brands over youtube ads

Just IN: Youtube partners with MerchBar to sell music swag

In what is certainly likely to provide an added fillip to the music industry – TechCrunch reports that YouTube has decided to jump headfirst into the music merchandising business by enabling its community of influencers to offer a range of premium merchandise to their fans from “a shelf just below the video”.

The story goes on to report that “Merchbar today carries more than 1 million items from 35,000 artists, making it one of the largest music merchandise aggregators worldwide.”

When there’s an opportunity for innovation, can Marshmellow be far behind?

Marshmello x merchbar
Pic courtesy TechCrunch

Earlier in the year, we had reported on his groundbreaking collab with Fortnite to host a concert from his bedroom!

Unfortunately fans in India will have to wait (as usual) since the feature is live only in the US. We have reached out to Satya Raghavan (Director, YouTube Content Partnerships, India) to get more details on the India launch date and shall keep you posted!

Planet Superheroes is on a mission to take over the country one store at a time!

Ready, steady, fly!

Planet Superheroes recently announced its store expansion footprint to go beyond the metros of India. With six new retail stores in the last quarter – they have expanded into towns like Jabalpur, Surat, Mangalore, and Vapi making the total count at 25 across India. With 10 more stores opening in the next quarter, Planet Superheroes is leading the way in terms of its omnichannel footprint across both physical and online channels.

Planet Superheroes was launched in 2014 to cater to the huge comic fan community of India which was hungry for a brand focused on providing officially licensed character merchandise. In a market that had been widely polluted with counterfeit products, Planet Superheroes took the leap of faith that Indian customers wanted value for money and preferred official merchandise with consistent quality over counterfeit products. They have now established themselves as a market leader in just under five years both in terms of retail footprint and in the breadth of characters and categories they sell. They have also established a pan India distribution in the toys category to cater to the Mom and Pop Stores of India that still rely on traditional distribution channels.

In terms of licensing partnerships, they work with almost every major licensor from Disney, Warner Brothers, EONE, Viacom, Spin Master and Hasbro bringing joy to its end customers across age categories from Pre-School to hardcore Action Figure Fans who have no age limit! They sell 50+ categories from Apparel, Toys, Collectibles, Electronics and Accessories to name a few. They have also been winners of the Comic-Con Gold Awards for two years in succession.

Licensing in India

The Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey 2018 estimated that the global licensing industry is worth $271.6 Bn. However, licensing in India is still at a nascent stage. But the entry of licensees like Planet Superheroes, coupled with advancements in technology and ever-expanding marketplaces have provided the much-needed tailwinds needed for the growth of this sector. There is still a lack of retail players as traditional retailers do not understand the power of curation. As one of the earliest licensed merchandise brands, Planet Superheroes started focusing on creating ‘character merchandise’ as a category in itself and became a forerunner in bringing this concept to end consumers. While brands like Hamleys, Reliance, Lifestyle etc. also sell character merchandise in silos under Apparel, Electronics, Toys, Planet Superheroes has taken a contrarian “curated category” approach on the lines of other global players in the world that have succeeded in this space.

Challenges

The most important challenge in retail is managing the expectations of the mall owners who often expect Planet Superheroes’ “trading density” (Revenue per square foot) to be on par with other premium fashion brands. This is a challenge because, despite the better than average conversion, the average price of these products are much lower compared to the bigger brands who command a much larger premium. However, after successfully executing its first 5 stores and proving the value addition, most mall operators now approach them to become a part of their upcoming mall launches because of the uniqueness and customer engagement value that they bring to the mall. They currently work with almost all the marquee mall developers from Phoenix Mills, Viviana, Nexus, Infiniti, VR Mall and Forum to name a few.

Way Forward

Planet Superheroes will continue to expand its retail footprint into territories that are underserved. Their next focus will be in the Eastern and Northern parts of India going as far as Guwahati in the North East of India. Planet Superheroes is a brand with a technology DNA – their technical ambitions surpass their current scale. While most retailers 5x their size have started thinking about these problems, Planet Superheroes has been quietly investing in leveraging automation, data-warehousing and intelligent algorithms to crack the complex world of omnichannel inventory management. They strongly believe that their robust tech infrastructure and process-driven expansion would be key differentiators as they scale from store number 25 to 100.

Special thanks to Jaineel Aga & Nikita Zankar from Team PlanetSuperHeroes.

 

 

Adidas scores shoppable ‘Snapchat’ game

Adidas has partnered with AvatarLabs and Dick’s Sporting Goods to create an 8-bit “Snapchat” baseball title that unlocks access to purchase a pair of cleats in-game.

Called “Baseball’s Next Level,” the game is an old-school home run derby game that lets players swing away as some of Adidas’ MLB signed athletes. Playable characters include Aaron Judge (Yankees), Carlos Correa (Astros), Alex Bregman (Astros), Justin Turner (Dodgers) and Kiké Hernandez (Dodgers). According to Engadget, each of the athletes in the game have their own Adizero or Icon V cleats, which can be bought directly from the competition.

The Adidas partnership marks the first time “Snapchat” has sold real-life products inside a game. While the game is not considered a Snap Games title, such as the new “Subway Surfers” game from Sybo, Adidas has previously worked closely with “Snapchat” to create AR-based shopping experiences for its apparel and accessories. The AR experience lets users digitally try on the Adidas Ultraboost shoes directly in the “Snapchat” app.

source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/video-games/adidas-scores-shoppable-snapchat-game

Casio celebrates anniversary with Pokemon

To celebrate the 25thanniversary of the first women’s BABY-G shock-resistant watch, Casio has collaborated with The Pokémon Company – in particular Pokémon 025 in the Pokédex, Pikachu – to design a milestone watch.

Encapsulating 1996’s style, the BABY-G watch brings a polygon-style Pikachu, lightening marks and Poké Balls together for a bright new product for both kids and the original players of Pokémon Red and Blue.

Dubbed the BGD560PKC-1, the new brand licensing collaboration from Casio and Pokémon launches in November at select fashion boutiques, online at g-shock.com and at Macy’s.

source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/apparel-accessories/casio-celebrates-anniversary-pokemon

BLE announces Fashion theme for 2020

Following a successful run in 2019, the organizers of Brand Licensing Europe have announced that fashion will be the sole theme for 2020.

This year’s event achieved record visitor numbers once again with a rise of 3 percent to 8,062 and exhibiting companies also increased from 264 to 268.

Next year’s event, which returns to ExCeL London on Oct. 6-8, 2020, will encompass all things fashion licensing: apparel, footwear, accessories and beauty. Early stage plans include a live catwalk, with dramatic-themed fashion shows beamed onto all digital screens throughout the venue.

“BLE has become infamous for its themes and we are so excited about next year’s, we’ve been planning it for months,” says Anna Knight, vice president of licensing, Informa Markets. “What I love about fashion in licensing is how inclusive it is. It’s accessible to every BLE exhibitor and its appeal is universal: it’s relevant to every demographic and is gender, race, age and generation neutral.

“We all have an emotional connection with fashion,” continues Knight. “For years, toys have traditionally been the gateway to consumer products for brands. But apparel is now helping to drive experiences and build brands, especially for categories like eSports, which have an older, hardcore, merch-driven, fanbase. At BLE 2020, we will be exploring fast fashion, haute couture collabs, sustainability, the economy and more. One of the reasons we moved BLE to ExCeL was the potential it offered to create a more experiential show. We proved that this year with our activations and Fresh off the Runway showcase. But next year, our fashion theme will highlight what BLE at ExCeL can offer exhibitors and visitors.”

BLE 2019’s activations included Beyond the Book (publishing), Arcade (gaming and eSports) and Heritage x Interiors.

“They were a huge hit with visitors: interactive, inspirational, bold and beautiful; a real testament to the impact creative, successful licensing programs can have at retail,” adds Knight.

BLE 2020 takes place at ExCeL London from Oct. 6-8, 2020. Find out more at www.brandlicensingeurope.com

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/licensing-events/ble-announces-fashion-theme-2020

The industry remembers David Cardwell

Rainbow Production’s David Scott leads the tributes to the co-founder of CPL who sadly passed away last week.

David Cardwell was an inspirational man. Many of us know all about the successes of CPL (or CPLG as it is now called) over the past 45 years, but few people know that he worked his way up from an under-privileged background, leaving school at 14 and coming to London full of ideas, energy and ambition. He worked as an errand boy for the Daily Express, helped create the Elvis Monthly (and relished the chance to interview Elvis himself).

He then worked as a music journalist, including for NME, became a publicist and manager for new pop music acts, most notably The Paper Dolls and Pikketywitch, and then in 1974 mortgaged his family house to help fund the first big contract for the just-founded CPL, working with Cosgrove Hall to make a TV series of Noddy.

