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Spooky Season: What Will Halloween Look Like in 2020?

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Halloween 2020 will look noticeably different from years past. COVID-19 and social-distancing measures have fundamentally shifted the social occasion to something a little more mellow. This year's spooky season required some adaptation, whether that was passing out candy or how consumers shopped for decorations. Even so, the celebrations and freights have not stopped entirely.

Candy sales are still going strong, Zoom is still quite helpful, and facemasks easily add to any costume. So, as has been the case all year, creativity and ingenuity are helping families everywhere create some semblance of normalcy in an entirely unnormal “new normal.”

In an August poll from the Morning Consult and National Confectioners Association, 80 percent of adults said they believe that people will find creative and safe ways to celebrate the Halloween season. That enthusiasm is being illustrated at retail with items such as facemasks and Zoom backgrounds offered at Halloween specialty stores such as Spirit Halloween. 

"At Spirit, we work hard to create killer collections for Halloween and 2020 is no different," says Erin Springer, senior manager, public and media relations, Spirit Halloween. "We reacted quickly, and our stores are stocked with face coverings of your favorite characters like SpongeBob, Scooby-Doo and more to match any costume or simply celebrate your love of Halloween all-year long. Fans can social distance in our new inflatable costumes including 'Rick and Morty's' Mr. Meeseeks. One item that is particularly timely is our new loot scoop bags – they are perfect for keeping candy collection at arm's length."

While Spirit has seen strong e-commerce sales align with the overall increase in online retail in 2020, the Halloween superstore has also implemented new store measures to ensure customer safety. The company has partnered with infection prevention experts, the Environmental Infection Prevention and Lighthouse Facility Solutions, to safeguard store associates and guests. Spirits partners have established a science-based retail model based on established standards used in more than 500 hospitals.

The seasonal retailer has also teamed with The Halloween and Costume Association to provide tools and tips on safe trick or treating. Trick-or-treaters can visit Halloween2020.org, for an interactive map showing safe and fun ways to celebrate based on local regulations and CDC guidelines.

"Together we're bringing a heightened regimen of disinfection and cleaning standards to all Spirit Halloween stores," adds Springer.

On the candy front, reports show continued strong sales for the spooky season. The NCA has reported that overall candy seasons this fall are up year-over-year. NCA's September report found that total Halloween candy sales were up 13 percent. Meanwhile, seasonal chocolate specifically up over 25 percent compared to 2019.

Carly Schildhaus, public affairs manager, NCA, shared with License Global that candy sales are a good indicator that Halloween is still happening this year even if it looks a bit different from year's past.

"There will be regional differences across the country in the way that people choose to celebrate the Halloween season throughout the month of October," says Schilhaus. "Whether this means trick-or-treating, more candy bowl moments at home with family and close friends, or just more time celebrating the season throughout the month of October, one thing is for sure – Halloween is happening."

The NCA also established "Halloween Central" to help families find creative ways to celebrate the holiday safety. NCA's platform includes nutrition and public health experts' input to highlight novel ways to get in the spirit in 2020.

"To take the guesswork out of Halloween this year, NCA designed Halloween Central by working with nutrition professionals and leaders in the public health community – including the CDC – with the intent of helping parents navigate this uncertain time by providing them with inspiration for a creative, fun, and importantly, safe Halloween," adds Schilhaus.

Collectively, the reports from Halloween's core segments highlight that the season is still in full swing. Whether celebrating on Zoom or planning a socially distanced trick-or-treat experience, consumers are looking for some semblance of a traditional Halloween this year – and finding it.

Beanstalk Brokers Deal Between Client, Morton Salt and Fun.com

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Morton Salt has partnered with Fun.com to create an official costume so consumers can dress up as the Morton Salt Girl. Beanstalk, Morton Salt’s global brand extension licensing agency, brokered this partnership.

“For years, consumers have re-created the Morton Salt Girl look using existing items in their closets,” says Chris Hegerfeld, senior manager, brand licensing, Morton Salt. “This new costume from Fun.com provides another option for consumers who want to match the dress and umbrella authentically on Halloween.”

Now, consumers have the opportunity to wear the only official Morton Salt Girl costume. The salty ensemble includes two pieces – the Morton Salt Girl’s yellow dress and yellow-handled umbrella.

“The Morton Salt Girl is a cultural icon and already has a strong presence in the Halloween scene,” says Lauren Montemaro, director, brand management, Beanstalk. “We are proud of this lifestyle partnership with Fun.com to bring the first officially licensed Morton costume to life for consumers.”

