Mountain Dew’s Latest Brand Partnership

The Joester Loria Group client Mountain Dew has collaborated with professional skateboarder Theotis Beasley and HEX on a new backpack and iPhone case as part of its Green Label Exclusives program. These exciting new products are currently available at CCS.com as well as other specialty retailers. To create excitement for the collaboration, CCS is hosting a giveaway of the backpack and iPhone case on their blog. To enter the giveaway, consumers need to follow Hex and Theotis Beasley on Instagram and post an image with the hashtag #greenlabelHEX.

To further promote this new partnership, the line was featured in CCS’s latest catalog.

Additionally, CCS and Theotis Beasley partnered on a fun video to promote the collection, in which he demonstrates the various things that can fit into the backpack.

Theotis Beasley and HEX are just the latest partners in Mountain Dew’s Green Label Exclusives program. This series of brand partnerships enlists athletes and influencers to create a variety of limited edition lifestyle products inspired by the Mountain Dew brand.

Toy Fair Highlights

Last month more than 26,000 toy professionals attended the Toy Industry’s Association 111th American International Toy Fair at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. This year’s event was record-breaking with a spike in exhibitors, attendance and exhibit space. Among those in attendance were almost 10,000 buyers from more than 5,000 retailers.

Some of the key trends at the show were: large toys in categories ranging from plush to play sets; remote controlled toys; zombie and monster themes; toys that teach science, technology, engineering, arts and math; retro inspiration and customizable building and construction sets. Several brands are also recognizing the demand for craft and DIY kits targeted to boys. Toys that blend traditional play with smart devices also were prominent during the show.

The event kicked with a little star power in the form of an appearance by Grammy Award Winning artist Alicia Keys, who was there to promote her new animated storybook app. The show also featured theToy of the Year Awards, where some of the big winners were Rainbow Loom and LeapPad Ultra.

The Joester Loria Group attended this important industry event to check out the trends that will impact the licensing programs we develop for the children’s properties we represent including The World of Eric Carle, Disney Jr.’s The Hive and Annoying Orange.

In-depth recaps of the event are are available from Gifts and Decorative AccessoriesKidscreen andABC News.

Kidscreen Honors The Snowman and The Snowdog

The Joester Loria Group is excited to share that The Snowman and The Snowdog scooped up an astonishing five awards at the prestigious Kidscreen Awards ceremony. The ceremony, which took place in New York on Tuesday, February 11, as part of the annual Kidscreen Summit celebrates the very best in the global children’s television industry.

The Snowman and The Snowdog was nominated with other leading children’s TV broadcasts such as Dear Dumb Diary and Dino Dan and took home awards in five categories including Best One-Off Special or TV Movie, Best Design, Best Animation, Best Directing and Best Music, which was penned and recorded by award-winning British composer Ilan Eshkeri and the singer/songwriter Andy Burrows.

Shown on Channel 4 in the UK and Sprout in the US to critical and popular acclaim, The Snowman and The Snowdog reunited audiences with one of the world’s most iconic winter figures, thirty years after the screening of the original film The Snowman. Based in the same house where the original Snowman first appeared, the story follows a young boy named Billy who moves into the house and, with the snow beginning to fall, discovers a box containing a scarf, a hat, coal lumps and a dried Satsuma.

Directed by Hilary Audus and art directed by Joanna Harrison, both of whom worked as animators on the original film, the 24-minute film was two years in the making and, like the original, was created from over 200,000 hand-drawn images.  The first screening of the film attracted an audience of nearly six million to Channel 4, the biggest audience on the channel on Christmas Eve for more than a decade.

Susan Bolsover, Head of Licensing and Consumer Products at Snowman Enterprises Ltd and Penguin UK, says: ‘We are thrilled for Lupus Films for such an outstanding victory at the Kidscreen Awards for their enchanting film The Snowman and The Snowdog. It is fantastic to see Lupus Films’ wonderful screen adaptation being honoured with so many awards. We hope this success will be replicated at the British Animation Awards next month. Remaining true to Raymond Briggs original creation of The Snowman, The Snowman and the Snowdog is a stunning sequel which we believe will entertain and delight children and families for years to come.’

The Joester Loria Group is proud to be the North American licensing agent for The Snowman brand. We look forward to further expanding the brand’s US presence during the 2014 holiday season.

 

The World of Eric Carle Celebrates 45th Anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This year marks the 45th anniversary of Eric Carle’s most popular title, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The World of Eric Carle will celebrate this milestone with exciting consumer promotions, new product introductions and dynamic marketing campaigns.

Some highlights will include:

*A yearlong under 3 kids meal promotion with Wendy’s, which will distribute up to 4 million premiums in over 6,500 locations. The promotion kicked off January and will run through December 28, 2014 in participating Wendy’s restaurants in the US and Canada. Customers will receive one of seven mini board book premiums, while supplies last, developed exclusively for Wendy’s with the purchase of an Under 3 Kids’ Meal.