And that was before most of us in licensing had even met him…

In those early days, together with his business partner Richard Culley, and along with a very small number of other pioneers and competitors, they established the UK licensing industry. David was someone who has not only helped shape a sector of British business, but also our very way of life and how we consume and interact with entertainment and the media. There are generations of people who have treasured memories of their childhood characters who will never know that their pleasure was enhanced by toys, clothing and a myriad of other items that only exist as they do today because of the drive, vision and creativity displayed by David, Richard and their competitors/colleagues some decades earlier.

CPL grew to become a major player in, firstly, UK licensing followed by an expansion into mainland Europe via a joint-venture called ELG (combining latterly with CPL to become CPLG). Indeed, it became a global success with a worldwide reach and a key port of call for overseas and home-grown rights owners wishing to exploit their brands in the markets where CPL was established. Always at the forefront of the industry, CPL was a veritable academy of licensing and many of its old boys and girls have themselves gone on to become leading lights in the licensing business.

It was a sad coincidence that we should hear the news about David’s death during BLE as the very first licensing exhibitions, and the forerunners of BLE, were supported by CPL which was such a strong player in the licensing world by that time. However, it gave those of us who knew him a chance to meet and chat together and reminisce about David and relate our favourite stories. I have included some of these stories, and thoughts, all recounted with affection by people whose lives, like mine, were changed by their good fortune in knowing him.

I am indebted to Dr Sarah Cardwell Davies, David’s daughter, who kindly provided the details of David’s early years and below are comments from a small number of those who knew him.

David - pictured with his business partner, Richard Culley - helped shape a sector of the British licensing business.
David – pictured with his business partner, Richard Culley – helped shape a sector of the British licensing business.

David Cardwell – Reminiscences from Friends & Colleagues

“It was a bold decision when David and I set up CPL in 1974; back then character licensing really was in its infancy.  Most of the outside world had no idea what we were talking about and had doubts we could make a living (Noddy on t-shirts? What next!). We proved them wrong, of course.

Our enduring partnership I believe lasted as long as it did, mainly because we complemented each other perfectly, were passionate about what we were doing and had the ability to make each other laugh. At the beginning David was the money man and I was acquiring rights and selling licences. It worked; we built from there. David became so knowledgeable I started to believe he’d crept off and done an accountancy degree such was his overnight ability to challenge more than one accountant, and mostly he was right.

Building the company together from scratch was challenging and exciting in equal measure. We had enormous fun over the years, took risks and many paid off. It became a little more serious when we sold to Mosaic and then went public, but at the start we really were living by the seat of our pants. One day David told me simply, we were running out of money. As luck would have it, I received a cheque that day for an advance on one of the first licences we’d secured. We celebrated in the very first branch of Pizza Express in Soho!   The next week David issued a set of rules: no taxis, no couriers (all mail in London to be delivered by foot or bus), no business lunches and a freeze on hiring. He was right, of course!

I feel blessed to have met David, follow our dream and grow CPL with him into the global success it has become.”
Richard Culley

“It’s difficult to dissociate David from the industry and my career – he gave me my first break in the business, as he did to so many. He had a strategic business mind and was a visionary – he was perhaps the first to see the opportunity for toy driven licensing/brand extensions. Knickerbocker Toy – which quickly became Hasbro Europe – was a client, with My Little Pony being one of the first of those properties to launch in the UK when I joined CPL in 1984. David quickly saw the opportunity as MLP became a craze and Hasbro could not keep up demand for toy products so licensed merchandise from CPL met that demand. Toy buyers were taken by surprise… one I remember calling it ‘My Little Warthog’ and refusing to stock it… oops!”
Charles Day

“He was a visionary and a mentor to me, as he was to so many others.”
Caroline Mickler

“David was one of a kind and I was privileged to have worked for him. He gave me an opportunity that I will be forever grateful for as it changed my life. There are so many memories to pull from such as weekly dinners at Chez Gerard or late nights at the Essex House bar in New York during Licensing Show, but my most memorable were the many meetings in the 12th floor board room on Percy Street where I would desperately try to breathe through a cloud of smoke as I hung my head out the window gasping for some fresh air which needless to say was always a challenge in Central London. They broke the mould with David and he will be missed.”
Kirk Bloomgarden

“David Cardwell, a true entrepreneur and visionary, a great friend and mentor. I knew him as an industry leader and his unique business style was very apparent when in the space of one week, he agreed to let me open up the first CPLG office in Germany in 1996, after having bought the remaining shares of the ELG operation. In the early Nineties (1992-1995), he started a pan-European agency network, a testament to his vision of future market developments.