The Morton Salt Girl costume is available for both adults and children. The costumes are now available in the U.S. at Fun.com and HalloweenCostumes.com.

Kids Industries: On-Demand Insights from Festival of Licensing

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Looking at the very act of shopping, how children develop as shoppers, the family unit, how digital is superseding traditional shopping and the future of buying, Gary Pope, chief executive officer, Kids Industries – joined by a panel of guest experts – brought audiences across Festival of Licensing a look at the peak of “five titanic killer sized icebergs” of how kids and retail interact. 

  1. The Act of Shopping 

From Neanderthal trading to the ancient Greek Agoras, retail has been a part of our life from the dawn of civilization. Today, the modernization of shopping has only evolved. 

“Shopper behavior is something that is passed from parent to child. Humans make approximately 35,000 decisions a day, and we have developed shortcuts to help reduce this mental load. These help us jump to a decision without having to think too much about it.” Breaking down the psychological process of thinking and decision-making, Pope brings licensing into the equation when it comes to making that purchase decision at shelf, or online, for both kids and adults. 

  1. Supermarket Sprogs 

Pope explains how 432 hours a year in supermarkets and 834 hours every year browsing to buy online means kids model their behavior on a generation of active consumers. Expanding to note that from the very first trip to the shops, children are engaged in the process of learning, figuring out how to model themselves of their role models, before joining their parents at the shop to request items for themselves.

“The system one thinking of our brain will drive attention towards familiar things. This is one reason why the use of characters in HFSS product advertising has been banned,” he said.

Pope then explains the remaining stages of a child’s journey to become a considered shopper. 

  1. Parenting is Tough 

Noting how the licensing industry brings a ray of sunshine to people's lives, how parents are driven by happy moments together and keeping kids smiling and how across Europe, parenting is becoming tougher with each generation, he said, “Families are both time poor and time pressured, and with the shift of all things Zoom, work life balance is in further turmoil.”

As technology continues to blur the boundaries between work and home life and hours worked are on the increase, parenting today is intensive. Pope goes on to build on how the mindset of the parent looks like today, and the one universal problem all parents face, the number of decisions they have to make on a daily basis and how licensing can bring joy through characters, ease the decision-making process and bring families together.  

  1. Clicks, Bricks and Pandemics 

Decision-making continues to evolve with pandemics, technology and more. The CEO of Kids Industries uncovers how nimble tech is rising in place of brick-and-mortars and how digital brand experiences are bringing people together. With toys, streaming, gaming and consoles, as well as big increases in construction and puzzles, certain areas prospered while others fell. Pope uncovers which products are facing larger demand, and which aren’t, as well as how digital platforms are the new hub of collaboration. 

  1. Back to the Future 

Stepping out to the high street, Pope wraps up the docu-vlog series by illustrating what has changed, if anything, and how it all comes together under the banner of Darwinian Capitalism, and how retail needs to evolve quickly, and the science behind that shift.  

Not only fueled by scientific analysis and a long history in the kids, brand and consumer space, the Kids Industries docu-vlog series is an all-encompassing set of short videos that outline the current market, the mindset of modern kids and the future of retail. Watch the full series here. 

Pocket.Watch Secures YouTube-Inspired Balloon in Macy’s Parade

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Pocket.watch, the studio behind global franchises from the YouTube stars and characters loved by Generation Alpha, has announced the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade’s newest balloon will be inspired by YouTube star Ryan Kaji of Ryan’s World.

Based on his popular alter ego, “Red Titan,” this will be the first YouTube creator to be featured in the celebration’s 94-year history and only the second time a balloon of this magnitude is fashioned after a real-life person. In 1934, comedian and TV star Eddie Cantor became the only living person to have a balloon of his likeness in the parade. Now, 86 years later, Ryan will make history as the second. The balloon takes flight in the world’s largest parade, Nov. 26, in New York City and broadcast on NBC.

“We’re thrilled to make history with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, bringing the most popular kid in the world together with one of the most anticipated holiday events of the year,” says Kerry Tucker, chief marketing officer, Pocket.watch. “Our goal is to bring kids more of what they love, especially during these challenging times. Kids adore Red Titan so we are proud that he will take his rightful place in the sky in this iconic parade. Pocket.watch has created a lot of ‘firsts’ for YouTube creators, but this one feels larger than life.”

Red Titan, along with all the characters of Ryan’s World, was created by Ryan’s father, Shion, and his production company, Sunlight Entertainment. