formats and feature film productions under VIS. Kids content is something ViacomCBS
the policy will increase representation behind the camera to ensure that a variety of balanced, diverse voices are involved in all areas of production. The policy also extends to additional initiatives to increase authentic on-screen representation, inclusive storytelling and drive diversity across the industry: Global Content, Diverse Voices: The company will identify global, scripted content that elevates underrepresented cultures, across both Youth & Entertainment and Kids & Family brands. Elevating Diverse Creators: In Latin America, 25 percent of ViacomCBS International Studios’ budget will be allocated to the education and development of projects by BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) creators. VCNI’s Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asian division has also committed to dedicating 30% of its development budget in 2021 to produce stories focused on or related to underrepresented groups and issues. The Diverse Panel Pledge: a companywide policy in which employees will only participate in internal and external speaking engagements that incorporate diverse and balanced voices. Before confirming, invited speakers on behalf of VCNI will ask the organizer about the balance of viewpoints in the program and highlight the company’s commitment to diversity.
has always focused on over the years, and we have plenty of examples of local productions that are being rolled out in multiple markets internationally. For example: a. Hunter Street: a live action production from the Netherlands. b. Deer Squad: a production from China in partnership with IQiyi. c. Goldie’s Oldies: a new sitcom production from the UK. For now, VIS plans to develop more than 30 new kids shows over the next three years so we have big plans for VIS Kids!
ViacomCBS also recently started a global “No Diversity, No Commission” policy. What does it foresee? The policy applies to ViacomCBS Networks International’s business across five continents and more than 180 countries. It will require production companies to adhere to diversity guidelines before budgets are signed off and productions are approved to begin. When budgets are agreed, the commissioner or project lead will check for appropriate diversity and recommend improvements, as needed. Additionally,
What are the values that your brands should have in general? All our brands carry our company values of Optimism and Determination, Inclusivity and Collaboration, Agility and Adaptability. Our brands represent and give life to all these values in different ways through content, prosocial activities, and campaigns and more. For example, for Nickelodeon, a recent project that stays true to these values is our Nickelodeon Culture Club, a cultural edutainment short form series. Each episode explains and explores a cultural event or celebration through kids’ eyes, featuring spontaneous dialogue between kids from different countries. The series kicked off with an episode on Ramadan and will follow with different cultural events and traditions across the globe. We believe this is a key project to help give kids access to information on the wonderful cultural events around the world.
Your work demonstrates how business can convey positive messages. How are your brands now managing to convey optimism? Our kids’ brands have always been about kids, and as a global entertainment company we believe we have a responsibility to use our platforms to spread positive messages around D&I and sustainability and inspire positive action among our young audiences, from our content, to brand activities, to prosocial partnerships with local partners and beyond. More than positive messages, our kids’ brands aim to authentically represent the world and play an important role as both an entertainer and learning facilitator. How do you plan to align your licensing strategy to D&I and sustainability commitments? Our Consumer Products business has established a clear framework for our D&I efforts linked to our licensing activities, organized into 4 key pillars: PEOPLE pillar: focused on advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion by investing in people, building meaningful connections, and being brave to start conversations that matter. PARTNER pillar: We are committed to
diversifying our partner mix to better reflect our global consumers, including retail partners, creative agencies and licensees PRODUCT pillar: It is about prioritizing accurate representation of our characters across all products and marketing - we want to ensure our characters serve all diversities. INDUSTRY pillar: our focus is to drive meaningful change in the licensing industry by partnering to elevate and amplify best practices around diversity, inclusion and belonging. What is the role of books and publishing in your projects? For ViacomCBS, books and publishing are content extensions of our great brands for preschoolers to adults. Publishing is another platform where we can engage kids and parents together offscreen. We provide books/magazines to help kids with their inherent natural curiosity to learn while having fun. We focus on episode adaptations to reinforce the key learning components of the brand. For example working together as a team that is at the core of PAW Patrol. Diversity & inclusion, with themes of being a good friend and sharing, etc. Preschool readiness, to help kids and
parents prepare for key milestone moments. For example hygiene and washing their hands, teeth brushing, potty training, going to the doctor/school/ dentist, learning from their mistakes. Seasonal moments like birthdays and holidays. Education, for which we use our characters to help kids learn early concepts like their ABCs and 123s. Originals, further expanding the characters and their world. What brands and content will you focus on for 2021 and 2022? For the near future, our kids’ brands remain focused on delivering great characters, great story lines and relatable content that kids can enjoy and relate to wherever they are. One of the biggest evolutions brought on by the rise of global platforms during the crisis has been the rising popularity of international content. As virtual geographic borders have diminished, audiences have become used to experiencing content that is made in exotic locations, written in different languages, or drawn by the hands of global artists from every corner of the world. A core part of this will be to ensure a variety of balanced, diverse voices are involved in all areas of production, and that our shows and characters reflect kids today.
BLUES CLUES AND YOU One of ViacomCBS’ preschool properties of the moment is Blue’s Clues & You!, a classic children’s program that has had a very successful international relaunch. Here are the latest updates THE PROPERTY
Blue’s Clues & You! is a preschool animation series produced by Nickelodeon starring an animated little dog named Blue! Every day, Blue leaves paw prints on three objects around his house to communicate what he wants to do. With him is his owner and inseparable friend Josh who interacts with viewers to unlock the clues. In each episode, kids enjoy solving puzzles and interactive learning games. From “snack time” to “mail time,” Blue guides them to learn new things and boost their self-esteem.
chose Magenta, another character in the series. Parents were particularly impressed by the interaction between Josh and the viewers throughout the show. In 2020, other interesting data came from NPD which voted the property the “new” number one property in the Infant, Toddlers and Pre-school segment, and as The “new” number one property in the
plush segment. (Source NPD POS US Toys Panel - Full Year 2020).
ON BOARD PARTNERS
In the toy sector, in addition to Giochi Preziosi with the master toy distribution, including some secondary toys, other Italian partners include Ravensburger (puzzles) and Melissa & Doug (arts & craft). Other licensees include carnival costumes from the Ciao company and Edizioni Play Press in newsstand publishing. ViacomCBS will also soon announce partners in the Food and Softlines segments.
The series currently consists of two 20 x 22 minute seasons with a third one in the works. The new Blues Clues & You! launched in March 2020 on NickJr, ViacomCBS Italia’s pre-school platform broadcast on Sky 603, immediately achieving great results. In February 2021 it debuted on Cartoonito’s free-to-air channel. On both channels, it has built a loyal and engaged audience. The series also airs on an international YouTube channel which has more than 700,000 subscribers and over 540 million views.
Just Play is the master toy licensee with hundreds of Blues Clues & You! products. In Italy the toys will be distributed by Giochi Preziosi starting in September 2021. In collaboration with Giochi Preziosi, ViacomCBS is creating a robust marketing plan to support the launch and sale of the products.
DATA AND RESULTS
The music and the mystery quest aspects are viewers’ two favorite elements of the show. 83% of children surveyed named Blue as their favorite character and 78%
© 2021 Viacom International Inc. All Rights Reserved. Nickelodeon, Blue’s Clues & You! and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.
NEW BRANDS IN THE PLANETA JUNIOR PORTFOLIO The profile of the brands managed by Planeta Junior is growing at the European level. Among the new entries, the youtube phenomenon Love, Diana, and a new agreement to manage the new Milo preschool series in the UK and Ireland channels ever: the Kids Diana Show, which has over 76 million followers. Diana, her brother Roma, and her parents create imaginative videos featuring songs and games. Because of the extraordinary success of the channel, pocket.watch decided to create the global Love, Diana franchise. Love, Diana features to date 35 episodes that transport the little Diana into a new world: The Land of Play, where she’s transformed into an animated character: The Princess of Play. The series highlights key values for the target audience, like friendship, leadership, family, imagination, and the power of play. Planeta Junior will be responsible for coordinating Love, Diana’s licensing and merchandising program.
MILO. IN UK & IRELAND WITH LISLE LICENSING
LOVE, DIANA. FROM YOUTUBE PHENOMENON TO TV SERIES Thanks to an agreement signed with the US giant pocket.watch, Planeta Junior has become the exclusive consumer products licensing agent of Love, Diana for France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, CEE countries, and will support all the other initiatives that will be presented at the European level. Love, Diana is one of the latest spearheads of pocket.watch, the studio behind the success of Ryan’s World, this time with a hybrid animation formula. Diana is a 7-year-old superstar protagonist of one of the most subscribed youtube
Lisle Licensing, the licensing agent with over 50 years of industry experience, signed a deal with Planeta Junior to promote and represent the pre-school property Milo in the UK & Ireland. Milo the series is a co-production between Planeta Junior and emerging indie family producer Fourth Wall Animation. The series was launched on UK screens in Spring 2021, via Channel 5’s Milkshake. Through this partnership, Milo joins UK agent’s rich portfolio, which includes major kids brands as Gormiti, 44 Cats, Masha & the Bear, and Superzings. Milo is a warm, funny pre-school series made up of 52 X 11 minute episodes about an adventurous 5-year old cat who, together with his best friends Lofty and Lark, uses role-play to explore the
world of vocations, introducing little ones to a variety of professions. Milo’s world celebrates vocations such as Delivery Workers, Explorers; Nurses as well as Astronauts - every vocation is shown in a positive light so kids feel they can grow up to be anything they want to be! The series from 21 June is available in Italy on Dea Junior; it is also present in Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Czech Republic and China. Soon it will be on the screens of many other countries such as Spain, Russia, Australia, Latam... Planeta Junior and Lisle Licensing are focusing on initial key categories including Toys, Publishing, apparel & dress-up.
VICTORIA LICENSING & MARKETING
FROM BARBIE TO MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE. ALL THE LATEST NEWS Victoria Licensing & Marketing has been working as a consultant for Mattel Europa developing the licensing of Mattel brands in Italy for over 20 years. In the last year the whole VL&M team, led by Managing Director Eleonora Schiavoni, has worked hard to overcome the pandemic crisis and move forward with a series of important licensing projects with quality products aligned with the Mattel brand. Barbie continues to be Mattel’s flagship property strongly associated with the values of the brand over time. A strong initial positioning in the world of fashion and beauty led to the development of the whole softlines area with remarkable success, followed by the entire lifestyle category. Thanks to the progressive evolution of the brand’s spirit, Barbie continues to communicate the essence of its DNA, that “girls can be anything”. This makes Consumer Products the perfect way to support the brand message, by offering products that communicate endless possibilities and empowerment to girls.
Sunscreens VERALAB loves BARBIE
BARBIE Bag for VERALAB Lifestyle is part of the brand’s DNA and a part of every young girl’s daily life. In addition to fashion, which has always been the brand’s flagship category, the Health & Beauty area is enjoying a moment of resurgent activity thanks to several partnerships that have developed both girl and adult friendly products characterised by a sense of fun and novelty. In summer 2021, Veralab will launch a line of three coconut-scented products dedicated to Malibu Barbie: two sunscreens and an after-sun lotion, designed to help you spend long days in the sun, in harmony with yourself and nature. In addition to offering protection and safety from the sun, the sunscreens, developed by the Cynical Beautician laboratories - one of Barbie’s latest Role Models - also comply
Giftset Hot Wheels SO.DI.CO
with the Coralli Haway Treaty. On this project Veralab is aligned with Barbie’s mission to promote a more sustainable future with her The Future of Pink is Green campaign. The Barbie Loves the Ocean line has just been launched, featuring three dolls made with 90% recycled plastic to protect the oceans* and a Kiosk on the Beach playset, also made with 90% recycled plastic. The launch is in line with Mattel’s goal to use recycled, recyclable or 100% natural-origin plastics, both for products and packaging, by 2030. The collaboration with VeraLab is based on the same principles of recovery and recycling of materials to preserve our planet. The bottles were also produced with a view to environmental sustainability in line with Veralab’s Recycle Lovers philosophy. And the packaging itself, designed specially for
Giftset Barbie SODICO
Swimwear Collection by GOLDENPOINT dedicated to Hot Wheels fans containing a special surprise: a deck of Hot Wheels branded UNO Pocket Cards. All products in the kits are made without parabens, SLS/SLES or artificial colouring. In the second half of 2021 – expect to see three more H&B Barbie launches with key partners.
Barbie dough by LISCIANI the project, Barbie iconic pink blends with VeraLab’s pink brand colours. Veralab is offering a mini beach bag to anyone who buys the entire sun care line. In the area of H&B for girls, SODICO is launching a strictly fuchsia beauty kit, reminiscent of the brand’s cult colour, decorated with Barbie’s iconic face. The kit contains a series of unmissable products and accessories to take care of yourself throughout the whole day. SODICO will also be launching a Christmas giftset
* 90% of plastic parts made of plastic collected within 50 km of waterways in areas without formal waste collection systems. Doll Head, shoes, tablet and beach lantern not included.
Barbie dough by LISCIANI
With the arrival of summer, Goldenpoint makes Barbie the star of its softlines range with beach models designed for girls who want a glamorous touch even at the beach. The collection includes four two-piece bathing suits and two different models of briefs, decorated with flounces, and prints with the iconic Barbie logo.
MONDO, role play- toy cosmetics which complete the entire lifestyle world of the brand. Hot Wheels will also be a hot commodity this summer thanks to a mini camping tent, Hot Wheels walkie-talkies and, for slightly wilder fans, Hot Wheels skateboards! ODS will bring some more timeless MONDO, role play- toy cosmetics Moving outdoors (an especially important area for Barbie – but not the only one), there are bicycles (Dino Bikes), scooters (Asia Kingstone) and outdoor games (Dolu, ODS and Grandi Giochi), not to mention MONDO beach inflatables,
Skateboard Hot Wheels ODS
Barbie scooter by ODS
Hot Wheels toys to the beach, such as wooden rackets, bowling, and colourful sets of shovels, buckets, and moulds for a deep dive into the world of adrenalinpacked cars! Mondo, on the other hand, is a classic when it comes to inflatables: boys and girls will be able to enjoy Hot Wheels beach balls, floaties and donuts to make their swim at the beach or pool a lot more fun. In addition to inflatables, Mondo also has 12” - 14” Hot Wheels bikes, great for breath-taking challenges with friends! And Mondo’s partnership with Mattel will soon expand with the launch of an innovative line of role play toys and cosmetics, designed exclusively for Barbie with dedicated moulds and unique playability features for both the doll and its owner. The cosmetics used in the line will be made in Italy to guarantee the best quality and safety standards. The second half of the year will see Back to School play a leading role, and some soon-to-be-announced high end
fashion projects for various targets for both kids and adults, including clothing and accessories, in partnership with top companies renowned within their sector. Moreover, during the UNO’s 50th anniversary celebration calendar, it will be launched a great promotion for the Back to School, with the partnership of a key retailer.
There will also be the launch of a longawaited new Barbie product: modelling dough by LISCIANI. Glittery, colourful and scented, Barbie modelling dough by Lisciani will be sold in dedicated displays in a single heart-shaped package or in a practical backpack that contains all the tools necessary to make small masterpieces and develop creativity. A house-shaped multipack is also available.
THE RETURN OF MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE In the second half of 2021 Victoria Licensing will bring back some great Mattel cult classic Consumer Products. Those who lived through the 80s will remember Masters of the Universe, a series of Mattel action figures inspired by the animated series of the same name, a cult classic that still speaks to a nostalgic fanbase. A true icon of the 1980s, the Masters of the Universe series lasted eight years from 1980 to 1988 - and dominated the toy market throughout. 2021 marks the return of this iconic show, right where it ended, with two new series on their way. Thanks to a collaboration between Mattel Television and Netflix, viewers can return to Eternia, and once again see Prince Adam and all the other Dominators
Poster of Masters of the Universe REVELATION
struggling with the evil machinations of Skeletor. To support these new shows, Mattel will continue to offer products that bring the characters and locations of Masters of the Universe to life in greater detail than ever before. Historic fans of the saga won’t want to miss the release of Netflix’ Masters of The Universe Revelation, a 2D animated series with an adult target audience, designed especially for the original fans of the saga. The story of the characters picks up right where the original series ended. The first five episodes will be available on Netflix in July 2021, while the next five will have to wait until January 2022. Not only have Mattel Television and Netflix taken into consideration the property’s historic fans, but also a new generation, creating content aimed at family and kids: He-Man and Masters of The Universe a new 3D, CGI kids series based on the original, will debut in 2021. It’s time for the younger generation to discover the incredible world of Masters of The Universe, a beloved brand, and a franchise well suited for the development of a lifestyle programme. Could anyone forget the mantra “We have the power”? Masters of the Universe has always urged fans to harness the power within them, to become the best version of themselves and tap into their full potential.