*A six-week on-pack promotion featuring The Very Hungry Caterpillar on 1 million Langer’s juice containers in over 10,900 stores. Flavors include Cranberry Cocktail, Cranberry Raspberry Cocktail & Cranberry Grape Cocktail.

*Retail initiatives and events with Barnes & Noble supported with dedicated product tables.

*Two new apps launching in the first quarter of 2014 including Publication International’s Around the Farm app along with an app from new partner StoryToys scheduled to launch on The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day in March.

*Costume character appearances at malls, book fairs, schools and parades.

*A partnership with Sanrio in Japan for a Hello Kitty co-branded product collaboration for the brands’ joint anniversaries in 2014.  A number of World of Eric Carle licensees will create product in categories including plush, baby apparel, fabric, bags, and smartphone content.  Products will be distributed in Japan at specialty and fancy goods stores.

*Partnership with U.K. organization Action for Children encouraging children’s centers, nurseries and groups for the under-5’s across the U.K. to host sponsored ‘Giant Wiggle’ walks on The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day, March 20, 2014. The events will bring children together to wiggle along in giant caterpillar conga lines and also  encourage them to play and develop their imaginations through storytelling and creativity.

*As part of Australia’s 45th anniversary celebrations, The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been transformed into a spectacular sand sculpture as part of StoryLand’s Sand Sculpture exhibit running January through April. The sand sculpture is double-sided and used 250 tons of sand. The event is attended by approximately 250,000 people.

*Coordinated programs across all international social media pages including the launch of The Very Hungry Caterpillar German language Facebook page in collaboration with German Publisher Gerstenberg Verlag.

The Joester Loria Group is excited to celebrate the 45th anniversary of this iconic book with a year of new licensed product introductions, partnerships and marketing initiatives.

Top Brand Extensions At New York Fashion Week

The biggest names in fashion, entertainment and digital media converged in New York City last week for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.  Keeping an eye on top trends, brands and bloggers, the JLG team hit the pavement, attending events to discuss the power of licensing in fashion and digital entertainment with top industry influencers.

On February 12, the JLG team checked out Steven Alan’s beautiful show at INDUSTRIA Studios, showcasing their fall 2014 women’s wear collection. Capitalizing on their trend-right brand equity, Steven Alan has extended seamlessly into a full lifestyle brand in only a few short years. Starting strictly in apparel, the brand now has a trendy line of accessories, as well as capsule collections and brand collaborations with leading retailers. Steven Alan is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year.

On the accessories front, SCHUTZ Shoes is proving to be one of the hottest names in women’s footwear. Understanding the power of digital media, SCHUTZ has created remarkable collaborations with the world’s leading fashion bloggers to endorse their products and market their brand. JLG attended the brand’s first ever Fashion Week party hosted by Aimee Song of the hugely popular fashion blog Song of Style at their flagship store on Madison Avenue to see firsthand how the power of digital media continues to influence the landscape of the consumer shopping experience.

Both brands are successfully expanding into new territories through innovative brand extensions and partnerships.

Top Trends from the NY Now Show

Earlier this month, 2,500 exhibitors showcased more than 100,000 products at NY Now, the market for home and lifestyle products. Gifts, kitchen and home, tabletop, fashion and paper goods were just some of the categories represented at the show. As a licensing agency that represents a variety of brands, this event allows us to stay on top of the trends in several categories that are vital parts of our clients’ licensing portfolios.

Some key trends across all categories were bright colors, black and white color palettes, and incorporation of Pantone’s color of the year, Radiant Orchid. In the gift category vintage-inspired  and retro pieces prevailed. In the kitchen sector, multifunctional pieces and gadgets were most popular. For example, RackPack showcased a wine gift box that can convert into a wine rack. In the stationery category, some interesting collaborations were introduced like blogger, illustrator, and photographer Garance Doré’s line of notepads, notebooks, calendars and phone cases for Rifle Paper Co. Another interesting paper collaboration was Holstee’s new line of greeting cards inspired by NPR stories. As for tabletop, there was a noticeable trend of recycled and reclaimed materials.

“People’s Choice” awards were given out to the most innovative new products in a variety of categories. Some highlights include:

  •  A bright yellow colander from Lifetime Brands as the “Best of Home” product
  • A ride-on toy from Vici Enterprises as the “Best of Lifestyle” product

In addition to the market activities for buyers and exhibitors, the five-day event also featured educational sessions and industry events. The educational sessions covered a range of topics from design and color trends to retail strategies and social meda. One of the more popular industry events was the Gift For Life 22nd Anniversary “Party for Life” Fundraiser. Gift for Life is a partnership between the gift, home and stationery industries to raise funds for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and education. This year’s event raised $185,000 for the cause.

