License! editors checked their crystal balls to provide a glimpse of 2005 trends and hot properties across all eight categories.
Art licensing will continue to grow steadily and will venture into unchartered territories (i.e., Mary Engelbreit's move into animation). There also will be an increase in licensed photography, specifically for textiles.
Consumers really want to punch up their lives (and homes) with bursts of color. Look for neons—a very retro trend.
Themes will be bright and happy, but not quite as whimsical as in recent years. The antique look also seems to be on an uptick. Whites, creams, and browns are part of the vintage palette. Looks with a romantic feel will pop up everywhere. Nostalgic and timeless looks will bring back chintz, peonies, and roses. The European influence is still dominant, which is why wine, olives, sun-drenched colors, and the Mediterranean lifestyle themes are still popular. Lodge, cabin, bungalow and cottage, and seaside themes also will abound.
Automotive and motorcycle companies haven't even scratched the licensing surface. Expect well-known auto and motorcycle makers, i.e., Honda and Toyota, to explore licensing and co-branding. Customization will continue to be key as car and motorcycle owners want differentiation.
Vacation brands (particularly cruise lines) should further expand licensing efforts. Many vacation brands (Club Med, Carnival Cruise Lines) enjoy a loyal consumer following. Or, consumers can simply enjoy products from their "dream" vacation brands.
Enter the archives...utilize old advertising and photography to tap into the ongoing retro trend. Well-recognized, older brands should apply these visuals to home décor items, particularly dinnerware, placemats, linens, and pillows. The mix of consumer brands (food and beverage brands mixed with corporate brands and trademarks) continues in co-branding strategies at retail and in advertising.
Alien Racers (MGA Entertainment)
Codename: Kids Next Door
Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends
Pucca (Jetix Consumer Products International)
Deko Boko Friends
Ashanti (Bravado International Group)
Cirque du Soleil Inc.
(Warner Bros. Consumer Products)
Kenzie (Westcoast Contempo Fashions LLC)
310 Motoring Clothing (Skechers)
Tobias (Sam Ben-Avraham of Atrium, New York City)
Halo 2 (Microsoft Game Studios)z
BloodRayne (Majesco Sales Inc.)
Doom 3 (Activision, Inc.)
"The Chronicles of Narnia" (HarperCollins)
"The Spiderwick Chronicles" (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing)
"Curious George" (Houghton Mifflin Company)
Wireless will continue to make inroads in the sports market, keeping fans up to date on their favorite teams and players with mobile games, video content, and real-time stats.
Trading cards are on the comeback trail, particularly for Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer.
Fashion apparel aimed at the youth market and authentics will take precedence over retro styles.
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