MAURIZIO DISTEFANO LICENSING
An evolving digitaloriented offer for today’s companies The key behind the constant success and the continuous growth of Maurizio Distefano Licensing’s agency is to never stop, to always evolve. In this process, innovation and professionalism go together and lay the foundations of its approach towards the Italian licensing market and the subsequent offer proposed to licensees. In fact, each licensing project is studied in detail with precise strategies for each Licensor and for all Licensees, building a complete service that meets exactly the interests of both parties. Moreover, the integration within the agency of a marketing team allows to support licensees throughout the product development, retail and social media activities, opening a direct channel between IP and Italian market. “The reality we live in travels at an impressive speed.” says Maurizio Distefano, President of the agency, “It becomes every day more digital-oriented. Today’s IPs find their success on online streaming and social media platforms such as YouTube, Tik Tok and Instagram,
where they entertain fans who can access rapidly to all their interested contents just by one click. Our mission is to help Licensees identify the right property for their products and to support them in all development stages up to the final sell out. This is why the agency is constantly evolving, integrating every day new technologies and new communication methods.” In 2021, Maurizio Distefano Licensing was appointed by EMEA master-agent The Point.1888, to work with hit kids shows from Moonbug Entertainment including CoComelon, Blippi and Morphle. Moonbug’s fun, relatable and enriching shows are set around age-appropriate and compelling storytelling for kids up to the
age of 8. CoComelon, a Moonbug Entertainment property, entertains little ones offering a positive and easily relatable role model through universal themes and stories. Today, its 111 million subscribers on YouTube follow dance routines and songs while learning letters, numbers, animal noises, colors and more. The short episodes and the nursery rhymes are also available on other platforms like Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music, Roku and Netflix. In such a short time since its arrival in the Italian licensing market, many licensees have closed deals for CoComelon, immediately recognizing its high potential. Some notable licensees include: Headu, which will create a wide range
production of brand new and premium quality content on various platforms. The Italian YouTube channel gathers over 3,2 million subscribers while the global Facebook page is followed by 5 and a half million fans of Masha and Bear, who are the stars of the humoristic posts, gifs, news and many products made
of educational games, including flashcards with lots of activities, tactile cards and a little house made of cardboard; OLED, which will create a complete line of products for childcare; Multiprint, in charge of stamp sets and colors; Easy Shoes, that will develop a footwear collection and Dulcop, which will develop soap bubbles in various sizes. Even IPs now defined as “classic” are increasingly moving to digital and now embrace platforms such as YouTube and Amazon. Bing’s successful “Toilet Train” digital campaign last month included a video featuring a clip from the popular pre-school TV series and showcased multiple toilet training products from several licensees. This video was shared across various platforms and proved a great opportunity to reach consumers in a creative way. From a Licensee’s point of
view, Miniconf is the perfect example of someone who was able to create a crosscommunication, both physical and digital, for its capsule collection with Bing under the iDO brand available also on the brand’s e-commerce. The section dedicated to the collection has been customized with a Bing theme to give users the possibility to easily access it and immediately find the products of interest. Miniconf had the opportunity to use not only its own digital channels but also the official Bing channels that have been keeping Bing’s ever-growing audience updated on all things Bing throughout the years. Remaining on classic IPs, Masha and the Bear, the animated series produced by an award-winning entertainment company Animaccord, continuously boasts record numbers on its YouTube channels as well as on social networks due to great
by licensees which alternate in a very dynamic way. Both Bing and Masha and the Bear have a strong media presence airing on the Amazon Prime and TIM Vision VOD platforms, that allow users to watch the episodes in any time of the day: a practical solution for sure to all those who are on the move and do not want to miss a single second of their favorite series. Another
channel that both agency’s properties, Bing and Masha and the Bear, recognized as fundamental in their communication strategies is the Toys Center website, which created a dedicated landing page customized in the style of the two cartoons, where you can find all the available products. Among the animated series that value YouTube are Leo&Tig, series produced by Paravoz studio for Digital Television Russia telling the story about two cubs of leopard and Siberian tiger that spend their time discovering the Oriental Taiga and its mysteries along with their friends. The new Italian dedicated YouTube channel was launched, to give the chance to watch all the episodes of Leo&Tig updated with new releases. Together, also the Instagram and the Facebook Italian pages were launched, where you can find all the news about the series in real time, discover curiosities about the episodes and the settings, play many activities and, most
of all, get an overview of the products already on the market and coming out. The most recent acquisition by Maurizio Distefano Licensing allowed to develop a new additional branch of expertise within the agency which includes Youtubers and Influencers. Charlotte M., in fact, is positioned in the Creator category, those who create digital contents for their fans. Her greatest strength lies in the humor and spontaneity with which she talks about her life and the topics that affect her life: first crushes, arguments, friendship, school and free time. Charlotte M.’s world is expanding rapidly, the number of subscribers on the YouTube channel are certainly a demonstration, boasting more than 850.000 subscribers, with an average of 1.000 subscribers every day. Charlotte M. is present on all the most
popular social media platforms among the Z and Alpha generation: Instagram, Tik Tok and YouTube and on each of them she manages to capture the attention of her fans that impatiently wait for new contents and new videos. Charlotte M.’s popularity has inspired Fabbri Editori to publish a series of novels, first two of which – Charlotte M. Un’estate al College Infestato (Summer in the Haunted College), selected for the making of the movie that will release by the end of 2021 at the cinema, and Charlotte M. Un amore oltreoceano (An Oversea Love), available now in all bookstores and on Mondadori’s website. Soon her third book, on which she herself, passionate about writing, is working on right now, will be released. Her passions extend to music, with her hit song “I LOVE YOU”,
that boasts 7 million views and another song released in May, “BUUM BUUM”, which in just six days reached 400.000 views. Maurizio Distefano Licensing is proud to be the Italian representative of the Number One Series of the Decade in Europe, ALVINNN!!! And The Chipmunks from Bagdasarian Productions. The series, created by Janice Karman, airs daily on both K2 and Nick Junior. ALVINNN!!! continues to entertain its four generations of fans with comedy, musical adventures and unforgettable characters; Gigantosaurus, the hit TV series produced by Cyber Group Studios takes preschoolers along on the adventures of four young dinosaur friends as they explore their prehistoric world. In Italy, Season 1, is currently broadcast on Rai Yoyo and available on Rai Play, Netflix and Disney +. Season 2 will be launched on Disney + Summer
2021 and on Rai yoyo last quarter 2021. Kids can also enjoy Gigantosaurus’ shorts available on YouTube. For the adult target, in the brand category, the agency offers Guinness, Baileys and Smirnoff, ideal for product categories such as apparel, food and beverage, but also for accessories and gadgets; LIFE, the magazine known worldwide for its iconic images; International Space Archives (ISA), an archive of images taken during all man’s space missions that still collects evidence of great achievements. In addition, it is possible to create beautiful collections thanks to the wide portfolio of artists and music bands, such as Motorhead, Backstreet boys, Whitney Huston, David Bowie, The Police, Pink Floyd, and many others. In the list of brands, we also find La
Gazzetta dello Sport, the most widely read newspaper in Italy that has won over all sports lovers and that allows you to create high-impact products thanks to the beautiful new Licensing Guide.
Innovative approaches and synergies in licensing of digital native properties In the ETS Licensing portfolio an important space is occupied by properties born in the digital field, which look at the world of licenses with an innovative approach, proposing original synergies to support licensed products. Since the advent of web 2.0, which developed social media, the watchwords are sharing, interaction and engagement on all digital platforms from web to mobile. Brands that have a digital soul, being intrinsically inclined to seek a more direct and engaging relationship with their audience, are able to support licensees in new ways, creating a virtuous circle between character and product, from which both emerge empowered.
Talking Tom and Friends immersive digital experiences for successful licensing programs The friendly talking cat Tom first appeared in 2010 with a mobile game that immediately gained immense popularity. Since then Talking Tom and Friends has established itself as a fun family-oriented entertainment brand about six best
friends sharing their lives and adventures with each other and with their fans across the globe. With the launch of new games, two animated series, numerous multimedia contents and merchandising products, the brand has seen an exponential
development and today boasts a massive presence at a global level. Its original video content garnered 79 billion views and 77 million YouTube subscribers. Mobile games have been downloaded 16 billion times and pull in up to 430 million monthly active users worldwide. Talking Tom and his friends also have 30 million followers on social media. And there are more than 20 record- breaking games in the franchise’s portfolio. Thanks to the very strong global popularity and a great capacity for involvement, Talking Tom & Friends offers licensing partners several innovative opportunities to give visibility to their brands within the games, with different types of in-game advertising. The options available are numerous and have the aim of not being intrusive and guaranteeing a fun gaming experience. They developed articulated and innovative ad types and native positions that adapt very effectively to
the personality, values and key messages of the partner brands. Innovative original ways offer almost unlimited opportunities to create a strong link between the digital and physical world of licensed products. The property also confirms its vocation for dynamism with frequent releases of novelties. The latest addition to the portfolio is the new game My Talking Angela 2, which builds on the legacy of the original game, offering a unique blend of care-taking, playful customization, and exciting interactive activities. Blurring the line between virtual pet and life simulation, the game invites fans to share a new adventure with Talking Angela who goes to live in the big city. With lively animations and beautiful visual effects, players can discover the magic of true friendship as they dress up and get ready with Angela – as only BFFs can – combining options to create thousands
with the amount of customization options we’ve included, players of all ages, genders, and backgrounds can truly express themselves and make Angela their own.”
Chefclub - a large community of enthusiasts who actively participate in brand developments
of unique looks. There are dance moves to learn, songs to play, cupcakes to bake, new cities to visit and so much more. “My Talking Angela 2 is more than just a sequel: it’s the expansion of our vision for Angela, which fans were asking of us. She’s like a best friend you can keep in your pocket,” says Jaka Robnik, Outfit7’s Director of Product Management. “And
Chefclub is the innovative digital food brand born in Paris in 2016 from the idea of 3 brothers who wanted to bring everyone together in the kitchen: beginners, enthusiasts, experts, women, men, teens and children. Thanks to the free distribution of highquality video recipes and an innovative positioning, halfway between cooking and entertainment, it confirms itself as the cooking brand that grows fastest on social media globally, with 2 million new followers every month. In addition to the obsessive attention to the quality of the videos, Chefclub owes its undisputed leadership on social networks to the ability to address the audience of each channel with the most suitable content and language. Chefclub’s large community, which today has over 100 million followers worldwide, on Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok, with 2 billion monthly organic views, brings together people of all ages, very proactive and engaged , who interact and comment. On the Chefclub mobile app, members can share photos of homemade recipes and participate in weekly cooking challenges, posting photos of their creations. Chefclub friends can also participate online in the free live masterclasses to follow the preparation of delicious and surprising recipes, putting themselves to the test and experiencing moments of
conviviality. As for licensing projects, the property’s objective is to develop products that are able to fully represent its philosophy. This attention means that licensing projects can benefit from the trust of a community that rewards adherence to the original values of the brand. A significant example of community interaction for product development is offered by Tefal, the Chefclub Master Licensee, who has created a complete range of kitchen items under the Chefclub by Tefal brand, all made according to requests, preferences and opinions shared by the community throughout the development process.
Galinha Pintadinha - a strong multi-channel vocation for 360-degree experiences Galinha Pintadinha is a pre-school property born in the digital world, which thanks to a strong versatility has managed to effectively adapt its expressive language on different channels, including physical ones. She first appeared in 2006 in Brazil on YouTube with funny videos of nursery rhymes for children, which quickly became a web phenomenon. Today Galinha Pintadinha boasts nearly 30 billion views
on YouTube worldwide and more than 20 million subscribers. Her songs have also been collected on DVD, with nearly 4 million copies sold, and in two award-winning music albums. These successes led to the development of the animated series Galinha Pintadinha Mini, where the nice blue hen, with Galo Carijó, Pintinho Amarelinho and their friends, dance and sing cute songs. The series is broadcast by television channels throughout Latin America and in Italy it landed on Frisbee in March 2020. The animated stories of the tender hen also landed on over twenty digital channels and on the main audio and video streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and its music videos are
on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, and Deezer. The contents of Galinha Pintadinha can also be accessed from tablets and smartphones, through its apps, which are among the most downloaded in all of Latin America, as well as with the Google Voice Assistant which, with a simple command, allows you to enter a world of interactive games and activities for the whole family. Galinha Pintadinha is a constantly evolving brand. Among the most recent initiatives, the “Good Night Tales” project should be mentioned with animated books and videos in which the tender hen tells the most famous fairy tales to Pintinho Amarelinho to make him fall asleep. The videos will arrive in Latin America on
the Disney + platform next fall, with the prospect of a subsequent expansion to other countries. The books are already present in the bookstores of Brazil. For licensed products, Galinha Pintadinha already boasts a very rich international offer with hundreds of proposals in all product categories. In Italy, the licensing program was recently launched, with the launch on newsstands in March of Play Press publishing products, magic books and stickers and colors, and the arrival in bookstores at the end of April of the
Pon Pon edizioni “Read, sing and dance with Galinha Pintadinha ”, with interactive booklets and activity albums. Also in our country, Bromelia Produções confirms its commitment to invest to support the brand on the web and social networks. Thanks to the constant publication of new content, subscribers to the Italian YouTube channels of Galinha Pintadinha and Gallinha Pintadinha Mini are growing and visits to the Italian website, recently enriched with unpublished content
and resources to download for free, are increasing. The Italian Facebook and Instagram profiles were also launched to increase brand awareness and promote licensed products Maintaining a strong presence on all digital platforms, with the opportunity of creating links with products, is an important asset for the success of licensing projects and contributes to increasing the strength of the brand.
Pera Toons - a consistent evolution of the contents born on social networks The success of the hilarious comics world of enigmas and wisecracks by Pera Toons, conceived by the cartoonist and content creator Alessandro Perugini, continues unstoppable. To the original format of the monovignette riddles “Who killed Kenny?”, Which appeared for the first time on Instagram in 2017, obtaining almost a million followers in a few months, was added the overwhelming popularity of the Pera Toons comic puns, which arrived first on Facebook and later on YouTube and TikTok with the new format of mini videos of animated jokes.
one with CiAL - Italian Consortium of Aluminum Packaging - for an awareness campaign on the importance of aluminum recycling. The collaboration, which provides for the publication of 8 posts on the social channels of the Consortium, based on the format of the “animated comic”, was launched last April 22 for
Today, the intriguing riddles and hilarious humor of the world of Pera Toons are an important reference on social media, where they gather a community of 3 million fans in continuous growth. Thanks to the presence on various channels - Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok - the Property can also count on a wide and transversal audience, addressing all age groups: not only teenagers, but also children and adults, arriving at a general “family friendly” approach. The world of Pera Toons is achieving excellent results also in the editorial field. The First 2 Books - Chi ha ucciso Kenny? - and - Il Trono di Kenny - published in 2018 and 2019 with the Tunué editions, have transferred the riddle mini-games to paper, while the latest publication - Ridi che è meglio! - released in November 2020, is a sort of interactive comics game - book with multiple paths where the reader can move between the puns by
choosing alternative options. The book is already in its 7th reprint and has sold over 35,000 copies in just a few months. In parallel, Pera Toons is also active in collaborations, such as the most recent
Earth Day and will continue in the coming months with new posts dedicated to the recycling of every specific aluminum packaging. Pera Toons’ landing on licensing is seen by the author as a natural phase of development, which however requires a lot of attention to maintain a precise consistency with the values and philosophy of the brand. For Alessandro Perugini it is essential not to betray his own community of followers. This is why he is committed to having a direct and proactive role in licensing projects, in order to ensure that product developments represent a faithful embodiment of Pera Toons’ values. The licensing projects thus represent a coherent extension of the personality of Pera Toons and the licensees are partners with whom they can work side by side to develop the brand in new areas. The final result of this commitment is the strengthening of the brand identity and the bond with the target audience. With this in mind, the first licensing agreement was recently signed with BIEMBI for a line of stationery and gadget products, which will be on the market from September 2021, and other negotiations are underway.
MeteoHeroes goes down a storm across Europe and beyond With success in multiple territories and plans well advanced for a second series and two TV specials, 2021 looks like being an amazing year for the environmentally themed animated kids’ show MeteoHeroes to premiere MeteoHeroes on channels in Colombia, Peru, Panama, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, El Salvador, Ecuador, Jamaica, Paraguay, the Spanish-speaking US, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Bolivia. The response to MeteoHeroes was strong – and greatly boosted by the enormous buzz around the launch. This was down to the broadcasters, who spread the series’ messages across multiple platforms in the preceding weeks to both tease the TV event and raise awareness of the issues it highlights. In Spain and Hungary in particular, the show performed above the channels’ average. And the licensing campaign, already
MeteoHeroes has made a major international impact this year. However, its success began in 2020. The popular environmentally themed animated kids’ adventure show, co-produced by Mondo TV and the leading Italian weather forecasting centre Meteo Operations Italia (MOPI), was firmly established as a kids’ favourite in Italy by the time the of last back-to-school season in 2020. In fact it has recently been confirmed among the top shows on free-to-air DTT channel Cartoonito. It’s also enjoying a strong showing on pay channel Boomerang. The appeal of the show to its young (four-to-seven-year-old) audience has been strong from the very start. This year, therefore, has been about successful
expansion into international markets. Countries like Spain, Turkey the Baltic territories, Hungary, France and Greece have joined the MeteoHeroes family. The French deal, with Piwi+, also takes in French overseas territories and Frenchspeaking Africa. There was more than usually careful planning around the arrival of the show. Many countries had a very topical – and appropriate – launch date: the 51st Earth Day on 22 April 2021 (the Italian launch took place on the same day one year earlier). And on the same day this year a number of broadcasters from Latin American countries joined forces with Mondo TV
activity books, colouring books and storybooks. More licensing appointments are on the way – and new broadcast territories. The show will air on Clan Internacional in the coming months and many more regions are set to follow: the first series has now been sold into over 140 countries. But that’s not all. Two new MeteoHeroes TV movie specials (2 x 26’) are ready to hit screens this autumn – along with the first episodes of series two (52 episodes x 13’). This show is, appropriately enough given its themes, going down a storm! under way, will support these messages. MeteoHeroes’ enormous potential has already attracted a number of major licensees in Italy. Products inspired by the show will reflect its positive message: whenever possible they will be designed and developed in compliance with sustainable best practices. Outside Italy and Spain, where Mondo TV operates directly, Mondo TV is working with local licensing agencies in a growing number of territories. Lisans has been appointed for Turkey and ELC for the CEE region and Russia. The first deal closed by ELC has been with Menart Publishing for publishing rights in Croatia and Slovenia, covering a sticker album, chapter books, This is the only kids’ cartoon show dedicated entirely to climate and environmental issues. Also the storyline aims to be inclusive: the stars of MeteoHeroes, six superpowered kids who can control weather phenomena, are three girls and three boys, each from a different region. The show works on a number of levels. Kids will love the fun and adventure. They may even pick out one of the heroes – Fulmen, Nix, Nubess, Pluvia, Thermo or Ventum – that they identify with or like best, just as in any team-based adventure show. But there is also a message relating to our planet and how we can take better care of it. It’s a message that will resonate with both the young target audience and with their parents.
IMPS / LAFIG
A new TV series and the latest news from The Smurfs On the occasion of the global launch of the new Smurfs TV series, LM interviewed the team of Worldwide Licensors IMPS / LAFIG. journey on French speaking channels in Belgium (RTBF), Switzerland (RTS) and France (TF1). The numbers are amazingly successful so far! TF1 achieved its best 4-14 audience performance since 2007, with an impressive 52% of all 4-10 y.o. in the time slot. The series will also be broadcasted worldwide by Nickelodeon with a U.S. premiere slated for this Fall. The launch on Germany’s KiKA is set for January 2022 and many other Free TV partners will start broadcasting the series starting in Q2 2022. The series will be on Netflix worldwide from Q2 2023!