The event was covered by trade publications like Gifts & Decorative Accessories as well as HFN.

New Apps For The World of Eric Carle

The Joester Loria Group, exclusive global licensing agent for The World of Eric Carle, has brokered a deal with StoryToys for a three-year partnership to develop and publish a series of global apps based on the beloved characters created by Eric Carle, the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 children’s books, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar. StoryToys will launch the first The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends app on March 20th 2014, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day, as part of the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the time -honored children’s book.

The World of Eric Carle, the award winning publishing franchise with 125 million books sold, promotes the joys of playful learning through timeless stories and vibrant artwork featuring Very Hungry Caterpillar and Friends.  The brand’s centerpiece, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is a global best seller that is beloved by parents, caregivers, educators, and children.

StoryToys is a leading publisher of interactive books and games for children, and has enjoyed global success on all major app distribution platforms, including over 100 No. 1 worldwide apps on the App Store. StoryToys has been the recipient of numerous awards and commendations for the quality of its products, including 10 prestigious Children’s Technology Review Editor’s Choice Awards.

“We consider this partnership with The World of Eric Carle as the perfect fit for both parties” said Barry O’Neill, CEO of StoryToys. “We share a dedication to creating family-friendly, entertaining products, and to promoting learning through play. StoryToys has a strong heritage of bringing much-loved classics into the digital world, and our aim is to build beautiful apps that will enable children to interact with their favorite Eric Carle characters in totally new ways.”

Debra Joester, President and CEO of The Joester Loria Group adds, “We are excited to be working with StoryToys. We are looking forward to a partnership that will boost awareness of this much-loved brand even further in the app space with engaging activity apps that inspire imaginative thinking and encourages creative exploration.”

License! GlobalKidscreenThe Bookseller and MediaBistro all shared the news of this exciting brand extension for The World of Eric Carle.

Mountain Dew’s New Licensing Partner

In partnership with The Joester Loria Group, Mountain Dew is growing their lifestyle licensing program to include sporting gear and accessories.  A leader in the action sports industry and title sponsor of the competition series Dew Tour, Mountain Dew’s entry into snow, skate and water sports extends Mountain Dew’s leadership in promoting action sports and partnering with leading athletes.

JNJ International, Inc. was tapped to develop a Mountain Dew program consisting of skateboards, snowboards, mountain boards, scooters, skates, boogie boards, skim boards and protective gear ranging in price from $9.99 to $59.99.

This new licensing category will provide Dew loyalists with unique and exciting products featuring iconic Dew graphics with a bold design.  The collections will use quality materials and offer a wide range of product to fit the needs of beginner level and advanced athletes alike.

The new Mountain Dew scooters and skateboards will launch spring 2014 at Kmart and Toys “R” US and at select Walmart doors for the holiday season.  The program is slated to roll out across additional retail channels including sporting good specialty stores, mid-tier and additional mass accounts.

New Footwear and Hosiery Licensing Deal For The World of Eric Carle

The Joester Loria Group recently brokered a licensing agreement with PS Brands to serve as the U.S. footwear and hosiery partner for The World of Eric Carle brand.

Under the new agreement, PS Brands will develop a collection of hosiery for newborns and infants and no-skid newborn and infant footwear including boots, rubber-soled socks and sandals.  The collections will feature Eric Carle’s distinctive artwork and iconic characters with a focus on The Very Hungry Caterpillar and friends.

Footwear and hosiery are the latest additions to The World of Eric Carle’s robust licensing program, which already spans toys, games, apparel, home décor, social expressions, stationery, classroom supplies and mobile apps in 15 countries worldwide.

License! Global recently shared The World Of Eric Carle’s licensing news.

 

Kidscreen Summit Preview

Next week, more than 1600 attendees will gather in New York City for one of the biggest annual events in the children’s entertainment industry, the Kidscreen Summit.

A highlight of the event will be the keynote speech from cultural anthropologist Grant McCracken who will discuss the implications of binge watching and video-on-demand services in the children’s entertainment sector.

The event also will feature a variety of mentoring sessions for those trying to break into the children’s entertainment field. One of the sessions specifically will focus on licensing for kids properties. Other mentoring sessions will focus on topics ranging from finance to pitching and development.

Additionally, several top executives from leading children’s networks like Disney, Cartoon Network, Sprout, and Nickelodeon will also be on hand for sessions during which they will share their expertise and take questions from attendees.

On Tuesday evening, the Kidscreen Awards, hosted by comedian Seán Cullen, will honor the best children’s programming of the year. The full event agenda is available here: http://summit.kidscreen.com/2014/agenda/.

Kidscreen is a great forum for JLG to meet established and new creators of children’s entertainment properties, and keep abreast of new developments in the sector.