As a smoker I fondly remember his office in Percy Street being a bit ‘smoky’, unlike his business instinct and decisions. When he last bought back CPLG from a Swiss based sports licensing company, he offered several members of his team the possibility to invest in the company and I remember him pushing us to stop reading the 150 plus pages purchase agreement, as everything should be fine [and] we should just get on with it.

David never really was a patient man. The board meetings were always short and to the point and if anyone started to ramble on, he was quite quick to put a stop to it. However, when he was asked about the future of the licensing business or for his advice, he always took the time to explain. I am extremely thankful to have worked closely with David, he formed my insight into our business. He was great fun to be with and I have so many fond memories of our travel together, the business diners, the drinks and many cigarettes! David had a great sense of humour, a sharp intellect and loved to live a good life and I will miss him dearly, as many others will do. Cheers David.”
Katarina Dietrich

“During my time at Copyright Promotions I held various roles, one of which was a new business one that encompassed developing new opportunities for licensing sales outwith and within the group, combined with seeking out new representations. Often I had to report directly to David. While he could be very direct in his feedback I welcomed his advice and encouragement.

He would always make pro-active suggestions, often fired up by products he had seen in the US and he, of course, had a great reservoir of knowledge of the licensing industry. He always knew someone, or else someone who knew someone. I really enjoyed chatting to him and listening to his anecdotes including ones from his time in the music industry. He was also very kind to me when my father was terminally ill and in hospital. He allowed me to leave work during office hours and actively encouraged me to leave the office to go and see my Dad. It was a thoughtful thing for David to do and to suggest. I remember David with fondness, respect and admiration. He helped shape our industry and helped a lot of us build our careers.”
Ian Downes

“Deeply saddened to hear of David’s passing. A real master of the understated but an unwavering enthusiasm for his clients, people and business. RIP.”
Simon Gresswell

“I have many fond memories of David. Aside from him accidentally meeting the Queen, one that always makes me smile is our morning cigarette in the Percy Street office while we waited for the kettle to boil and David describing how he made a jam roly-poly over the weekend. Only he forgot to remove the tea towel and rolled towel with the sponge! I will hold these little stories and moments in my heart forever, along with his random texts to check in over the years. No more texts my dear friend, thank you for everything you did for me – I will miss you very much.”
Angeles Blanco

“My first job in licensing was head of PR at CPL and I very quickly recognised that I had joined an industry full of fantastic characters who really knew how to work hard and play just as hard. David was most certainly one of these! Something we all looked forward to was the annual Christmas party which, certainly at that time seemed extravagant affairs at which there was very little in the way of holding back. There is now a select group of licensing people who will always remember seeing David careering down the stairs at Shepperton Studios on a tea tray!”
Jane Garner

“David offered me a job in 1992 with a struggling company called Rainbow Productions, which was a subsidiary of CPL in those days. He interviewed me on a Monday and I had the job of managing director by Friday (David was not one for hanging around) despite my not knowing what a costume character was, nor ever having visited the Rainbow premises. He was a hard taskmaster but always kept faith in myself and the Rainbow team until, in 1995, he went one step further and sold me the company – in the process changing my business career immeasurably for the better.”
David Scott

Source: https://www.licensingsource.net/indepth/the-industry-remembers-david-cardwell/

Ed Hardy, Revlon extend personal care line

Iconix Brand Group has extended its licensing agreement with Revlon for the Ed Hardy brand in the fragrance and personal care categories for an additional four years.

Revlon will continue to partner with Ed Hardy to create items including deodorant, hair care products, body lotion, body wash and aftershave. It will extend Revlon’s collection, which currently offers nine Ed Hardy fragrances and two upcoming new unisex fragrances scheduled for a fall 2020 launch.

The deal follows Iconix’s partnership with Vanilla Star earlier this year, which saw the launch of Ed Hardy-branded apparel in the U.S. and Canada.

source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/health-beauty/ed-hardy-revlon-extend-personal-care-line

Disney, M&S partner for ‘Frozen 2’ holiday line

U.K. clothing and homewares retailer Marks & Spencer has partnered with Disney for a holiday collection based on the upcoming film “Frozen 2.”