Louise Busseniers The Smurfs is an historic property that has thrilled and entertained the world for over 60 years with stories characterised by sympathy, friendship, tolerance and respect for the environment. It is a true global success loved by over four generations of fans. On the occasion of the worldwide launch of the new TV series, LM knocked on the doors of IMPS / LAFIG, global licensors of the IP. The heads of Licensing, Business Development, Marketing & Family Entertainment Louise Busseniers, Fabienne Gilles, Sebastien Dumont and Philippe Glorieux answered our questions all together with great enthusiasm. Tell us about the new 3D series and its worldwide launch in 2021. What are some numbers of this successful launch? Where will it launch first? The new Smurfs series started its global
Philippe Glorieux occupies a central role. There are many Smurf product success stories to highlight in every category, like the Smurfs’ Village game by PopReach, or Haribo, with one Smurf candy being eaten every minute worldwide! We are also enormously proud
In which categories have The Smurfs products been most successful, and which ones would you like to grow more in the future? We are very proud about the comics origin of the Smurfs and publishing always
of some amazing recent and upcoming worldwide fashion partnerships, like the SMURFSxSUPREME collection which was a massive hit with items selling out within four minutes. We want to grow Smurfs digital content. We recently announced some great news for video games with some smurfy projects being developed together with our talented and innovative partners Microids, The Sanbox and Azerion. The worldwide popularity of the Smurfs is phenomenal (95% global awareness) and the New TV series will introduce a new generation of kids to the legacy of the Smurfs, the future looks bright and blue!
remarkable positive messengers through the pandemic. What is the latest news for publishing products? We are proud of our new educational collection “Growing with the Smurfs”. It is already published in French and this year it will be published in German (Splitter Verlag), Polish (Egmont Polska), Chinese (Jieli Publishing) and English (Abrams Books). Outside of the traditional world of print books, we are also working with Bookful. This app brings children’s books to life with Augmented Reality and 3D animation and have already published several titles. What are the latest partnerships in the Toy category? We are fortunate to be working with an amazing Master Toy partner: Jazwares! It is still too early to share too many details, but the new Smurfs series toy line will bring a lot of fun and blue happiness to kids! The line is set to hit retail next year. This Fall, we will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of the classic series with
“Being a family-owned company makes us very agile which has been very helpful dealing with such an unforeseen and impactful worldwide event. Caring for each other is part of the Smurfs’ DNA and our little blue characters have been remarkable positive messengers through the pandemic..” - IMPS/LAFIG -
What was the Smurfs’ post-pandemic period experience like? Being a family-owned company makes us very agile which has been very helpful dealing with such an unforeseen and impactful worldwide event. Caring for each other is part of the Smurfs’ DNA and our little blue characters have been
“Smurfette blew out her Birthday Candles on French Television and she has been honoured in our Theme Parks as well! ” - IMPS/LAFIG -
the release of some exclusive Jazwares “Classic Smurfs” packs. Of course, our historical partner Schleich will release 6 new smurfy figurines this year. There will also be new Smurfs playing cards, and puzzles, so stay tuned! Smurfette turned 55 in April 2021. Are there any special initiatives or product lines dedicated to her for this year? Smurfette blew out her Birthday Candles on French Television and she has been honoured in our Theme Parks as well! Recently she was honoured in apparel collections by Springfield, StayReal, Defacto, Lidl, PatPat or Benetton, and she will feature on many other products this year such as Ocean Terre’s organic cosmetic products.
Rainbow is The Smurfs exclusive agent for Italy
Will there be any new theme park openings in the next few years? In what parts of the world? Yes, we are in final discussions (still confidential) with many players in Asia, Europe and the Middle East for smurfing around the blue world.
IMPS / LAFIG has chosen the experienced Rainbow team to manage the licensing plan for the new Smurfs TV series in Italy. There are already numerous CP partners working with Rainbow to develop countless possible products and promotions for the brand. Matteo Olivetti, Sales Director, Global CP, Rainbow stated: “We are very happy to be able to manage an “evergreen” property like the Smurfs in the Italian market. It has been a much-loved brand for several generations which is allowing us to develop a very broad licensing plan dedicated to both a child and an adult target. The Smurfs lend themselves to successful partnerships in practically every product category with a particular focus on Food and Fashion. Obviously, Rainbow’s goal will be to develop a 360-degree plan that comprehensively involves all product categories.”
The beloved IP’s new 52 x 11-minute series for 5–10-year-olds will debut on Nickelodeon next fall and on Italian free to air Rai Yoyo in spring 2022. The series will then also air on TVOD and AVOD platforms in the first half of 2022, followed by SVOD channels in the beginning of 2023.
WILDBRAIN SPARK – WILDBRAIN CPLG
BRAND SUCCESS THROUGH DIGITAL EVOLUTION, ACCORDING TO WILDBRAIN By Lisa Hryniewicz Following the extraordinary success of the latest International Kids Licensing Day on May 11th, during which WildBrain hosted a presentation on boosting brands through digital strategies, it is a great pleasure for Licensing Magazine to present an exclusive interview with Maarten Weck, Executive Vice President and Managing Director at WildBrain CPLG, and Rachel Taylor, Commercial Director, WildBrain Spark. Among their many projects, we focus on their recently launched series emojitown®, an animated and digital evolution of the iconic emoji® brand Your latest announcement about emojitown is a really interesting case study showing how you are bringing digital and licensing together and how CPLG’s relationship evolved from a partnership with emoji - an iconic brand across Europe - to the creation of a digital-first content series with WildBrain Spark. Using emojitown as an example can you discuss the
different approach needed for an IP created specifically for the digital space versus an established classic property? Each property, whether it’s new IP or a classic brand, needs its own 360-degree approach that evaluates many factors including its audience, history, unique characteristics and existing consumer awareness. This is the foundation on which to build a strategy for compelling
Maarten Weck content creation and a successful licensing programme, by making the most of the property’s individual strengths and potential reach. With heritage brands, you always need to remain true to the original spirit, values and ethos, ensuring this is not lost as the brand evolves across digital platforms and in the licensing space. The brand style needs to be aligned and consistent across the content, even if it’s a new iteration or extension of the brand, to bring fans with you on the journey. Simply putting a brand name on an incongruous extension is unlikely to work. When it comes to content being successful on digital platforms, whether it’s new IP or a classic brand, the key is to continuously evaluate audience behaviour. There’s a high level of flexibility with digital content production, so for example, if the vast majority of views on YouTube are coming from the ‘Suggested Video’ rather than a ‘Search’ function, the development of the content can be adapted to help make the videos more discoverable by the audience. Applying techniques such as clear and accurate video titles and thumbnails is an example of how to increase discoverability. This helps viewers find the videos that they want to watch and also maximises the
will in turn will lead to strong licensing programmes.
Rachel Taylor longer term engagement of that audience on your content. Clearly the objective of a digital strategy is related to monetization, not just raising a brand’s profile. With that in mind how do you define YouTube success, and what do you think drives YouTube success for brands and consequently a strong consumer products program. Monetization is only one objective of many driving a digital strategy. The wider perspective that should be considered in parallel is YouTube’s incredible reach. The WildBrain Spark network alone reaches 1 in 3 kids globally, providing the oportunity to amplify brands for audiences worldwide in a cost effective manner and with ease of access. Ultimately, at the heart of a brand’s success is great storytelling and being able to capture the imaginations of audiences through content, which
How does data on different audience ages and viewing habits from AVOD platforms such as YT help you develop content, digital strategies and effective CP programs? Understanding audiences and ages based on insight from content viewing habits. What are some distinctions with, for example, preschoolers whose viewing is much more controlled by parents. There’s a huge amount of information that data can give us to develop digital strategies. Importantly, it also guides us throughout the brand’s journey on YouTube. There are lots of smart ways to use data, including the ability to understand and target the audience watching content by the detail of the traffic sources. For example, YouTube channels with a higher proportion of traffic from search, such as In The Night Garden, suggest that parents are starting a viewing session for their younger children. This sort of information helps us understand what’s being watched and by which demographics. From a consumer products perspective, there’s so much data from digital platforms out there that it’s important to provide partners with an easy-to-understand narrative, as well as comparisons and informed translation on the data. This is a big numbers game and you need to be able to make sense of it for licensees and retailers.
As content proliferates online, series could become more disposable and fleeting, i.e. watched intensely for a brief period until the next big thing appears. Add to that the volume of free, user-generated content: How do you see the future of linear versus digital in supporting CP ranges or similar? Broadly-speaking, for licensing and merchandising, digital content is becoming the more commonplace but linear is still in play. A 360-degree strategy combining both digital and linear is ‘where the magic happens’. However, digital has the critical ability to allow brands to be more in control on the content, and alongside the high levels of data and insight, this makes it hugely beneficial to informing a consumer products strategy. Is the formula for monetization largely formulaic and predictable, or are you often surprised at what may turn out to be wildly popular? What is an example of an unlikely brand (any, not just WB’s) that took off, against all odds, because of innovative digital marketing. In certain ways it can seem formulaic
because tried and tested methods obviously work - but some of the top performers are definitely more surprising than others. For example, the most watched channel for Teletubbies is in Indonesia (a surprise for such a ‘British’ show) and our Finnish Caillou channel is so highly-viewed that we estimate that every single person living in Finland must be watching a Caillou video every other month! It’s important to remember that when producing a digital show or series, volume is a key attribute because you need to have enough content to compete. YouTube runs off watchtime driven by the ‘Suggested Video’ algorithm (the videos featured in the sidebar on the watchpage, promoted to viewers as ‘Up Next’ etc) and similar videos are promoted on other similar videos. So, the more volume there is, the more ‘Suggested Video’ slots it can occupy and the more likely that you can turn one view into many and generate a high level of watchtime on your content. Can you predict what digital content leads to the greatest sharing and online proliferation? You’ve mentioned
storytelling and content, but is a lot of material shared simply because it provides a brief moment of comedy/ emotion (vs informational content and storytelling), and how far can that go? Storytelling is what drives deep engagement and repeat viewing – kids want to watch their favourite series time and time again, but you don’t get as much rewatch value with a unboxing video for example. The shock value or clickbait of very emotional or comedic videos only takes you so far – you get the clicks but not a proper connection. What do you predict will be the permanent long-term effects of lockdown on how content will both be consumed and produced? Over the last 12 months we’ve seen a significant acceleration in family co-viewing especially on connected TVs. This trend is here to stay. Our “Making Screen Time Family Time” research published at the end of 2020 shows that two-thirds of parents expect the time spent with their kids watching TV/movies to remain the same or increase once the pandemic is over.
EL OCHO LICENCIAS Y PROMOCIONES KEEPS AMAZING EVERYONE ADDING NEW BRANDS TO THEIR PORTFOLIO El Ocho Licencias y Promociones is a consolidated name in the licensing industry and the leading licensing agency in Spain. They offer a wide range of brands from digital trends to classical properties. digital successes. Important additions to El Ocho’s portfolio are the Moonbug brands: CoComelon, Blippi and My magic pet Morphle.
2020 has been a challenging year for the licensing industry and the world in general. However, El Ocho has been able to navigate through tough waters due to their ability to look for new opportunities, adapt, evolve, and grow. In 2021, they have included new brands to their already rich portfolio, focusing on new trends and
CoComelon the #1 YouTube channel for kids in the world with over 100 billion total views and 103 million subscribers! The animated series has over 400 videos and 25 hours of content on digital platforms like YouTube and Netflix. The brands’ primary goal is to engage families with entertaining and educational content that makes relatable preschool moments fun. The beautiful 3D animation and toe tapping songs create a world that centers on the everyday experiences of young children, in addition to helping preschoolers learn letters, numbers, animal sounds, colors and more, the videos impart pro-social life lessons, providing parents with an opportunity to teach and play with their children as they watch together. The target of the brand is 1- to 4-year-olds. El Ocho has created a strong license program with 10 licensees in just a few months and many categories in negotiation. Bandai is the Master Toy in Spain, they launched their range of products, including the top selling musical JJ and musical bus, in March of 2021. Other deals already signed by the agency: Cefa Toys (puzzles cubes and coloring sheets), Educa (puzzles, educational toys, and toy house), Leya (activity books), Penguin Random House (story books),
Safta (back to school), Stor (homeware), Saica (outdoor) and Atta cars (electric vehicles). Blippi is enthusiastic and energetic, the best friend of the children. Blippi helps children understand the world and encourages vocabulary development. He loves visiting exciting places such as children’s museums and the zoo! He loves singing, dancing, playing, and exploring. The series target is 2-to-5 years old. Blippi has over 24 million subscribers on Youtube and over 13 billion views in the past three years. Available on Youtube, Netflix and prime video with more than 90 episodes and 30 hours of content. Jazwares is Blippi’s global Master Toy and the distribution in Iberia is by Toy Partner. El Ocho is building the licensing program for a launch in 2022. My Magic Pet Morphle is an energetic little red creature who can morph into anything: a sweet puppy, a giant truck, a cool dinosaur, or anything that Mila’s playful mind can imagine. Mila loves and takes care of Morphle. She shows him everything she knows about the world, and how to have fun. The series target is 2-5 years old. With 18 channels on YouTube, Morphle accumulates 360 million views per month on average and 18 million subscribers across al channels. Morphle is also available on Apple TV, Kidoodle, Netflix, amazon prime, Roku, among other. El Ocho is preparing the license program for 2022 after the Master Toy, Character Option, toy launch.
El Ocho has also recently added Masha and the Bear to their portfolio. The show created by Animacord follows adventures of a little girl Masha and her friend, The Bear. Masha is a mischievous and curious little girl who is friendly beyond description and treats everyone like she has known them for ages. The cartoon became a hit for families around the globe, due to its smart ability to entertain and educate both children and adults on such timeless life values as real friendship, care, support, and freedom of creativity. Masha is among the most in-demand shows worldwide and a proven YouTube
Dragon Ball x Pull&Bear
phenomenon with 83 billion views, 128 million subscribers. Masha is among the top favorite kids’ entertainment brands by gender and age group in EMEA and in Portugal is the #1 series in Canal Panda since 2015. Simba is the Master Toy with a wide range of products from dolls, stuffed animals, figures, playsets and much more. In addition, the brand counts with great partners such as Penguin Random House (publishing), Grupo Anaya (publishing), Lemon (Live shows), Madhouse (Meet & Greets), Pez (Candy), Crocs (shoes), Havaianas (flipflops), Energizer (flashlight), Funiglobal (costumes), Angel Europa (stationery and mandalas) and Ataa cars (electric vehicles). El Ocho recently included the entertainment series Brave Bunnies to their portfolio. The brand created by Glowberry and Anima, is an inspiring story of two curious and adventurous bunny siblings, who proactively create joy and excitement in their life. The series target is 2-to-5-year-olds. The series was recently launched in UK on Channel 5 and in Italy on Rai Yoyo with great results. The series will be broadcasted by Clan TVE in Q4 2021. El Ocho is working with Glowberry preparing the launch of the series and from there they will create the license program for Iberia after the Master
Toy, Spin Master, launches in Spain. The agency is looking to creating partnerships with the best licensees across different categories such as toys, publishing, outdoor, educational. gifts, apparel and many more. CTC and APC Kids recently named El Ocho as the licensing agency for Kid-ecats in Iberia. Kid-e-cats follows the story of three cute kittens live in a small town. Their inquisitive mind leads those three to new adventures every day. Together they learn to express their emotions, to help each other and find a way out from any situation, with the help of their imagination and parental advice. The series target is 2-to-6-year-olds. The show is currently on air in over 150 countries, with 3 seasons of 52 episodes each. The series is aired by Clan TVE in Spain and available on Netflix, Youtube and HBO. The global Master Toy is Toy plus and the toy range will be distributed by Bizak starting in September 2021. The toy launch will be supported by a strong marketing campaign from Bizak and accompanied by licensed products such as educational toys by Ravensburger and Clementoni, Panini books and Chocolate eggs.
and anime series. El Ocho has signed deals with important apparel retailers such as Pull&Bear, Bershka, Sprinter, Zara. Pull & Bear will be launching a new collection in summer of 2021. Dragon Ball keeps
El Ocho continues to represent top brands like Asterix, Bing, Dragon Ball Molang, Mafalda, MasterChef, Momonsters, Simon. Some relevant news from this license: Momonsters: El Ocho has signed over 10 licensing agreements in less than 6 months. With important partners like: Panini (books, magazine, and sticker albums), Toimsa (bicycles), Colorbaby (summer toys), CYP (back to school & arts and craft), Reig Musicales (Musical Toys), Anaya (curricular books), General de Juguetes (summer toys) and Adalberto (bedding). Which will be launching in summer of 2021 and Q3 2021. The series is on air in Spain on Clan TVE, soon will launch in RTP Portugal and in HBO Max in LATAM, among other territories. Dragon Ball: Positioned as the #1 manga
growing each year in the Iberian market. El Ocho is creating important marketing actions and collaborations in 2021 and 2022. Mafalda: 2021 has been the year of
In this page Mafalda x Zara
ABOUT EL OCHO EL Ocho Licencias y Promociones is a major player in the Iberian Peninsula. The agency has over 20 years of experience and they have created some of the most successful licensing programs in Spain and Portugal. They offer a wide range of services and support to the owners and licensees with ad-hoc licensing programs, marketing plans to support products, retail activations and social media localization. El Ocho’s portfolio cover preschool, Entertainment, kidult, fashion, sport, celebrities, lifestyle, and classic brands. One of their main strength is the careful selection of properties, they chose the brands they believe will be successful in the market and that add value to the consumer and the licensed product. They help the brands fulfill their potential and create programs to maintain them as evergreen brands.
Mafalda. Brands like Zara, Zara kids, Pull&Bear, Stradivarius, Cortefiel, Springfield, Women secret, El Corte Ingles, Carrefour, Alcampo have all launched Mafalda licensed products. More apparel collections and other products categories will launch in late 2021, surprising the public with its beautiful design and witty phrases. MasterChef: After 8 years on TV (RTVE), MasterChef keeps growing. El Ocho is signing new deals such as a new Master Chef Family game by Diset which will launch in Christmas 2021. Other products launching soon are home accessories and textile by SG hogar, new and refreshed kitchen utensil by Pasapair, personalized aprons by Saquito Mágico, kitchen magic ovetto by Tavola and toy kitchens by Educa.
For further info:
Mafalda x Pull&Bear
email@example.com https://el-ocho.com/en/ +34 91 350 40 90
NINA & OLGA IN BOOKSHOPS THIS AUTUMN WITH MONDADORI In anticipation of the television launch scheduled for early autumn on Rai Yoyo, a Global Publishing Partnership was recently announced with Mondadori - Children’s Division, a strategic partner able to combine the publishing and television side of this unique property.
IDENTITY CARD NINA & OLGA Format: 52 X 11’ - 2D CGI Audience: Preschool Producers: Enanimation, Mondo TV Iberoamerica, in collaboration with Rai Ragazzi TV Launch: Fall 2021 on RaiPlay and RaiYoyo Synopsis: Nina is a little girl whose best friend is a little cloud named Olga. Nina and Olga are a steadfast duo that share many friends such as Teo, her schoolmates, the little bird Ugo, the Sun, the Moon, the Stars and cloudy aunt Grigione. Over the course of the series the two stars help children with small daily challenges, holding their hands as they learn how to manage their emotions together, with a fun and fresh approach.
This Autumn a dedicated Nina & Olga book series based on the series (coproduced by Enanimation and Mondo TV Iberoamerica, with Rai Ragazzi) will be released in bookshops. The art direction of the children’s television series is by the famous author of the Nina & Olga books for children and young people, Nicoletta Costa. Costa will also sign six new special books dedicated to little Nina and her friend, Olga the Cloud, iconic and much-loved characters for over 30 years. The new series of books is targeted at children from 3 to 6 years old, from Italy and all over the world, dealing with the theme of emotions, surprising them with their authentic poetry and imaginative quality. Nina&Olga. Sei un’amica speciale (You are a Special Friend) and Nina&Olga. Alla scoperta di lettere e numeri (Let’s Discover of Letters and Numbers) will be
the first two titles to be released. The first illustrated book tells us about the tender meeting between the two protagonists and the birth of their friendship, while the second, through small stories and funny episodes, will see Nina and Olga struggling with numbers and the alphabet. The initial books will be followed by four titles based on episodes from the animated series: “Il miglior regalo di sempre” (The best gift ever), “Piccoli misteri della
notte” (Little mysteries of the night), “Che divertimento in fattoria” (What fun on the farm) and “Il posticino scacciarabbia” (The little place to hide). Mondadori will be joined in the autumn by another strategic partner for Nina & Olga, Ludattica, with the release of a line of educational games, as well as a comprehensive marketing plan for the TV series launch.
WHO IS NICOLETTA COSTA Nicoletta Costa started working as an illustrator of children’s books in 1980 and hasn’t stopped since. She has published more than 500 illustrated books, also translated abroad. Costa has enchanted readers all over the world with her ability to see things through the eyes of children, creating characters that have become part of the collective imagination and growth path of children from generation to generation.
IMC TOYS: FROM TOYS TO LICENSING With the success of its Cry Babies brand and a new VIP Pets launch, IMC Toys expands its business model based on toys and licensing across Europe
Since its founding in 1981, IMC Toys has established a globally recognized reputation for the design of innovative products, unique digital platforms, and its progressive leadership philosophy. Winning over customers with competetively priced, high quality products, IMC TOYS offers a number of successful brands such as Cry Babies and Cry Babies Magic Tears, as well as the new VIP Pets launched last Autumn 2020 and already at 2nd place in the collectible doll category. IMC’s flagship toy line remains the most beloved Cry Babies doll all over Europe; in its category it is the nº1 doll in Italy in terms of sales. The toy line boasts a unique design and playability, as well as constant renewal. This year, in fact, Cry Babies have been updated with a brand new look: real hair, crystalline eyes and, for the first time, real dresses. To support its IP, IMC also offers Kitoons, a comprehensive digital platform for content development and a real world phenomenon with over 3.8 billion views, +6 millions of subscribers and more than 80 millions unique viewers. In Italy alone
it has 275 thousand subscribers, 190 million views and more than 2.5 million unique viewers. The TV series helps to build awareness of the characters that kids can then find as toys on shelves, helping to build a unique connection and encouraging the development of their
imagination.The TV series CRY BABIES MAGIC TEARS, the first series produced for this toy line, is in its fourth season followed by Bloopies, with three seasons, and VIP Pets which is about to launch a second series. In summary, the 360° degrees strategy will inevitably transform the brand into an equally important success in terms of licensing. On a global level, IMC TOYS has entered agreements with more than 65 licensees in 40 territories and more than 500 licensed products, which include publishing, puzzles, clothing, educational games, chocolate eggs, perfumes, accessories and much more. The licensing roll-out strategy aims to be even bigger with more licensees on board in the near future.
THE INCLUSIVE CARTOONS OF SPARKY AND CARAMELLA A truly inclusive series for deaf, blind, visually impaired, or autistic children, explained by Animundi television producer Raffaele Bortone, in an exclusive interview with Licensing Magazine. difficulties came about after a meeting with PUNTIDIVISTA, a publishing house that specializes in the creation of texts for children with learning difficulties. We had to create a completely new working methodology, which we called CARTOON ABLE. It involved a whole series of aids that would make the product usable even by those with visual impairment, hearing impairment or autism spectrum disorders. A product that would nonetheless contain elements of originality and practicality that would also appeal to the so-called able-bodied, in short, a cartoon of interest
Raffaele Bortone Raffaele, tell us how this innovative television project was born. We asked ourselves a simple question: are we sure that ALL children can enjoy a cartoon? The answer is no because deaf, blind/visually impaired, or autistic children are not able to learn from and share this form of entertainment, joy, and fantasy with others. This made us think a lot about how important it was to start with an animated series to fill that need, or dare I say necessity, of inclusiveness and accessibility that can help break down different forms of prejudice and isolation that exists even among children. The idea to create an audiovisual product, a cartoon, truly suitable for all children, including those with sensory
to everyone...in all “SENSES”. What does it mean to say that Sparky and Caramella are an innovative and accessible cartoon for all senses? The innovation lies precisely in the firstever accessibility and inclusiveness features in a cartoon. For some kids, this will be the first time they can interact with and relate to a series without feeling excluded in any discussions about their favorites characters and adventures. In this way they can feel involved and be able to understand the content, in part
thanks to other forms of language that children can learn to recognize and know exist. I am specifically thinking of sign language, which has just recently reached a historic milestone in Italy with its official recognition as an active language in our country by the Italian Parliament. We thought of inserting comic book style balloons into the cartoons, where deaf actors translate the dialogue into LIS (Italian Sign Language) that otherwise would only have been understood by hearing children. This would help deaf children who have not yet learned to read and who use LIS as their only form of communication, since they are not able to and inequality. An inequality that also affects their children, who will after all become the women and men of tomorrow. Experiencing marginalisation because no one has thought about the joy and entertainment of those who are regrettably less fortunate, results in a society that is more afflicted by those who suffer deprivation and less sensitivity from those who have not been put in a position to understand the problem. Let us work on this project to make, with our small contribution, our society, and future societies more attentive and sensitive to the needs of those different from ourselves. read subtitles. We have however included and employed special syntax to facilitate reading for those who can already read and do not know sign language. The addition of a narrator’s voice, together with musical comments, sounds that
contextualize the actions and the places they take place, and a harmonization of the images with shapes, colors and numbers of non-disruptive elements, help blind and autistic children to understand the cartoon. And what are its added values that make it unique? First of all, it is a product not for many but truly for all, and this gives it a high social and moral value. It is no coincidence that it was awarded the UNICEF prize at the last Cartoons on the Bay as the best social product. Another important element is that it has led thousands of families to realize that there used to be a climate of unconscious inequality. Reception from this point of view has been extraordinary. The official Facebook page of Sparky and Caramella collects dozens and dozens of testimonials and praise for the initiative both from so-called normal families and from those who, before this cartoon, felt that they were victims of discrimination
How was it created and produced and with which partners? The television series is a production of our company ANIMUNDI with the participation of RAI RAGAZZI and the Ministry of Culture. The development and first films to test the viability of the CARTOON-ABLE method, with the codification of its working procedures, went through a crowdfunding launch
PROPERTY IDENTITY CARD: LAMPADINO & CARAMELLA IN THE PAW’S MAGIKINGDOM TITLE: “Lampadino e Caramella nel MagiRegno degli Zampa” / Sparky & Caramela in the Paw’s MagiKingdom FORMAT: TV Series 20 + 20 eps x 6’ GENRE: 2D Animation PRODUCERS: Animundi - in collaboration with Rai Ragazzi and with the support of the Ministry of Culture
on the TELECOM platform “With You We Do”, which featured the project. In this way we were able to submit the idea to popular opinion, just to test if a real need was perceived and received an incredible response. This led to the direct participation of TELECOM ITALIA itself and institutions such as the Banca di Credito Cooperativo di Roma. In terms of production, since the series is also aimed at children with sensory deficits, we have been working extensively with organizations and specialists in the specific disability sector. In this respect, the PUNTIDIVISTA managers acted as a hub, filtering and mediating the information. Another important contribution came from the company EYES MADE which managed the deaf actors and the linguistic mediation related to the sign language.
This led to the product being classified as therapeutic by an experimental research protocol conducted by the paediatric ophthalmology department of the NIGUARDA Hospital in Milan for the treatment of amblyopic children. Therefore, it is a project that, in addition to its natural social benefits, extends its “benefits” to the medical field, always in support of children’s needs. We are proud and delighted about this. Where and when did you launch it and with what initial results? The pandemic we are currently living through was in its first dramatic stages, and still is a time of great fear and uncertainty. We are all paying the consequences and the weakest, including children, are suffering the most. For this reason, during the first lock-down in March last year, RAI RAGAZZI’s director Luca Milano decided to bring forward the airing of the first season of Sparky and Caramella to 29 March 2020. It had its world premiere on RAI YOYO that for the first time specifically allowed all children, with no one excluded, to freely enjoy a series able to brin kids together, and create a moment of inclusiveness and sharing, allowing families united by the pandemic a moment of reflection, all thanks to a cartoon. The series has been on air continuously for over a year on RAI YOYO with several daily time slots. Audience approval has exceeded all expectations - with over 200 million viewers so far - and, according to official Auditel data, it continues to be
SYNOPSIS: Every day young brothers LAMPADINO and CARAMELLA run to Elephant Park to play, but they have a secret: they know the way to a fantastic place. When the little bird ZILIA arrives, it is a sign that their friend ZAMPACORTA is calling them. So, they take each other’s hand under the Big Oak tree and chant a magic verse, and get transported by a vortex of energy to the MagiRegno where they have spectacular adventures, discovering and learning many things and helping the inhabitants to solve problems caused by the treacherous Duke Stinky.
the most watched programme among all the national kids channels. It is also airing simultaneously on RAI PLAY, on the free RAI PLAY YOYO app, and on Telecom Italia’s TIMVISION on-demand platform. It has also recently landed on RAI RADIO KIDS, precisely because it is also suitable for listening, and it is the most popular programme here too. All this has opened discussions of potential partnerships with licensees whose vision is in line with the unique characteristics of the property (some have already signed agreements). Let’s not forget the numbers that these products would reach in addition to the usual market in Italy: one child in 160 has an autistic disorder, 1 million people are visually impaired and almost 400,000 are blind, while 5% of the school population has hearing problems such as deafness and hearing loss - plus the households
where these disabilities are experienced. Sparky and Caramella are standard bearers for this different way of doing business, with a special focus on ethics and social issues and the goal of sustainability and accessibility. Upcoming developments on television and elsewhere for this property? The 20 episodes of the first series will be extended with a further 20 episodes of a second season, which is at an advanced stage of production and will be available by the end of 2021. Among the novelties of this new series, there are 30 new voice talents who have enthusiastically joined the project. This follows the success of the first season – with its officially announced inclusive purpose - in which well-known personalities like GIOVANNI ALLEVI and GUILLERMO MARIOTTO, among others, spontaneously participated. Also, in this new season there will be important contributors from the world of show business, entrepreneurship, journalism, and music, which we will unveil shortly. They will lend their voices to characters who, in many cases, resemble them in some way or are also in their profession. It will be a fun way of merging reality with the fantasy of the MagiRegno. Other objectives are to develop a third season of the series, to extend its worldwide
reach with international versions, and to create a television special. This will be flanked by a series of initiatives already underway, including the sensory workshops that were so successful during the pandemic, as well as participation in exhibitions and events with shows and mascots that will carry on with preCOVID activities. Communication will be particularly focused on and strengthened and represents a plus and a must for this property. This will also be helped with the collaboration of an important
strategic partner who will link our brand to companies whose brand positioning and current products are compatible with ours. These will be developed with all the benefits that companies can draw from aligning with the intentions and objectives of our cartoon: inclusiveness, sustainability, and accessibility for all children. Let’s all try to make our world a better place, because the MagiRegno where Sparky and Caramella go is the most beautiful place there is... and also the most beautiful place for us all!
BAVARIA SONOR LICENSING
BUD SPENCER & TERENCE HILL. THE UNFORGETTABLE SPAGHETTI WESTERN DUO IS READY TO BECOME A EUROPEAN LICENSING HIT Bavaria Sonor Licensing, a division of Bavaria Media GmbH, was appointed by the rights owner of Paloma Productions Media & Marketing GmbH and Plattfuss Vertriebs GmbH to establish a licensing world on the celebrities Bud Spencer and Terence Hill through out Europe. These two iconic stars are representing the genres of Spaghetti Western and Action Comedies like no others. LM met with Ivica Maracic, Licensing and Sales Director, to learn more about the company’s plans for this unique duo. Ivica Maracic
Within our licensing strategy we make sure that licensed products represent the DNA of the brands Bud Spencer and Terence Hill 100%. We see great licensing opportunities within the categories of Food & Beverages, Fashion, Home & Living, Personal Care and Promotions. The target group of the two IPs are fans, who grew up with Bud and Terence’s unforgettable movies, men, and women age 30 plus.
Can you tell us more about the Bud Spencer and Terence Hill brands? How long have you represented these IPs and for which territories? Since I grew up with the legendary movies of these two actors, becoming the licensing agency for Bud Spencer and Terence Hill is a childhood dream come true for me. As licensing agency we’re representing both IPs, Bud Spencer and Terence Hill, since October 2019.
They are icons of the Spaghetti Western genre, which was massively successful in the ‘80s and `90s and remains popular even today. Their fan base is huge – not only in Germany but all over Europe. Therefore, it makes sense that we’re representing the brands for all of Europe. As you point out, they are iconic stars of the ‘80s and `90s. What kind of licensing programme are you building for them?
What do you feel are the key value-adds of these brands? The key values of the brands are friendship, honesty, and authenticity. However, unforgettable is also the unmistakable humor, the characters’ immense appetite, and their legendary fights. The most important thing is, that actors always put a big smile on the viewers’ faces at the end of the movies. The brands have positive connotations through and through. Retro has been a trend topic for years. With Bud Spencer and Terence Hill people love to remember the good old days.
BRAND IDENTITY CARD: BUD SPENCER & TERENCE HILL
Bud Spencer & Terence Hill products by Blechwaren Fabrik Braunschweig Have you already developed any licensed product related to Bud and Terence? Bud Spencer and Terence Hill experience a high interest due to their iconic status and the more mature target group. In November 2020 St. Kilian Distillers, an awarded German distillery launched a single malt whisky under the label “Bud Spencer - The Legend”. A smoky version of the whisky followed in February 2021. According to St. Kilian Distillers, The Bud Spencer product was their most successful launched whisky in the German market. Both whiskies achieved gold status at international spirits competitions. The latest product of St. Kilian Distillers hit the market end of April 2021 – the “Bud Spencer – Feuerwasser”, a chili cinnamon liqueur. Another successful licensing product was launched in November 2020: the deepfrozen pizza of Franco Fresco: “4 Käse für ein Halleluja” - pizza à la “Quattro Formaggi”. To create a collecting moment Franco Fresco realized 4 different packaging motifs for one and the same pizza. As add-on they even integrated an augmented reality game on the pizza packages - including a QR code giving access to the mobile game “Beat the Beans!” The product is ongoing promoted by a cross-media advertising campaign. In addition to films and ads on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, there was a big advertising block on the German TV channel Kabel 1. With Blechwaren Fabrik Braunschweig, a specialist for metal plates, we have closed a deal for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. They produce metal plates, clocks, enamel mugs, coaster, and
magnets. In addition to the licensees, the licensor himself is running official Bud Spencer and Terence Hill online-shops on its websites an on amazon and ebay. The shops are offering merchandising articles such as apparel, canvas, cups, pans, watches and much more. It is a multilingual e-commerce platform, but its core business is in Germany. Furthermore the licensor made itself some license agreements. Just to name some of them: Chio Chips. MDM is
Bud Spencer and Terence Hill are all time icons. The congenial duo is absolute cult. Since 1967 they are idols for many movie and Italo Western fans. Bud Spencer and Terence Hill stand for friendship for life, authenticity, sophistication and their well-known fights. Their characters, quotes and humor are legendary.
licensee for collectable coins. They offer gold bars and anniversary editions of Bud Spencer and Terence Hill coins. Heo GmbH and Oakiedoakie are producing collecting and action figurines, poker cards, busts, and puzzles. What do you see as the core territories for these brands? And what are your next plans? The most important territories are GAS,
WHO’S WHO: Bavaria Sonor Licensing Bavaria Sonor Licensing (BSL) is the in-house licensing agency of Bavaria Media GmbH, a subsidiary of Bavaria Film GmbH. BSL represents the brands “PLAYMOBIL”, “The Smurfs”, “Masha and the Bear”, “Care Bears”, “Moomins”, “Panini”, “Janosch” as well as “Bud Spencer” and “Terence Hill” among many others.
strategy. We’re already having discussions on licensing opportunities with potential Italian partners for Fashion, Home & Living and Food & Beverages. Our goal is to hit the Italian market with appropriate consumer products. I’m sure Italian fans would be thrilled to have access to similar licensed products that we have launched in Germany so far.
Pizza “4 Käse für ein Halleluja” by Franco Fresco
Italy, Spain, France, Benelux, and Hungary. As we already realized very successful licensing products in the German speaking market, we want to conquer the markets beyond GAS where we see that Bud Spencer and Terence Hill have great potential. With Bud and Terence being Italians and their huge fan base in Italy, we see plenty licensing opportunities in the Italian market. Therefore, it plays a key role in our
What about the TV programming of their movies and special initiatives? German broadcaster Kabel Eins makes sure the German fanbase gets to enjoy Bud Spencer and Terence Hill on a regular basis and at least 4 to 6 times a year when for example broadcasting 24 whole hours of the movies on Bud Spencer and Terence Hill Day. The movies of both actors are being broadcasted on a regularly basis in primetime on the channels Rai and Mediaset in Italy. Terence Hill is currently on air with acting in the Italian TV series “Don Matteo”, which has been airing very successfully on Rai 1 since 2000. Bud Spencer and Terence hill still enjoy high popularity in Italy.
THE GREAT RETURN OF DRAGON BALL In 2015, Toei’s announcement, in collaboration with the original author, of the new Dragon Ball Super series inserted in the narrative arc of Dragon Ball Z, made a huge buzz worldwide.
Milan Dollynoire Store - Khabi Lame (+44 mln followers on Tik Tok) is a big fan! Even if fans were excited, Starbright, chosen by Toei Animation in 2017 as their partner to raise Dragon Ball in the Italian market, was facing a real challenge. Toei Animation’s strategy, shared with Starbright, was to conquer the new generation of kids, unaware of the world of Dragon Ball and accustomed to American comedies, far from Japanese anime, all in a decidedly fragmented television scenario. Thus a team of vast experience professionals is born, including, in addition to Starbright for licensing, Toei Animation, Bandai and Starcomics. A strong team of a deep knowledge of the license and a multi-year experience, focused in the respective areas, but very collaborative, seeking the best synergies and opportunities, together. Since 2018, we note that, in Europe,
new chapter movie of the Super Dragon Ball saga. Diramix lamincard are back, an iconic concept, targeted to the Italian consumers, as well as Panini figurines, back to school, seasonal products, puzzles, collaterals with Corriere dello Sport, to name a few. New companies, leaders in their respective sectors, decide to invest in the license as, among others, San Carlo, Clementoni, Paluani, Nestlé. In addition to the economic return, by the licensees, there is a real enthusiasm, to work with Dragon Ball, and to be part of this positive energy wave that the brand infuses worldwide. And the qualitative and quantitative tests, international and localized, recently made in January 21, confirm that the new generation of children is now on board, with a Core 8-10 y.o., ranging up to 5- 6 years, to
the new generation 10-14 years, takes up to read the manga, thanks to the development of digital platforms with sections dedicated to anime, and that the owner of users of this kind is relevant. In Italy, according to GFK data in December 2020, Starcomics has risen to first place among independent publishers, thanks to a 100% derived turnover by manga. In this scenario Dragon Ball Super dominates the sales ranking for several years. Videogame doubles the volumes to each new exit, with great communicative marketing campaigns. The movie movie hence the box office all over the world by entering the Broly scene, a new hero all to be discovered, in a final of increasing suspense that leaves fans with pending breath. Toei Animation after two years, announces the release in 2022 of a
Collectibles by Corriere dello Sport and Tuttosport
ALL DRAGON BALL NUMBERS Broadcasted in over 80 Countries + 600 episodes 4 animated series Many movies +260,000,000 manga sold in Europe +60 Licensees in Europe
Chips by San Carlo tweens, to teens, adults, each one with its specific needs. There are therefore many new projects, in development (+10 submitted to Licensor since December 20), already under approval, in Tokyo.
Co-branding ADIDAS X DBZ..sold out! with Bandai, to extend the licensing program of Starbright.
In Italy, the turnover derived from the launch of the Dragon Ball Super series merchandising, place Dragon Ball at the top of the boys series. Growth is further implemented by the toy arrival,
NESTLE’ Yakishoba x DBZ
Anime-mania contaminates the world of fashion, with illustrious collaborations such
as ADIDAS X DRAGON BALL, BATHING APE, CASIO, up to the recent success of Dollynoire, present in LA RINASCENTE and next to other collections. This ANIME trend extends to other characters like One Piece, with interesting collaborations coming soon, in 2022, to celebrate the anniversary. Some famous campaigns include GUCCI X DORAEMON, GUCCI X ONE PIECE, MIU MIU for SAILOR MOON, Comme de Garçon , MSGM, Undercover and Kappa X One Piece. Anime conquer the catwalks of Paris, Milan, London, up to Russia. Even European retailers, for the first time, choose Dragon Ball, and One Piece: alongside Uniqlo, there are coming Zara, Pull & Bear, Berska, Celio, Primark, Ovs, and 3 others will be announced soon, in Italy, with capsules from ‘FW 21.
DRAGON BALL, THE EVER-GREEN SAGA! By Isabelle Favre, Marketing Director Toei EMEA With TV series broadcasted all over Europe for over 30 years and more than 60 licensees, Dragon Ball property has never been so hyped. The last Dragon Ball Super series launched in 2017 in EMEA region continues to make waves, ranking as one of the leading family entertainment properties.According to a recent study conducted in France, Italy and Spain, transgenerational aspect of the IP is key and over 86% of kids-mens from 6 to 30 years old have already watched or read the series !
While the Dragon Ball brand has been historically prevalent across Western and Southern Europe, there was strong growth for the Dragon Ball Super new series’ presence in new region and television exposure for Dragon Ball has expanded recently to MENA region (ie. Spacetoon). From toys with Bandai, Video Games with Bandai Namco to fashion, passing by collectible items: Dragon Ball products are everywhere in retail across EMEA. That’s why the property will be particularly highlighted in stores for the upcoming year.
Earlier this year, Panini launched a capsule collection in France that got noticed through a strong TV campaign. In May, a collection of girls apparel will also be designed by a famous French teenagers brand. In June, apparel specialist Animus will distribute Dragon Ball Z clothes dedicated to young adults and adults in sports stores Courir. During the same period, Pull & Bear will launch its dedicated collection too. In Italy, Spain, Germany, UK and France, where the property is shining bright, there will be retail operations settled for end of this year, in order to reach the entire Dragon Ball community, from kids to adults. On the digital part, a Dragon Ball quest will be organized all along the year across EMEA in collaboration with dedicated retailers.
THE SUCCESS OF DRAGON BALL ACCORDING TO BANDAI By Gianluca Ferrara, Toy Business Manager Italy, Bandai Europe Take this way, in such a scenario as the one we faced, and we are still overwhelming, has further raised the complexity line. But Bandai is Bandai. A global reality, which has always been able to create dreams and translate them into content and iconic products with a transgenerational impact. A real “Love Brand”, with extraordinary awareness in our Country. In this frame, the project is progressively developing, thanks to a slim and dynamic organized structure, an Omnichannel strategy, and a marketing vision that translates into integrated, often innovative and disruptive communication plans for the Toy Industry, aimed at making Brand experiences relevant to consumers and profitable for the company. Gianluca Ferrara Attracting the Italian toy market, considered by the most, one of the most complex in the world, is a challenging and exciting adventure.
The first results are really encouraging and seem to go in the expected direction. The market reception to the Dragon Stars toys range is perhaps the most striking example of this. A range of action figures and articulated
playset, designed for a varied consumer segment. Children in the middle, as a traditional primary target, but not only. Even tweens, teenagers, young adults, adults. An immediate and transversal success, which originates from an animated series and strong and very followed content, supported by Starbright current licensing plans involving first-level partners to guarantee a constant crossmedia exposure, and founded on a high-quality Toys product that “ Break the shelf “, as a Bandai tradition, and stimulates the collectability. Dragon Ball Stars line of Action Figure is perhaps the most lamping example: numerous figures of excellent workmanship, also appreciated by the most refined collectors, with a “democratic” price positioning and therefore accessible to a very wide audience. Children and parents. A collection that accords everyone, including retailers, who see an in-store traffic increase by a heterogeneous audience and additional sales granted. And the next future will be mostly dedicated to retailers. After this long virtual parenthesis of our lives, in the coming months, Dragon Ball will be the protagonist on the shelves with innovative and high impact setups and theaters.
The irresistible appeal of anime and manga for children and teens On the occasion of the International Kids Licensing Day, organized online by Bologna Children’s Book Fair on May 11, a panel was held to discuss the strong interest in manga and anime.
Waell Oueslati Japanese-style content has recently become a major trend for capturing the attention of children and teenagers. From anime to manga, the demand for these consumer products continues to grow and is often the key to capturing the interest of this elusive and unfocused target. The anime market has attracted broad ranging interest and achieved impressive sales figures worth almost 19 billion euros in 2019 - and the number is still growing. This figure has doubled compared to ten years
ago. The market share between Japan and the rest of the world is now almost 50/50; five years ago, the international share was only 20%. On the occasion of the International Kids Licensing Day, organized online by Bologna Children’s Book Fair on May 11, a presentation was given by two leading players from the world of anime: Waell Oueslati, Director of Licensing, Crunchyroll, France, and Isabelle Favre, Global Marketing & Content Director, Toei Animation, France.
Crunchyroll is a streaming platform specializing in Japanese animation. Launched in 2006, it has established a strong international presence, available in over 200 countries and with offices around the world. In 2020 it reached 4 million paid subscribers and more than 100 million registered users. It has a catalogue of over 1,000 titles, subtitled in 8 languages. Crunchyroll aims for great interactivity with the public, as Waell Oueslati explained: “We don’t just see ourselves as a platform, our goal is to offer the best consumer experience to our fans. This is why we are really active on social media and have reached over 60 million followers. We are very focused on events designed to involve as many people as possible. For now, the events will be virtual but we hope to make them more
Then there are the rising stars, new titles that are currently developing and are already airing on the platform, like Black Clover, which was the best performer of 2020. With many episodes in the series, the first licensing partnerships are kicking
and more live as soon as possible, so people can meet in person and have fun all together.” Crunchyroll wants to create a complete licensing program for each anime property, increasing exposure to their catalogue through TV, merchandising and promotions, and using their broad network of over 100 partners in various product categories, in Europe alone. They have their own e-commerce sites and recently started producing their own original content. Right now, their top titles are My Hero Academia and Captain Tsubasa. My Hero Academia is streamed throughout Europe and has a thriving licensing program with over 30 partners in different categories such as toys, publishing and apparel. The other property, an evergreen title for kids and parents, is Captain Tsubasa, a reboot of a famous football franchise created 30 years ago. Already on air throughout Europe, Captain Tsubasa has many partners on board and is handled by Rainbow in Italy.
off. Another new property is Dr. Stone, featuring science as the main subject. And the last one is Jujutsu Kaisen, an anime adaptation of the new manga hit in Japan and Europe. Toei Animation is considered an international benchmark for Japanese animation for 65 years. Its head office is in Tokyo and has three subsidiaries for EMEA, the USA and the rest of Asia. With over 200 titles and 11,000 episodes, the company has one of the top 10 animation catalogs in the world. Some of the most famous titles include Captain Harlock and Dragon Ball, which date back to the 70s and 80s and some more recent titles are Sailor Moon, Toriko and Digimon Adventure. Isabelle Favre commented: “For our titles we rely on a multi-platform ecosystem, divided into different areas: events and live performances, retail and commercial
operations, film productions and releases, TV/SVOD, toys, video games... According to the 2021 report of Japanese animation and Newzoo’s global market games of 2020, video games and game apps have seen a growth of 9.3% so we are focusing more on this sector, helped by our strong partnerships.” Dragon Ball in particular is an epic property, which remains firmly in the top 5 for sales of manga in Europe, with 260 million sales worldwide. Some years ago it has become Dragon Ball super, with a very popular television series. It is a series with a lot of content and this has certainly helped to ensure that the brand has achieved a 91% awareness rate in the United States, with a similar history in France, Italy and Spain. It is a clear reference to pop culture, so it can be aimed at children up to 30 years old. The brand has seen a strong increase in licensed products, with more than 60 partners in EMEA. The video game is one of the most interesting and desired licensed products, the two video games Dragon Ball Xenoverse and Dragon Ball FighterZ had a very strong response. The big novelties for 2021/2022 are Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie, on Netflix from early June 2021, the celebrations for the 1000th episode of One Piece and new film production for Dragon Ball.
IGT – COOL THINGS
THIS SUMMER IN RICCIONE A THEMED PUPPY CLUB FRIENDS BEACH CLUB Thanks to the success that has spread through licensing with the food industry, Cool Things wants to extend the Brand concept beyond the simple toy, using it to decorate and personalize ones surroundings entirely with the exclusive Puppy Club Friends characters
Thanks to the success that has spread through licensing with the food industry, Cool Things wants to extend the Brand concept beyond the simple toy, using it to decorated and personalize ones surroundings entirely. Certainly, an innovative way of “brand building” and development of a format that can be further extended elsewhere through the purchase of this license. The first successful experiment is the Pilot beach identified by Cool Things and located in the famous Romagna Riviera, in Riccione, a popular destination for holidays and tourism for families. The beach is concentrated in Marano Beach 135-136, which for the summer of 2021 will be dressed in vibrant colors and the Puppy Club Friends characters. At the entrance, a very colorful sign welcomes all families with their children and animals, inviting them to join the Club. A nice walkway scattered with paws
your friends or on social networks. This picture will be a pleasant reminder of the good times spent together at the Puppy Club during the holidays. In addition to dressing up the beach, a welcome kit will be given to the young guests of the beach, containing a lot of surprises and benefits for members of the Club. Furthermore, five Puppy Club Friends themed events are planned, which will immerse the young and the old all summer: treasure hunts, Olympics sports, happy race and puppy hour, dog agility shows, and professional photo shoots. Cool Things’ goal is to extend this layout to different tourist locations and beyond, increasing tourism in facilities and providing services that will give them a “premium” scenery. These resorts will then be able to stand out from the competition and be identified as Family and Pet friendly locations, thanks
shows the path to reach the Kids area and the Dogs area. In the Kids area, you can find a fabulous world of characters from Puppy Club Friends, who will keep the children company during their holidays. There is a Selfie Point available to take photos, polaroid, and videos to share with
to the Puppy Club Friends brand. The format is suitable for hotels, beaches, camping, recreational facilities, playrooms, family rooms, children’s areas in the malls, swimming pools and gyms that will want to increase their receptivity, offering their customers more targeted services, differentiating them in the market.
A NEW PLAYER IN KIDS ENTERTAINMENT KidsMe is the latest participant in the world of children’s content, born from decades of expertise gained in DeA’s group of thematic channels.
Alba Rondelli Licensing Magazine had the pleasure of meeting the players of this new content factory: CEA Massimo Bruno (MB), Chief of Co-Productions, Licensing and Sales Officer, Brenda Maffuchi (BM), and Chief Officer of Originals, Alba Rondelli (AR). How did the KidsMe project come about and with what objectives? MB. It all started at the end of 2019, before the pandemic. We decided to restructure the entire Digital area of the Family sector of our group, because we noticed how a lot of factors related to content fruition were changing. We made an analysis of the future but
also of the past. In terms of the future, we saw that it isn’t true that the kids target no longer watches television, they do watch a lot of content, I would say more content than before, but on more touch-points, i.e. on all digital media, which could be platforms, linear channels, social media, YouTube, etc. We noticed that there also has been very strong growth of new content for kids, from DTT to streaming. Looking back however, having come from the publishing world we differ from a ‘simple’ broadcaster because we have always worked on the concept of IP; that is, we made content for our audience starting from the DNA of the property. Moreover, we have always served our audience going beyond the content itself, and everything around it. Therefore, in addition to the publisher’s TV channels (DeA Kids) that are based mainly on educational and edutainment content from Italy and Europe (similar to the historical mission of the publisher), after 12 years the time had come to create a production company that is still part of the De Agostini group, but whose mission is to create IP starting from development and production, to market launch and commercial development. I think that from the creation of an IP until its launch on the market, it is essential that there is consistency, and we can do this particularly well thanks to our background experience and the specialised departments within the group. So, our goal is to work with anyone who is willing to share this philosophy and to enhance a property, whether they are producers, broadcasters or licensors. KidsMe has a very specific structure. Can you explain it to me briefly? MB. KidsMe is based on two main pillars of the company. First, the Originals division headed by Alba Rondelli. And second, a
Brenda Maffuchi division that deals with co-productions, especially animated productions, headed by Brenda Maffuchi, which also manages the licensing development. Launching an original production is a particularly demanding process. We have
with Spin Master, which is the Master Toy Licensee worldwide. We are putting ourselves on the line with this IP by doing all the operational management of the licensing in addition to the overall strategy. The second season is confirmed and we are already working on it, allowing us to build more long-term projects. Obviously the series will also be aired on DeA Junior, after the premiere on Rai YoYo. In 2022 we will build the whole strategy for the OTT part.
Brave Bunnies several internal assets that can develop projects, as well as a budget to invest. Obviously, this is the great thing about being a publisher: if we believe in a project, we can start working on it without waiting for other producers to be on board. We can contribute to the development, which is often kept on stand-by until the financing is in place. And the fact that a publisher invests in an IP is always an important message for the market. Let’s move on to Brenda. Can you tell us how your division works? (BM) It’s important for us to work on properties that we have all the rights to, particularly for the Italian territory. Since we fully embrace an IP, we try to get into it right from the development of the content. Before getting involved in a project, we follow market research and consider what the trends will be in the next 18-24 months, not only in Italy but also abroad. We try to work on something that responds to these trends, securing legal rights for the Italian market right away. This allows us to make a 360° work plan, proposing ourselves as a ONE STOP SHOP, i.e. a single interlocutor to manage the whole chain of rights of a production in a territory, which in our case is Italy. Tell us about Brave Bunnies, a new IP you launched in Italy with this philosophy . (BM) Brave Bunnies is the perfect example of how we want to work with a
property (get in early, have all the rights, and do all the strategy). The TV series was launched in April on Rai YoYo, with a preview on RaiPlay for Easter 2021, and in September we will launch the books with the publishing division of the DeA Planeta Libri group. Books are very important for this property because they allow us to work a lot on the content and consolidate the IP. Also, in early 2022 we will launch the Toy line Whatsanna - Cloe Romagnoli
How do you choose which IPs to focus on? (BM). First of all, we choose properties that respond to market needs and for which we can acquire comprehensive rights. In addition, every year we try to keep at least one reference IP for every target group, from preschool to kids. For teens we go to Originals to identify interesting content, and then come back to my Business Development division for commercial development. Alba, can you tell us how your Originals division works? (AR) The projects I follow in my division are quite different. On the one hand we are a production company that primarily works for our publisher, knowing their editorial lines for 10 years, developing for our channels. On the other hand, we are a
Mindful camp unique company that offers all its related divisions. We also work on commission, receiving briefs or proposing our own projects that companies select. Then there is a third level of activity, which is the investment we make ourselves as KidsMe in projects that we particularly
believe in, such as the live action Whatsanna. This was one of the first investments of the new company, a spinoff from the success of New School, an Italian TV series distributed internationally and also on Netflix Italy. This project has been so successful that we are already in
production with the second TV series. Our live action series follow what is happening around us and are based on studies on market trends and the interests of young people, as well as major issues of the moment. So, to give an example, on the wave of mindfulness we produced Mindful Camp, the first TV programme that talks to adults and children about this subject. Another project that has excited us is Rudy on Tour. Holidays on Mars in partnership with the Italian Space Agency. Born from the Agency’s desire to reach young people, it is a sitcom that tells the story of a family’s life on Mars and explains elements of astronomy to children in a fun way. Rudy, among others, is also one of the main characters in New School, which we brought into a surreal world where he and his family were chosen to take a holiday on Mars. This production is entertainment content for our channel, while also being outreach content for an institutional partner. To stay on an even more topical and current theme, we recently produced Unlockdown, a staged dramedy starring five kids who live together during lockdown. We believed it was necessary to represent this moment, and not just skip over it. This new production shows how it is possible to talk about reality and current problems in a way that is appropriate for a teen target audience. Since KidsMe became a reality, how New School
Whatsanna - Cloe Romagnoli e Carolina Di Domenico
many co-productions and productions do you have to date? (AR) In one year we have developed about 12 productions, with at least 10 projects in an advanced stage of development. (BM) We also have seven to nine animation projects in co-production. Bruno, what is your link with the other departments of the DeA group? (MB) We have always worked in synergy with the other departments of the group, even before KidsMe was born. The editorial side is the real glue between all of us, from the book division to those who work in research. I think it’s an added value to be within a large publishing group, which helps to identify the best way to develop content. Brave Bunnies is a very good example. We had no problem in partnering with Rai for the launch on Rai Yoyo, while on the publishing side it was immediately clear from internal discussions that they were also interested in this IP. Who do you work with in particular? Who are your partners? (MB) It is important for me to underline one point: we work with everybody. As already mentioned, we are open to working with distribution partners, production partners, broadcasters, and anyone who embraces our philosophy and understands the added value of our structure. We see ourselves as a one-stop shop: a place where you can find producers, communication skills,
Unlockdown strategy and business development. We don’t want to take the place of producers for the editorial line of their project, but we want to work alongside them until the property is released on the market. With partners we can also pitch projects together, internationally or in Italy. As a production company within a large publishing group, how have you been received by the market?
(MB) We talked to other production companies in the animation and kids’ entertainment sector and we immediately made it clear that not only are we not in competition with anyone, but we consider ourselves to be the bearers of values in a market that has been growing significantly in recent years. I think we can be a useful partner, since we not only bring financing but also expertise, and not only on Italian but also European projects.
GLOBAL RETAIL, OPPORTUNITIES IN CHINA By Matteo Melani Despite pandemic-related closures, China remains the only country in Asia that continues to grow its economy and increase its retail sales volume. which are also open on public holidays since January this year. Temporary stores have been at the heart of Balabala’s strategic revolution, both in China and with new openings in Vietnam, Mongolia and Hong Kong. While digital remains an added value in retail (several brands have an app for ordering products via smartphones), the promotion of traditions has proven to be a key factor in attracting new customers. In addition to numbers, China is also a leader in training, so much so that in May, Shanghai hosted Brand Day, an international retail and trade event offering speeches that were attended both in person and online. In fact, although consumer spending remains restrained, several Chinese and foreign brands continue to sell and test out new ways of selling. On both weekdays and holidays, shops and shopping malls are being stormed by people eager to go out after time spent indoors. China was the first country in the world to return to normal after the Covid-19 emergency, and even in retail it continues to lead in both numbers and innovation. Unlike in Japan and Singapore where restrictions are harsher, several Chinese brands have started experimenting with new commercial solutions with the hope of exporting them to other countries. One example is Balabala, the Chinese children’s clothing brand which has opened a total of 146 new sales outlets and created another 50 pop-up stores -
Ke and Chen Chuanxing, and workshops dedicated to gardening, horticulture and cooking. So in addition to reinforcing the trust of regular customers, it is also a way for Prada to communicate the brand’s core values.
TRADITION AND INNOVATION: WEAPONS FOR TURNING RETAIL AROUND China has not lost its potential and is proving to be a leading country in new retail trends at this historic moment.
POSITIVE EXAMPLES IN CHINA Despite the climate of uncertainty, several brands are strengthening their presence in the Chinese market. One such brand is Balabala, a children’s clothing brand which is currently working on setting up stores and pop-up shops in China. In addition to its new openings, Balabala has diversified its offering with quality clothing for its target audience. One example is the Endless Dream collection, presented at Shanghai Fashion Week, which reflects the values of globalisation and innovation
that have inspired China over the last ten years. The clothes depict space designs and pay homage to Chinese art, a clear focus on creativity that has allowed Balabala to establish itself as a reference brand for the 0-16 age group. Prada’s strategy is different: it decided to focus on Rong Zhai, a historic residence dating back to 1918 located in the heart of Shanghai, which the fashion house restored, and which has served as a flexible space for a variety of cultural activities since 2017. The latest was the presentation of their outdoor collection, featuring summer clothes and accessories. The initiative was followed by other events such as an outdoor cinema with special screenings of films by Chinese directors, including Jia Zhang-
The successes of Balabala and Prada show that in order to conquer the Chinese market, it is not enough just to offer quality products, but also find innovative solutions that involve customers personally. A popup store has the advantage of making a shopping experience more fun with an unusual location, reinforcing the idea of something special to consumers. It also provides an opportunity to acquire new customers, even those outside your target group. A temporary store can be used either to present limited-edition products or - as in the case of Balabala - to relaunch a brand. All in all, a very effective marketing solution. But even though China is one of the most digitised countries in the world, customer loyalty also requires that customer identity be taken into consideration. In the Chinese market Prada has also shown itself to be attentive to cultural integrity, so much so that in addition to restoring Rong Zhai, it has also involved local creative talent in the creation of several collections. Obviously, for both historic and younger brands, it is necessary to maintain all online and offline services that make shopping more convenient for the customer, such as click & collect, delivery and e-commerce. In summary, the challenge for future retailers in China is to combine tradition with innovation.
Trends, big brands rediscover craft traditions By Matteo Melani From Ikea to the Mall of America, big brands are partnering with artisans and small entrepreneurs. This strategy communicates a connection with the territory and the desire to reward those with talent.
bag, created in 1997 by the creative director of Fendi’s Mens and Accessories collections, Silvia Venturini Fendi. As well as providing a showcase for selected artisans, the campaign allows the brand to communicate its desire to support those who have suffered enormous hardship in recent months. But like any industry, artisans need a place to showcase their products and Walmart recently launched a campaign for local producers to sell their goods in shops across America. More than 3,500 companies, mostly based in the Hawaiian With closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic, craftsmanship was one of the hardest hit sectors. After all, only essential activities remained open during the lockdown periods and, with the decline in tourism and the economy in general, many small entrepreneurs closed their businesses. What the pandemic has not wiped out is the socio-economic value of craftsmanship, so much so that several big brands have given struggling businesses the chance to collaborate on new products. One example is Ikea’s Lokalt 2021 collection, inspired by local craft traditions and created with young designers from Jordan, Thailand and India. When it comes to quality craftsmanship, Italy embodies excellence and to celebrate its creativity, Fendi has promoted Hand in Hand. This project enlisted master artisans to reinterpret their iconic Baguette
Lokalt Collection by Ikea
Islands, have signed up. So, although modern innovation is at the forefront of consumers’ lives, traditional craftsmanship is still greatly valued.
IKEA’S SOLIDARITY CHOICE For many years now, Ikea has been working with non-governmental organisations and social welfare associations to help people in the world’s poorest countries improve their living conditions. This year, Ikea decided to focus on an Oriental tradition enlisting the creative duo Yhinkk for the Lokalt homeware collection. The collection includes handmade objects such as cushions, carpets, lamps and bowls. All handmade. “Lokalt is a collection inspired by local craft traditions, reinterpreted with a modern look. It is full of interesting details that tell the stories of the places where the products are made. The ceramics are a tribute to the way food is served in the Thai tradition, the home textiles depict daily life in Amman, while cushion covers and rugs are inspired by the Indian cultural heritage,” commented Maria O’Brian, Creative Leader of IKEA Range & Supply. Since 2013 Ikea has developed 19 collections together with artisans creating more than 30,000 jobs for tailors and small farmers in the process.
THE FENDI PROJECT
From North to South, Italian craftsmanship is recognized all over the world. While there have been few job opportunities during the periods of lockdown, Fendi opened a showcase of great value for artisan workshops. In fact, the renowned fashion brand recently launched Hand in Hand, a campaign involving all 20 Italian regions, giving young people and experts the chance to demonstrate their talent and show off their creations in front of
a worldwide audience. The experiment to which the artisans were invited has resonated internationally, so much so that the first bag of the initiative, resulting from a collaboration between Fendi’s artisans and the Florence-based Peroni workshop, was presented at the Fall-Winter 20202021 fashion show In the skilled hands of Peroni’s artists, the Baguette took shape from a single piece of seamless vegetabletanned leather, from body to buckle. The Hand in Hand project has also seen reinterpretations of ancient arts, like in the case of Veneto: Bevilacqua’s Venetian masters created a shoulder strap with satin inserts and a sculpted jasper buckle with lizard details enhancing the jacquard. While government assistance during the lockdown was inadequate and opportunities for visibility were nonexistent, the Hand in Hand initiative was a breath of fresh air for these selected craftsmen.
MALL OF AMERICA: A NEW BUSINESS-ANGEL IN RETAIL Who says big brands and small businesses can’t get along? To promote the growth of small businesses, Mall of America launched the Community Commons campaign, which invites artisans and young entrepreneurs to open their own shop in one of the chain’s malls across the United States. New businesses wanting to participate are exempt from rent for the first three months, after which they can choose whether to open their own independent space or look for other accommodations. This is the second Community Commons campaign for Mall of America, having kicked off the first one in October 2020 which saw six businesses opting to stay in MoA malls. Innovation may be the key to the future, but craftsmanship is still an important asset.
Body-positive, the benefits of inclusion By Matteo Melani For clothing and cosmetics manufacturers and retailers, the acceptance of unconventional body types is an opportunity to enhance brand value and expand their customer base. Positive examples include H&M which included plus-size models for its summer collections.
THE ORIGINS OF BODYPOSITIVE Some bigger and better-known brands have only recently adopted plus sizes, but there are others who have been betting on it since the 1980s. Max Mara was the first fashion house to introduce the term plus size, while in the nineties the British womenswear brand Evans was the first to market clothing above a UK size 14, the equivalent of a size 42 in Europe. Also based in the UK, another retailer that
Acceptance of one’s own body is a theme that not only has entered political and social discourse, but has also made inroads into the clothing and beauty markets, so much so that several brands are promoting body positive products and marketing campaigns that focus on unconventional body types, i.e body types that for decades have been excluded from advertising aimed at the general public. But today these body types have finally found recognition, starting with plus-size people, celebrated by H&M in its latest TV commercial. However inclusive ads are not just about plus sizes, but about all aspects of the body that define aesthetic
norms. Dove has taken action to break down stereotypes related to beauty, so much so that in 2019, together with Getty Images and Girlaze, it created ShowUs, the largest photography collection of women and genderqueer people in their natural state. Body-positive techniques can also be applied in retail, as there still are product categories to be challenged. Body-positivity is an effective marketing technique that can be used to attract new customers who have felt excluded from big brands in favour of perfect beauty ideals for decades.
selling plus size clothing, lingerie and large shoes exclusively online; and SimpyBe is internationally recognised.
THE CURRENT SITUATION AND THE BENEFITS OF BODYPOSITIVE While the plus-size market was regarded as a niche sector only a few decades ago, it is now a growing segment of the market. At the same time, there has been an increase in cases of body-shaming and bullying related to physical appearance in recent years, affecting both children and adults. Representing unconventional concepts of beauty is therefore also a form of education in respect that helps a brand be progressive and inclusive. Among luxury clothing brands, Dolce & Gabbana was the first to introduce a size 54 in its collections, including Ashley Graham - known for her generous shape and champion of body acceptance – as one of its models.
has consistently been at the forefront is SimplyBe, an online department store that has been around since the 2000s and offers a full range of brands in addition to its own label. All three cases show that betting on body positivity has proven successful. In fact Max Mara is now considered a reference point for women’s clothing; Evans is a leader in the sector
But in addition to manufacturers, retailers can also benefit from body-positive campaigns, whether they are retail chains or individual shops. By involving influencers and creating targeted messages, you can also increase your visibility and turnover with consumers looking for plus sizes. Today, there are still unexplored areas that can be tackled through both physical and
online commerce. Universal Standard, which manufactures and sells clothes for plus-size people, recently released a limited-edition collection of beautiful jewellery for taller-than-average people. Also in the footwear market, brands such as Smash Shoes and Eleonora Anukam Footwear are expanding their collection of women’s shoes (size 40 and up) with boots that take calf sizes into account. On the display front, clothing shops that have embraced inclusion have implemented different strategies to
make customers feel comfortable in their choice of garment. Some have eliminated sizes altogether (arranging clothes from smallest to largest), some have created a sub-compartment in the display with the One Size + sign (including sizes XL to %XL) and some have incorporated small sizes with large sizes. In short, acceptance represents the clothing frontier of the future: from production to sales and marketing.
Commitment and responsibility, social initiatives in retail By Matteo Melani Over the past five years, several retail chains have launched campaigns to raise awareness of issues such as equality and environmental sustainability. Walmart, for example, has signed up to a project that facilitates the social reintegration of former prisoners.
been so successful that the number of human resource professionals in favour of hiring people with criminal records has more than doubled: according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the percentage today stands at 66%, compared to 32% in 2018.
INCREASINGLY SENSITIVE CONSCIENCES
As well as being a place to sell goods, shopping centres and supermarkets also have a social function. Consumers’ consciences are more sensitive today than they were just a decades ago so when people buy things or do their shopping, they are aware of the values that characterise a brand. In recent years, several supermarket chains have promoted initiatives to educate consumers on issues such as respect for the environment, equality and re-education. One of the most socially conscious brands in the UK is the British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, which recently supported the Black British Network. Sainsbury’s has stated that it will take part in several round tables with
other companies in the country to improve the inclusion and representation of black people in employment and freelance work. But in addition to consumers, some social campaigns carried out in recent years have also involved workers. In the United States, since 2019, the Second Chance Business Coalition (SCBC) project has been running, a programme set up by JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon that allows former prisoners to reintegrate into society through work. Among the companies that have signed up is the American superstore chain Walmart, which for the past two years has given work to people who have spent years of their lives behind bars. The campaign has
Events that have characterised the last decade have brought about changes in attitude that, in addition to politics and society, have also influenced consumer choices. According to a study by Global Web Index, today’s consumers pay more attention than ever to companies’ policies towards supporting vulnerable groups,
advocacy initiatives and the responsible use of resources. Several events that have happened in recent years have further shaken public opinion. Just think of the MeToo movement launched by the actress Asia Argento, Greta Thunberg’s messages for a cleaner planet or the murder of the African-American George Floyd. Then the closures due to the pandemic led to new levels of poverty with people losing their jobs. All these changes have pushed commercial brands to revise their marketing schemes, embracing causes supported by an increasingly concerned public.
INCLUSION AND HEALTHY EATING: SAINSBURY’S COMMITMENT
“As a supermarket selling across the country we recognise that we have a unique responsibility and opportunity to help drive lasting change. With our new commitment, we want to help our customers make healthier and more sustainable food choices” - Mark Given -
Taking a stand, like Sainsbury’s initiative to support the Black British Network, is not always enough to connect with consumers, actions that are consistent with a company’s intent also need to be implemented. In February this year, the supermarket chain launched its ‘Helping Everyone Eat Better’ campaign to promote the principles of healthy eating, starting with fruit and vegetables. A recent survey showed that most people in the UK have very little knowledge of food preparation and often avoid nutritious foods such as fruit and vegetables at mealtimes. The aim of Sainsbury’s campaign is to encourage a change in mentality through the products it sells, encouraging customers to mix and match recipes made up of healthy foods. So, along with fruit and vegetables, the company decided to combine recipes for summer foods. For example, if customers
buy broccoli they will receive a free recipe for making broccoli omelette, or if they buy cabbage they will see the ingredients and methods for making cabbage pie. The initiative focuses not only on the product, but also on how to prepare it. “As a supermarket selling across the country we recognise that we have a unique responsibility and opportunity to help drive lasting change. With our new commitment, we want to help our customers make healthier and more sustainable food choices,” said Mark Given, Sainsbury’s Chief Marketing Officer. Until August, Sainsbury’s customers will find coupons with selected products to help underprivileged families gain access to nutritious food. This is not the first time the supermarket chain has launched a campaign to promote healthy food. Back in 2019, it partnered with Disney to encourage healthy choices for children and has increased the number of fruits and vegetables on its shelves over the years. All these socially minded initiatives increase the value and reliability of a brand.
Direct to consumer, the retail strategy of the future By Matteo Melani Selling your products through your own channels without the involvement of agents and retailers is the heart of the Directto-Consumer technique. This sales strategy is targeted directly at the customer and can be implemented for most business models, whether in e-commerce or physical shops. The first advantage of a DTC strategy is autonomy since every aspect of a brand (from marketing to logistics) can be managed on one’s own. You can discover the preferences of your target audience directly (even the most elusive ones) and implement an effective marketing campaign. As a result, it is possible to strengthen customer relations and stand out from the competition. One example is Nike, which has withstood the closure of shopping centres in recent months with its small scale but well-equipped
Nike Live shops featuring with innovative technology. The well-known sporting goods brand has been a pioneer of DTC since 2011 when it began investing in Live shops which today account for 35% of their total sales. Of course, DTC strategies can also be implemented for merchandising activities. Toei Animation, the Japanese animation studio that produced television series such as Dragon Ball or Slam Dunk, is active in several countries around the world. “Diversification and accessibility
of content are key to customer loyalty,” said Isabelle Favre, Global Marketing & Content Director, Toei Animation, at the last International Kids Licensing Day. Whatever the sector or the target audience, DTC remains an effective sales method.
DIRECT TO CONSUMER IN THE ONLINE WORLD: EXAMPLES AND BEST PRACTICES In today’s globalised world, where information travels at the speed of light and the Internet has eliminated all borders, a DTC strategy does not limit one’s reach - rather it allows products to stand out from the competition. This also applies to e-commerce, a sector which enables companies to offer its customers personalised shopping experiences, primarily by highlighting products and brands through quality storytelling methods. As Catherine Rijsdijk, Head of International Retail and Experience, Planeta Junior, pointed out when speaking at the International Kids Licensing Day, a marketplace is not only a sales tool but also a way for people to get an idea of a product or brand. As for the relationship
constructive, and we are committed to using these tools to advertise our products through attractive and targeted offers,” said Catherine Rijsdjik about the merchandising linked to the Miraculous franchise.
with customers, it is essential to create a relationship of trust, with efficient services during the purchase process (for example, with artificial intelligence software that can provide continuous assistance) and post-sale customer follow-up (e.g., e-mail marketing). Some companies, such as Acamar Films (Bing), have focused on an omnichannel strategy in which all online partners (from stores to influencers) speak the same language. “In November 2020
we launched Bing Store, an e-commerce aimed at the UK audience, with its own specificities but integrated with our ecosystem,” said Sandra Vauthier- Cellier Chief Commercial Officer, Acamar Films. But an effective DTC strategy does not exclude the presence of its brand in online shops such as Amazon. “Among our products, one in five purchases are made on platforms such as Amazon, Aliexpress and Ebay. Our approach is
SECRETS FOR A DTC STRATEGY IN THE PHYSICAL SHOP While it is true that online sales will be a large part of business operations in the future, physical shops still retain their value and DTC techniques can be used there as well. Following the success of Live, Nike is planning another 200 shops in the United States based on the same model. During the period of restrictions, these shops compensated for the closures of shopping centres, with many consumes buying products or trying out the latest models of shoes and T-shirts online. In addition to providing economic benefits, Live strengthened the bond with Nike’s loyal customers and made the brand more visible to local communities. Now that things are gradually returning to normal, all aspects of retail need to be worked on to ensure a high level of customer experience in shops, starting with the displays that should favour eyecatching solutions that embody the brand name or environment. As Nike has done for its shops, merchandise should be positioned according to the geographical area and the level of local popularity. Finally, staff must be kept up to date on both products and new developments. Simple commitments for a successful DTC strategy.
Outdoor Toys for Summer By Alessandra Maccaferri After so much time spent indoors, it’s time for kids to enjoy summer outside with the best outdoor toys. Here is the latest news from some great companies.
offers stability and lightweight design, as well as durability, since it will not rust and is weather resistant. The soccer goal can be attached to the ground with a special anchor set, turning your garden into a professional soccer field. Exit Toys also makes a training wall, which can be easily attached to a wide range of soccer goals, to practice fantastic shooting techniques. Exit Toys also offers a wide range of trampolines of all shapes and sizes. The highlight of the collection is the Peak Pro, which sports a matte black finish with subtle color details and reflective poles - a real eye-catcher for the garden. Thanks to the extra-long 25 cm springs, trampoline fans can jump to dizzying heights and perform the coolest tricks. In addition to the long springs, the Peak Pro trampoline features extra wide, sturdy legs and an ultra-durable galvanized and painted frame. It features a safety goal with an overlapping door, and a ladder for easy access to the trampoline. It is available in square or round versions, with a selection of six different sizes. Exit Toys also manufactures swimming pools, gokarts and many other outdoor games.