The line will debut in “Frozen 2” store sections across M&S brick-and-mortar shops and online. Sections will include kidswear costumes, pajamas, advent calendars and soft toys. The collection will also see selfie stations appear at 54 of the largest M&S shops. Each station will offer fans the chance to take special festive pictures of Elsa or Anna from the film.

“Growing M&S kidswear is an important focus at M&S as we work to appeal to family-aged customers,” says Nathan Ansell, director of clothing and home marketing, M&S. “’Frozen 2′ is a highly-anticipated film and when the trailer landed it was record-breaking so we know lots of our customers will be excited to visit our special ‘Frozen 2’ shops and check out our exclusive product.

As part of the collaboration, M&S will also be joining Disney in supporting the U.K. charity Together for Short Lives. The charity aims to support more than 49,000 seriously ill children and their families in the U.K. to receive the necessary financial, medical and emotional support. This holiday season, M&S will show its support for the charity’s work by selling an exclusive tote bag starting later this month.

“Frozen 2” opens in the U.K. Nov. 22. The film will arrive with a slate of licensing deals including some that were announced as part of an influencer event.

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/retailer-news/disney-ms-partner-frozen-2-holiday-line

LEGO punches it with Jaguar set

A new LEGO Speed Champions set has been announced during the unveiling of the new Jaguar I-TYPE 4.

Panasonic Jaguar Racing has revealed the new electric race car for season six of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship during a launch event at Jaguar’s brand-new design studio in Gaydon, Warwickshire, U.K..

The miniature replicas are eight studs wide rather than usual six stud wide format that has been used in the Speed Champions theme so far

Six Speed Champions sets were also launched earlier this year:

  • 75895 1974 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0;
  • 75890 Ferrari F40 Competizione;
  • 75891 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Race Car;
  • 75892 LEGO Speed Champions McLaren Senna;
  • 75893 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and 1970 Dodge Charger R/T and
  • 75894 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally and 2018 MINI John Cooper Works Buggy.

“The start of a new season is an exciting time for the team,” says James Barclay, director, Panasonic Jaguar Racing Team. “After months of hard work we are excited to show the world the new Jaguar I-TYPE 4. We have applied all of our experience in Formula E to date and our latest innovations into the new racecar and the development team have created what we believe will be our most competitive Formula E car to date,” “We’ve learned how to win as a team and we are hungry for more in season six. We can’t wait to get racing!”

LEGO Speed Champions 76898 Formula E Panasonic Jaguar Racing GEN 2 car & Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will be released on January 1, 2020.

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/toys/lego-punches-it-jaguar-set

‘Peppa Pig’ Master Toy Licensee buys Wicked Cool Toys

Jazwares, a member of the Alleghany Capital Corporation, has acquired Wicked Cool Toys, the toy licensee behind brands such as Hasbro’s Micro Machines and Pokémon.

Jazwares has found success with master toy licensee deals for Entertainment One’s “Peppa Pig” and the upcoming Sony Pictures property “VIVO.” Together, WCT will join Jazwares as a division of the Company and stay in its current headquarters of Bristol, Penn.

“Led by Michael Rinzler, Jeremy Padawer and Thomas Poon, WCT has built an impressive reputation in the industry for spotting on-trend licenses, reinvigorating nostalgic brands, and collaborating with inventors to develop new products,” says Judd Zebersky, chief executive officer and president, Jazwares. “We are thrilled to partner with WCT and its talented employees, leveraging the Company’s offices in Pennsylvania, California, and Hong Kong. WCT will operate as a division of Jazwares and day-to-day operations will not be impacted by this transaction.”

For WCT, the decision to partner with Jazwares and Alleghany Capital was driven by the long-term investment strategy offered to it under its new parent company. Michael Rinzler, co-president and founding partner, WCT, also believes Jazwares makes for a cultural fit.

“We are excited to join Jazwares and the Alleghany Capital family of companies,” adds Michael Rinzler, co-president and founding partner, WCT. “Jazwares is a perfect strategic and cultural fit for WCT, driven by the vision and leadership of Judd and Laura Zebersky. “In addition, we believe that Alleghany Capital’s long-term investment horizon and strategy of supporting entrepreneurial companies such as Jazwares and WCT will accelerate our combined growth potential.”

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/toys/peppa-pig-master-toy-licensee-buys-wicked-cool-toys