Exit Toys In summer we naturally spend more time outdoors, in the garden, at the park, at the beach ... After so many months isolated from Covid 19 indoors, children have more desire than ever to be outside, to play and to go on some great adventures once again. Here are some new products from companies specializing in outdoor toys and games. Exit Toys is a Dutch company specializing in the production of outdoor games, bringing joy to both kids and parents. The
company is known for its wide assortment of premium soccer goals, available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, including sturdy metal goals and lightweight folding ones. Folding soccer goals are ideal for use at the park, beach or campground. They are flexible, lightweight and quick to assemble. The steel ones are especially popular for their high-quality, galvanized and powder-coated frames. They are available in bright green or modern matte black. Exit’s “Scala” soccer goals are manufactured from aluminum, which
Wilton Bradley Wilton Bradley has partnered with the iconic Volkswagen brand for a line of officially licensed camping, festival and beach products. One of the best-selling and award-winning items is the play tent. Based on the original T1 camper and perfect for indoor and outdoor use, it’s a mini, highly realistic version of the classic 1965 car. It can accommodate up to three children and features side and rear doors made just like the real thing! It provides UPF50+ protection, making it a great choice for parents who want to protect their children from the sun during a day at the beach, park or even a festival. It also has a Safari window opening. The tent is stored in a matching bag, opens in seconds, and because it has only a few poles to install, it is ready to use in a few minutes. Taking it apart is just as easy, and the bag makes it easy to carry. Swingroller is a fun, educational and safe toy perfect for outdoor play. It works on any flat surface allowing kids to get around and play all over the place! All you have
WindNSun to do is gently push left and right on the foot levers to move forward in a snakelike movement. It takes only two minutes to learn how to use and helps children improve their fine motor skills, essential for early childhood development. It is also very safe thanks to its low center of gravity which makes it impossible to tip over, plus it has no chains, gears or pedals. Braking is very easy, just put both feet on the ground to stop. Among its new beach toys Melissa & Doug has Seaside Sidekicks Funnel Fun. Kids can pour water or sand through this whimsical tower of sea creatures, then Melissa & Doug
watch as the different layers funnel, flip, rotate and sift. The cheerful colors and sea creature decorations add to the fun, and the carry handle makes it easy to take anywhere. And finally, the WindNSun company specializes in creating high-quality kites with innovative designs and durable fiberglass that are ideal for outdoor play. You can choose between gliders, nylon or polyethylene kites, and accessories including handles, reels, winders... Among their latest products is the licensed Frozen kite which depicts the character of Elsa in life-size. Recommended for ages eight and up, it is nearly five feet tall and can reach wind speeds of five to 12 mph.
BACK TO SCHOOL
Back to School: novelties and trends By Rossella Arena What will the trends and new products be for Back to School 2021/2022? Here are some previews from companies in the sector Back to school is always an exciting time for all children who look forward to having all kinds of new things to help them express themselves at school. From beloved characters to well designed and entertaining products, here are the latest trends, both licensed and unlicensed, from companies in the sector. Franco Cosimo Panini has licensed lots of new BTS products, staring with a new line from MGA. Following their global success with Bratz and LOL Surprise, MGA Entertainment is launching a new worldwide phenomenon: Rainbow High. The eagerly anticipated fashion dolls, already a hit in the United States, are now being distributed in the Italian market. The ingredients for guaranteed success are the same as they were for Bratz and LOL Surprise: unique and individual, collectible, and full of surprises, the
Rainbow High Fashion Dolls have already won over millions of little girls, helped in part by a strong marketing campaign. Franco Cosimo Panini has been appointed as licensee and is presenting the first exclusive and unmissable Rainbow High BTS bags collection: fashionable, colourful and with great attention to detail. Following its success on Netflix Fate: The Winx Saga launched its first BTS diary published by Panini. Fate has been a hit in every country that it has aired, climbing the rankings of the most viewed series
Rainbow High school collection by Panini
La Casa de Papel school collection by Panini in the world has permeated the world of fashion. Following partnerships with Diesel, Pull & Bear, Persol and Tezenis, Franco Cosimo Panini has created the first exclusive BTS collection inspired by the style and characters of the muchloved series. The line is made of matt coated fabric, black with red details, and features rubberized embossed prints reproducing the logo, the iconic Dali mask and the code names of the gang members. The unisex collection consists of different types of backpacks and pencil cases, a variety of paper products and a large assortment of writing tools. Another licensing novelty comes from YouTuber Lyon Gamer: his books are topping the charts and his brand-new
Diary Fate: The Winx Saga by Panini on Netflix and gaining a strong following among young audiences. After the extraordinary success of the first season, Netflix has already confirmed a second series. While excitement is growing for the soon to be released fifth season of La Casa de Papel, the most watched Netflix series
Lyon Gamer school collection by Panini
sticker and card album have already taken over newsstands. This will be Lyon’s golden year! Franco Cosimo Panini has curated a BTS collection of the most beloved youtuber of all time, distributed in all stationery stores and bookshops. For its back-to-school products, Pelikan is targeting children and students
The arms ensure that the tip and lead are always perpendicular to the paper for perfect circles. The grip contains spare leads and a sharpener. Once used, the tip and lead are sealed with a protective cap for easy transport in the case and to prevent damage. For middle and high school students Pelikan has brought out ILO®, a fountain pen with a young and dynamic design and a soft ergonomic grip, suitable for both right and left-handed people. Ilo features a 360° window in the barrel that lets you see when the ink is about to run out, and a flexible stainless-steel nib that prevents fatigue, for an extremely comfortable writing experience. All products come in sustainable packaging, in line with Pelikan’s ethos towards the environment. Giochi Preziosi has two lines among its new products. For young fans of the
Gormiti school collection by Giochi Preziosi
Wax crayons Griffix by Pelikan from around the world, focusing on performance, ergonomics, and sustainability. The goal is to provide the best tools for writing, colouring, or drawing, and to improve learning from pre-school onwards. There are two exciting new products for Griffix®, a leading pedagogical line. Firstly, their innovative double-tipped wax crayons with hollow triangular crosssection, suitable for both right-handed and left-handed people for correct handling and easy colouring. Their wax crayons have brilliant colours, excellent glide on paper and cardboard, and full stroke thanks to the pigments used and a special finish that doesn’t soil hands or fabrics. Then there is the revolutionary four-armed compass with parallelepiped technology, specially designed for children learning geometry; its shape, material and colours make it a fun school companion.
Gormiti school collection by Giochi Preziosi
Gormiti heroes, there are several products including backpacks and accessories. The rich collection has colourful graphics and includes an extendable backpack with a zip to increase load capacity (+ 9 cm). It is comfortable and roomy with a “Comfort back”, padded shoulder straps, front pocket, inside pocket and fabric handle. It has an interchangeable double flap so you can wear a different character every day. Don’t miss the round and kindergarten designs too. Cuccioli line by Giochi Preziosi
Gormiti school collection by Giochi Preziosi
Triple pencil case Cuccioli line by Giochi Preziosi The new Trolley bag is practical and comfortable, with two wheels and a padded, reinforced back, a front pocket, inside pocket, fabric handle, padded shoulder straps, telescopic handle, reinforced wheels, and shaped wheel covers. The triple pencil case has three compartments and three zips and is practical and easy to close. It contains 18 coloured pencils, 18 felt-tip pens, one blue Pilot Frixion pen, one red biro, one pencil, one eraser, one ruler, one sharpener, one pair of scissors. The Diary has 10 months of Gormitic graphics, 320 pages and two different assorted covers. Always by Giochi Preziosi, the Cuccioli line, with its pug and dachshund puppies, has a striking graphic style full of tenderness, but with a unique, ironic, and distinctive character. The backpack has two wonderful designs, with rich details and a front flap with a glittery, puffy effect.
Transparent case by Legami
Calcoolator by Legami
It is embellished with a special soft plush signed by Trudi. The collection also offers other products: kindergarten backpacks, two-wheeled trolleys, triple pencil cases and oval bags. Legami has also prepared an assorted collection of pens, pencils, erasers, and other useful accessories for school. The erasable gel pen has a ball at the end, that removes the heat-sensitive ink without eroding the paper - or itself! Erasable ink refills are also available in black, blue, red, green, or pink. The Rainbow pencil comes with an HB lead and a removable rainbowshaped eraser. Perfect for all kinds of use, at school, in the office and during leisure time, it is also a nice gift idea for a perfect #Rainbowlover. The avocado shaped Let’s Avocuddles Maxi Eraser is ready to turn every mistake into guacamole. The transparent TPU case has no secrets: it’s so transparent it shows exactly what’s in it, hiding nothing behind its zip! Calcoolator, Legami’s calculator, helps
Transparent case by Legami you do maths and, in your downtime, keep you entertained with a maze on the back. It turns off automatically after six minutes of inactivity, is pocket-sized, and has dual solar and battery power. With Brush Markers, a set of 12 brush-tipped felt-tip pens, you can create different effects and styles, depending on the angle and pressure used, perfect for drawing or handwriting with a truly WOW effect! The 12 markers come in 12 colours: pink, purple, light green, dark green, petrol blue, blue, yellow, orange, red, brown and black. And for lovers of cuddly kittens there are two products from the Meow line, a ruler and tape glue in the shape of a cute cat’s paw.
Fashion & Lifestyle
THE LATEST NOVELTIES
The latest news from the Fashion & Licensing world By Alessandra Maccaferri Despite the great difficulties of the last year, the Fashion sector has continued to produce new collections and partnerships. Here is the latest licensing news from the Fashion world. Over the last year the fashion world has found itself in serious difficulty and yet, by balancing its business between increasingly limited offline and an extremely robust online, it has continued to work on its collections. With the use of well-known brands and characters, Licensing can increase the appeal of products and create more interest in clothing and accessories. Here are some of the latest innovations in this area. Primitive Skate has teamed up with Corona beer to create an exclusive capsule collection for summer 2021. Corona beer was born in Mexico and as a brand embraces the simple pleasures of life on the beach, with a relaxed and positive
approach also shared by Primitive Skate. The collection is designed to approach life and long days at the beach in total relaxation. It includes a custom Baja poncho, surf shorts, hoodies, t-shirts with graphics, tank tops, hats... On its previous collection, Primitive Skate collaborated with Dragon Ball Super. In homage to the exciting DBS story arc “Tournament of Power”, heroes and villains are immortalized on t-shirts and accessories. Key pieces of this collection range from tie-dye sweatshirts featuring Jiren and Goku in battle, to a technical windbreaker
Dragon Ball Super collection by Primitive Skate
Corona capsule collection Summer 2021 by Primitive Skate
Corona capsule collection Summer 2021 by Primitive Skate
Fashion & Lifestyle
featuring Trunks with his sword drawn. Other iconic characters include Super Saiyan Blue Evolution Vegeta, Beerus, Fused Zamasu and Hit. In conjunction with the release of the film “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” from The Conjuring series, Warner Bros’ e-shop for its Horror Icons line has released a limited-edition clothing collection inspired by the movie. The exclusive apparel collection features three t-shirts with new artwork inspired by props from the film such as The Occultist Totem, The Chalice and The Skulls. “The Totem has been a huge prop,” said Kate Guanci, property manager for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. “It has been present in multiple scenes and is the connection between The Occultist and each of his victims.” The second t-shirt
Disney x Casetify collection
Impact and MagSafe series; “Mickey Checker Play” for the Impact and MagSafe series; and “Mickey Circle Checker” for the Impact, Ultra Impact and MagSafe series. Other Mickey Mouse line designs are available for Apple Watch straps, cell phone mounts, iPad cases, wireless charging pads and MacBook cases. In addition, there are different designs for AirPods and AirPods Pro, with protective cases with matching reflective finishes, clear covers and a new limited edition
Collection. Smartphone accessory company Casetify has released its third limited-edition collection designed in collaboration with Disney. Inspired by Mickey Mouse, it has a monochromatic line featuring a palette of black and white hues designed exclusively for Casetify accessories. It is
Disney x Casetify collection Mickey Monochrome 3-D silicone case. Wes Ng, CEO and co-founder of Casetify said, “The inspiration behind this collection is a reflection of Disney themes over the years, a fun concept to explore as Casetify celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. We hope fans enjoy this collection and experience the excitement and love that went into creating these special accessories.” The Disney x Casetify collection is available for purchase at casetify.com/disneyAdidas & Lego Vidiyo collection T-shirt “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do it” - Warner Bros Horror Collection in the collection features the Chalice in a horned design and the third t-shirt has a stylized skull design. “Stage assistant Madeline Grayson would order all kinds of things online that could potentially be used as bases that combined with different containers created unique items,” Guanci explained. “One of the things she picked up was a candelabra with fake deer antlers. It didn’t work at all for what we needed, but it gave us the idea to combine the elements of nature and animals to create the chalice.” All three t-shirts are available online at Warner Bros’ new horror fan shop, the WB Horror
decorated with a variety of designs, from checkered patterns to “warping mirror” effects; it includes several customized modes, including monogramming for selected styles. The iPhone case collection includes “Mickey Wavy Face” for the Mirror, Impact, Ultra Impact and MagSafe series; “Funny Mickey” for the Mirror, Impact, Ultra Impact and MagSafe series; and “Mickey Wavy Name” for the Floaty Glitter, Mirror and MagSafe series; “Mickey Silhouette Play” (customizable) for the Impact, Ultra Impact and MagSafe series; “Mickey Illusion Stickermania” for the Biodegradable Leather, Impact, Ultra
Fashion & Lifestyle
Adidas & Lego Vidiyo collection monochrome beginning June 17, with products shipped worldwide. Adidas and the LEGO Group have embarked on a new collaboration, as part of their well-established partnership. This latest apparel and footwear collection focuses on free expression through movement, taking inspiration from the LEGO VIDIYO play experience, designed to unleash children’s creativity through music and play. The pieces in this line
Adidas & Lego Vidiyo collection
were created with unique patterns and fun elements to encourage children to turn their world and wardrobe into a stage for self-expression. This comfortable line is ideal for play and takes its design features from the LEGO VIDIYO world. The goal is to ignite children’s imaginations and inspire them to express themselves freely without fear or judgment. By mixing, matching and customizing their unique looks, children can experience freedom, joy and confidence. Wider distribution of the collection began on June 1st. Designer Kenneth Cole and video game company Zynga, a brand that believes in personal diversity and celebrating differences, have collaborated on Kenneth Cole’s PRIDE 2021 collection, linked to the video game “High Heels!”. This collaboration provides a great opportunity to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month and also marks the first time Cole’s fashion will be featured in a mobile game. In the first two weeks of June, players were able to dress up their character and strut their stuff on the virtual runway with products from the collection, such as KAM sneakers with a rainbow stripe, t-shirts affirming that “Being different is what we have in common,” and other accessories like sunglasses, watches, and mask lanyards. Cole’s brand has been advocating for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community
for nearly 30 years. The partnership with Zynga stems from sharing common values to further emphasize the importance of inclusion and acceptance. As Cole clarified, “By incorporating the PRIDE collection into “High Heels!”, we’re allowing millions of people to experience the Pride celebration and have it as an important reminder that ‘being different is what we have in common.” The “High Heels!” game is available for free download on the App Store and Google Play. The Kenneth Cole PRIDE collection is available for purchase at KennethCole.com. Pride 2021 collection by Kenneth Cole and Zynga
Videogame boom By Andrea De Amicis In a year that has seen more of us stay at home than ever before due to the pandemic, there has been a real boom in video games. Here’s the latest news from the licensing market
online streaming content on platforms such as Twitch, YouTube and Facebook Gaming. What’s the latest licensing news for this thriving industry? Azerion has announced that it will develop and distribute five new Smurfs games. The games will be available worldwide on Azerion’s distribution channels, including web portals with access to 220 million players. In addition, selected games will be available exclusively on game subscription channels and telecommunications services. The games will be released at the same time as the new Smurfs TV series,
All over the world we are witnessing a real boom in the use of video games. In Italy, a new report published by IIDEA, the trade association for the video game industry, noted that in 2020 the video game market exceeded 2 billion euros, with an increase of 21.9% compared to the previous year. In addition to the Coronavirus restrictions, the increased turnover was also driven by the introduction to the market of nextgen consoles, PS5 and Xbox Series X. The biggest percentage increase was in the digital segment, which went from 602 million euros in 2019 to 799 million in 2020. Some people used video games to stay in touch with friends and feel less
isolated, some to overcome anxiety and stress, and some simply because they enjoyed them. The most popular devices used to play games were smartphones and tablets (10.7 million), followed by consoles (6.7 million) and PCs (7.2 million). The UK video game market reached a record £7 billion last year, an increase of 29.9% year-on-year, according to the UK Consumer Games Market Valuation 2020 report from Ukie, the industry trade body. This doesn’t just include the sale of video games (digital or packaged), but also game consoles; accessories such as controllers, keyboards, toys and merchandise; and
which will air in Europe and the U.S. later this year. Azerion’s developers will build on the Smurfs’ positive values for gamers emphasizing ideas such as teamwork, skill development and environmental awareness. The casual games developed by Azerion will surely increase the appeal of its various platforms to preschool and tween demographic groups. Kongregate, a free-to-play mobile game developer, has announced their latest title in development, SpongeBob’s Idle Adventures, coming to mobile devices in partnership with Nickelodeon. Created by Kongregate’s studio, Ultrabit, SpongeBob’s Idle Adventures lets players go on underwater adventures with SpongeBob, Squiddi, Mr. Krabs, Plankton and more. The game begins at Sandy’s birthday party when Patrick breaks his vortex machine sending everyone into a new dimension. Idle Adventures is scheduled for release this summer on iOS and Android. It will presumably use microtransactions to generate revenue. The SpongeBob series continues to be very popular: 2020’s Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated sold more than 1 million copies, a stratospheric
included on King Jr. menus. Using the phone’s camera to position the character’s nest, the player is tasked with keeping it safe. A photo of the virtual experience can also be saved. Moonbug Entertainment Ltd. and Amazon Kids+ are collaborating to create, produce and distribute new content for kids. Initial projects include the new mobile game Arpo, along with an original success for Koch Media. In addition to the games, Nickelodeon will launch a new SpongeBob spinoff on St. Patrick’s Day in July. Rovio Entertainment has once again partnered with Burger King by pairing Angry Birds plush toys with King Jr. menus, along with a new highly immersive augmented reality (AR) experience. Guests visiting participating Burger King locations around the world can access the webbased AR experience through a QR code inside the restaurants and on items such as plush toys and menu boxes. The AR experience is built with Zappar’s WebAR technology. After scanning the code with their phone, guests select a virtual Angry Birds plush toy, which replicates the toys
animated series, Arpo Robot Babysitter, both based on the popular YouTube show Arpo. This is an animated slapstick comedy show for 3-7 year olds. The nonverbal format is designed to entertain children of all languages and backgrounds. In addition to its new relationship with Amazon Kids+, Moonbug has negotiated partnerships for its programs with more than 100 streaming platforms on a local and global scale including Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Sky and Tencent, and has a category-leading audience on Amazon Prime Video and YouTube.
LOVE BRAND, THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CUSTOMERS AND BRANDS BEYOND THE PRODUCT By Matteo Melani In order to win the loyalty of consumers, it isn’t enough just to offer quality products and carry out good marketing campaigns, you must also inspire an emotional response by communicating a brand’s identity. In recent years, a number of brands have implemented love-brand techniques, i.e. communication methods that capture the public’s interest both rationally and emotionally. As the name implies (love really means love), the aim of love-branding is to ensure that consumers cannot live without certain products. Brands that have set the standard for this method include Apple, which has transformed its devices into symbol objects; Nutella, to which an American blogger has dedicated a special Nutella day every February 5th, and Coca-Cola, which has conquered generations of children. Love brand techniques can cover several areas of communication, from online (social networks, websites and video platforms) to offline (exhibitions or events). Even a small brand can implement love-brand strategies and become an
institution for its target audience. Here is all the information you need to get some brand love.
TECHNIQUES FOR A SUCCESSFUL STRATEGY In order to stand out from the competition by transforming a simple brand into a love-brand, there are methods to follow as described by the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi in their guide on lovebranding. The three ingredients are:
mystery, sensuality and intimacy. A communication strategy based on mystery must attract interest, and to make it feel genuine you can develop a backstory that talks about the brand’s past, its founding values and even the myths and icons that inspired it. Among the brands that have successfully spoken of their past in their history is Coca-Cola, which features the historic Father Christmas in its advertising campaigns. The same applies to Dolce and Gabbana, which promotes its collections with an emphasis on Italian-made products. Sensuality, on the other hand, means the ability to seduce through the stimulation of the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. Several brands that have their own shops or shopping centres draw on olfactory marketing (Hollister), while some temporary stores rely on special sounds or lights. Intimacy, on the other hand, has to do with the sense of belonging to a brand and the bond that is created with one’s customers. In order to build a solid relationship with your customers, you need to be sensitive to the same themes and issues that are of interest to and a priority of your target audience. For example, by signing up to awareness campaigns with NGOs or
in a clear demonstration of true love that not even the law has been able to break. charities, or by creating a community around the brand, such as organising forums or competitions.
WHEN A CONSUMER PAYS HOMAGE TO A BRAND: THE CASE OF NUTELLA
In short, these are all techniques that can be used by a small or large brand, whether it is a manufacturer or just a retailer.
For years, the slogan “What would the world be without Nutella” has featured in commercials and billboard advertising for Ferrero’s delicious creation. Well, to celebrate the love it enjoys all over the world, there was no need for any commitment on the part of the multinational company, just the initiative
APPLE AND THE EFFECTS OF THE LOVE-BRAND In addition to increasing prestige and customers, love-brand techniques allow you to make good with your users in case of mistakes or disputes. That’s right. The case of Apple’s I-phones is a clear example of this. In recent years, consumer associations from all over the world have brought class-action suits against Apple, accusing it of planned obsolescence, i.e. of having limited the life of its devices to such an extent that after a predetermined period they become unusable or outdated. In this way, consumers are encouraged to buy other, more advanced devices from the same manufacturer. The class-actions have ended in court sentences or compensation, but the brand with the bitten apple has not lost its prestige and the iPhones continue to sell
of a blogger. In 2007, American Sara Rossi spontaneously decided to create a day to celebrate Nutella, sharing photos and videos of her passion for the famous spread on Facebook. In just a few years, World Nutella Day has become a worldwide event and, with the rise of other social networks such as Twitter and Instagram, its number of followers and interactions has also increased. In addition to the web, World Nutella Day has also inspired other initiatives such as kiosks or pop-up shops in town squares or shopping centres on February 5th. By focusing on emotions, it is possible to win brand love that goes far beyond sales.
Children’s publishing properties: the latest news By Rossella Arena The publishing industry, from children’s books and novels to comics and magazines, has always been a great inspiration for the licensing world. Find out what’s new for some classic IPs.
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The Elf on the Shelf - cake mug by Kimm & Miller Scout Elves and Elf Pets® adopted since the book’s publication in 2005. Christmas 2020 saw the strongest year to date for the licensed product in the UK with 74% growth and new license categories including health and beauty, confectionery, games and puzzles. The Lumistella Company and Rocket Licensing are further expanding The Elf on the Shelf® offerings for Christmas 2021 to celebrate cherished family moments in the holiday season.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Babywear by Baby Mori Since its first publication in 1969, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle quickly became a classic story, read and loved by three generations. It currently sells one copy every 15 seconds. Winner of three international and UK licensing awards in 2020, the brand is managed globally by The Joester Loria Group. In February, Baby Mori launched a beautiful
range of super soft and sustainable baby and children’s clothing, and in May a major partnership was launched with ZSL London Zoo. A wide range of new products will also be introduced throughout the rest of 2021, including gardening, apparel, toys and outdoor games. The Elf on the Shelf® has become a timeless Christmas story and family tradition, with 19 million
®/TM/© 2020 CCA and B, LLC d/b/a The Lumistella Company. All Rights Reserved.
video placements, YouTube ads, media partnerships and all Highlights’ marketing channels. An Audible miniseries will feature American comic book characters Goofus and Gallant, and a podcast titled “Dear Highlights” by director Christine French Cully will explore what children’s letters can teach us about childhood and how to spark meaningful conversations
2021 marks the 70th anniversary of Dennis, Beano’s iconic and mischievous character, beloved by four generations of parents and children. The big birthday is being celebrated with a year of major marketing and licensing activity, including the launch of new products in the UK from Tower Mint for commemorative coins, Prickly Thistle for bespoke tartans and Arthouse for home decor. A major Easter partnership and activity trail took place this April with Kew Gardens in London, and a historical exhibition with Somerset House will open in October of this year. Rebel Girls’ mission is to inspire and empower 50 million girls around the world to dream big, aim higher, and stay
rebellious. The bestselling Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls anthologies have sold more than 6 million copies in 51 different languages, and the fourth anthology, 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic, will be released this fall as part of a rapidly growing publishing portfolio for the brand. The digital and experiential branches of the brand are also growing, with a Rebel Girls app launching in 2021 and Rebel Girls Fest events now taking place twice a year. In the U.K., Gibsons is expanding its range of successful games and puzzles for 2021, following the recent launch of a card game in late 2020. Founded in Pennsylvania by two experienced educators, Highlights for children is a wonderful magazine created to be shared with the whole family while positively engaging children. It has always focused on evolving and improving its look and content to help youngsters become curious, creative, confident and authentic. Highlights has become a trusted global brand, reaching children ages 0-12 through its popular magazines and books, multi-platform digital experiences, toys, games, podcasts and more. It also works with licensees and partners to bring its stories and activities to a wide range of products. To celebrate its 75th anniversary this year, there are plans for a partnership with Audible, an expanded licensing plan, podcasts, two major new titles based on the magazine’s flagship features, Hidden Pictures and Dear Highlights, exclusive offers on Highlights products and 75 days of giveaways on social channels. A Highlights campaign titled “All it Takes...” kicked off in late May, encouraging adults to immerse themselves in life’s little moments and listen to kids. It will run through 2022 and will be promoted through social media, national
Rebel Girls Card Game by GIbsons with young kids. In August, Highlights will add a new title to its Hidden Pictures franchise, which will feature a variety of innovative search-and-find puzzles with more than 1,500 hidden objects. In addition, the Flashlight Hidden Pictures board game produced by Buffalo Games will debut in time for the 2021 holiday season.
The 2022 Almanac of Fun by Highlights for children
THE INSIGHTS FAMILY
The Insights Family: Post Pandemic Children’s Habits During the International Kids Licensing Day, organized by Bologna Children’s Book Fair on 11 May, Jonathan Watson, Chief Product Officer, The Insights Family®, UK presented an overview of how children’s habits have changed during this pandemic period and what to expect next from them.
The Insights family is the global leader in kids parents and family Market intelligence. Its mission is to become the business critical partner for the world’s top brands. Every year it surveyed more than half a million kids, parents and families across the globe. During the International Kids Licensing Day, organized on line by Bologna Children’s Book Fair on last 11 May, Jonathan Watson, Chief Product Officer, The Insights Family®, presented an overview of how children’s habits have changed during this pandemic period and what to expect next from them. A precious tool to provide a kind of guide on how to capture their attention in the future to build products and brand awareness. For the industry survey 2021, they spoke to a hundred and fifteen Brands and professionals across the world of kids not just in licensing but in content and toys marketing as well. 75% of companies are confident they can achieve their
business targets in the coming year. 38% say they’re going to spend more on research or development in the next year. 8 in 10 businesses, feel like they won’t be operating the same way in two years time. And then it is likely that even after Covid it will take some time to recover, with 90% reporting that it will be affected by an economic downturn. 7 in 10 Toy companies believe they can make a difference in the world of sustainability as well, an important subject for kids. Kids of this generation are super informed. They’re constantly connected and their attitudes, behaviors and consumptions are not only different, but they’re constantly changing. They live in a world that has never known the absence of an iPhone, Spotify, Youtube or Netflix; in Europe 69% own their mobile device or tablet, so they have access to all this content and technology globally. Having plenty of content to watch online,
it’s definitely a very visual generation, even when it comes to learning. But kids they don’t just want to watch and consume content, but to co-create, build and develop their own personalized experiences. They want to influence the world, on platforms like Youtube and TikTok, but also in the household. In 2021 compared to 2020, many things have changed online and offline. Children around the world are spending more money on apps and online shopping in general. The influence of children in their own homes increased by 31% for the age group 6-9 and by 28% for the age group 10-12. Their influence is recognizable not only over kid purchases such as toys or TV subscriptions, podcasts and audiobooks but for Kitchen Appliances, Parents Clothing, New car purchases.
“The new habits of children are changing the licensing perspective. Kids and parents are expecting more from their content or toys, not only entertainment, but also edutainment”. - Jonathan Watson -
increase of audio content in general. For entertainment kids don’t need to be able to read or write to interact with a smart speaker for content. One recent app called Clubhouse is just an example of a new type of audio based social media. It’s not used by many kids, just a few percent of teenagers. Smart speakers have changed the way how we interact with content and information. This is one of the reasons why we’ve seen podcasts booming as well as Spotify making big investments into this exclusive content tip.
The gaming trend is quickly becoming number one, with an acceleration due to the pandemic. In Europe 81% of kids 6 to 9 play video games. In the UK, almost 80% of 6-9 year olds play games with their parents, 20% of families in Italy. So gaming is their favorite hobby to do together. Esports is another huge Trend that accelerated due to the pandemic, that has slowly become part of the mainstream as well, 21% of kids as young as 12 up to 16, play any sports and even 7% of the youngest take part. TV still commands, with a huge audience and viewers at every age. Children aged 6 to 9 are watching almost 9 hours of TV per week in the US and Europe, compared to 6 hours of gaming. Another trend is the rise of audio content, a real audioboom. We’re seeing the growth of kids who own smart speakers and the
they’re concerned about a range of topics, not just coronavirus, but also racism and gender inequality. They are really trying to make a difference, changing their purchase habits. They need their brands to have a purpose and align with their values as well. At the end of his speech Jonathan Watson stated: “The new habits of children are changing the licensing perspective. Kids and parents are expecting more from their content or toys, not only entertainment, but also edutainment”.
Kids and families are paying more attention to their mental health. They use apps such as Headspace, doing meditation and practicing mindfulness. For physical health, you’re seeing the rise of smart watches such as Apple watches growing with kids to manage their activity. Kids want to change the world, and
To download free reports of the Insights Family: try.theinsightsfamily.com/bologna
KIDINFLUENCE GLOBAL 2021
EVERY CHILD IS AN INFLUENCER At the International Kids Licensing Day, organised by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair on May 11th, Morena D’Incoronato, Vice President Research & Portfolio Strategy, VIACOMCBS, presented the research Kidinfluence Global 2021. Kidinfluence Global 2021 is a global study conducted by VIACOMCBS that provides an in-depth analysis of family dynamics, in particular the influence children have on purchasing decisions and spending habits. Morena D’Incoronato, Vice President Research & Portfolio Strategy for VIACOMCBS, presented the findings of the report at the International Kids Licensing Day event organised by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair on May 11th. The study was conducted globally in
order to better understand how the influence of children within the family has changed following the major changes of the last two years. It was carried out in 17 countries by surveying more than 4000 children between the ages of 6 and 12 and their families. The first finding is that children and parents are in complete agreement on the role of children in shopping decisions: 81% of children 6-12 believe they have a role in this, and for 26% it is a major one. 80% of parents also agree and 23% recognise it as a strong role for their kids. How did this come about? Today’s generation of families are made up of millennial parents who have adopted a progressive set of values that include a respect for different points of view,
collaboration and sharing. That’s why children have come to be so involved and included in every purchasing decision. During the pandemic kids were at home much more and got the opportunity to be valued as pioneers capable of bringing a new dynamic to family life and to liven up the atmosphere. Their decision-making involvement covers a wide range of categories (entertainment, food & groceries, travel & holidays, restaurants, svod...), with important consequences. Their choices are not just a matter of choosing a film or series to watch together, but also on what kind of technology to use for accessing content. Influence also concerns food spending, not just for themselves but for the whole family. Even for travel and holidays, the involvement of young people is really significant because contemporary families have shown that they want to create lasting memories together. The statistics for kids involvement in all categories are
surprisingly high, so what has become evident is that their influence is definitely not limited to one specific area. For example, kids’ decision making influence on the choice of a TV is 46%, not just for subscriptions but also appliance model. Another interesting fact is that three out of 10 children play a role in the purchase of a car, and here there are no big differences between boys and girls. The influence of all children on every household expense is now clear, a trend that has come to stay. This generation also has enormous spending power, because children receive money in many different ways and for different reasons. 87% have their own money: because of their assets, children generate an impressive spending power of 740 million euros per week. They are very careful about how they spend their money, not least because a large proportion of them have directly experienced financial problems within the household. So how
do they spend their money? Distributed amongst various categories: first of all on toys, but also food & beverage, apparel and, for the biggest of the group, gaming consoles and accessories. Online shopping is becoming more important for them than it was last year. Children and young people find themselves looking at Amazon reviews and comparing product prices. However, even though e-commerce has become more and more popular they still prefer
in-store experiences with the family. They long for a return to real life after the extended periods of confinement due to the pandemic. 83% of children ask their parents to take them to the stores they love, 75% think they will have much more fun visiting the shop in person than shopping online. In conclusion, what is the advice for brands based on this research? They need to take into consideration the perspective and opinions of children because they
have proven to be masters of persuasion with parents and have a big influence on spending. Brands need to have a family perspective, taking into account all family members and their desire to make choices together. As Morena D’Incoronato says: “The study had a strong impact on the VIACOMCBS strategy, particularly in terms of communication. We have focused on addressing not only children but the whole family, creating fun experiences that are accessible to all”.
“The study had a strong impact on the VIACOMCBS strategy, particularly in terms of communication. We have focused on addressing not only children but the whole family, creating fun experiences that are accessible to all”. - Morena D’Incoronato -
THE TRENDS OF THE MOMENT ACCORDING TO KIDZGLOBAL On the occasion of the International Kids Licensing Day, organised by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair on 11 May, LM interviewed Ivan Colecchia, SVP Global Development at KidzGlobal, to find out more about current trends.
Ivan Colecchia the big companies and classic brands that have had an increase: given the uncertain times, the need for familiarity and connection with something known has grown. Well-established brands were
In these particularly difficult times, when the only constant seems to be change, it is very important to rely on data and trends in order to make the right choices for your company. Kidz Global, the world’s leading market research agency in the licensing sector and in the analysis of consumption by families, children and teens, makes a fundamental contribution. Ivan Colecchia, SVP Global Development participated as a speaker at the International Kids Licensing Day, the online event organised by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair on 11 May, where he provided an overview of the licensing market and the trends to follow. LM interviewed him for the occasion to find out more about current trends. Have you observed any recurring characteristics in the more popular
properties, and in your opinion which elements in particular are making them successful in the market today? In the last few years, we have been witnessing a progressive reduction of social interaction for our children. This has allowed the digital world to take over more and more. Digital media is used as a surrogate or to maintain friendships; parents also use it as a support to occupy and entertain their children, not only at home but in various everyday situations. This phenomenon reached its peak during the pandemic, as parents found themselves with their children at home, still needing to work remotely, and as a result children used more television, tablets, mobile phones... Content creators took advantage of this situation and all have generally enjoyed good success. However, it is mainly
much more popular than new brands. For many reasons, companies have slowed down the launch of new products. For example, film companies have postponed the launch of films that were ready for summer 2020 by 1-3 years. The most popular content was the cartoon. Youtube also exploded, because the need for certainty and familiarity pushed children to become attached to the creators, to want to interact with other children and real people. An example of an established brand is the Italian Me vs. You, but the phenomenon is happening all over the world. Kid influencers are gaining more and more space and are also generating billions of views. There are many successful influencers who have not yet been discovered and have not become a brand, so we can expect a lot of news in this area in the future. During your speech you talked about sustainability. How is the Second Hand Market important now and how are brands relating to this concept? Sustainability is also one of the big trends at the moment, to the point where there are now proper conferences organised for the licensing sector. Brands are adhering by making products from recycled materials (plastics...), also acquiring old toys, clothes etc. and using them to create new ones. In addition to companies, reuse is indirectly implemented by street markets, and by many associations that
give a second life to toys and other objects, in various contexts from schools to recreational clubs. On an educational level, the work of companies can help raise awareness among young people. If you talk to children about environmental issues, they will pick up on them clearly, it is important that they grow up taking great care of the world they live in. Of all the services you offer, which is now the most popular? Definitely BrandTrends, a tool that gives us a clear view of the interest of the public and the actual positioning of a brand. For the surveys we have expanded the age range, from 0 to 65. For the near future we will focus on the 25-65 bracket, divided into further sections. We are pleased about this because it will also give greater understanding to what licensing means for groups that until now were totally unrepresented. The thing we are proud of is that we can provide data for all kinds of brands, including popular characters (even Donald Trump), books, influencers and youtubers, sports..., taking into account all the categories into which each is declined. Given the current difficult moment, how are you projecting yourselves into the future and what are the next research areas you would like to focus on? We are working on expanding BrandTrends, which is already a comprehensive tool
but lends itself to many spin-offs. It was created with a focus on Entertainment, to which we have added a specialisation on TV Shows, which are interesting to follow because TV series or TV productions are growing but with a different path to their main characters. Another area that we will soon be launching is influencers and creators, because it is constantly developing and many people are relying on it more and more. Data is fundamental to assessing the actual functionality of this type of brand: it’s one thing to know Chiara Ferragni and follow her on social networks, it’s another to know for sure who is willing to buy her line of bags. So you can understand the real connection between branding and merchandising. Another area where we are expanding at the moment is sport, particularly football. Globally there are already a lot of people who are influencers and brands but are not monitored by anyone. In this way we can have a clear indication of the brand to focus on, also because today sports teams, with the lack of spectators at the games, have had a sharp drop in revenues and need to buffer the crisis by developing transversal resources.
making game-themed purchases etc. The same thing is being done by some influencers, who are becoming real brands, reaching different product categories with their image. The main achievement is to make the brand permanent, turning it into an IP.
In your opinion, apart from the trends you have described, are there any other priorities that brands should cultivate now? More than developing new trends, brands should definitely work on creating a stable relationship with children. Their attention is more and more volatile, it moves easily from one brand to another. Every brand
should aim to develop a very strong engagement through a path that connects the brand value with the daily habits of the child. A successful example is Twich, the video game livestreaming platform. It has succeeded in engaging kids not only in using the games directly, but also in the experience of watching other users play,
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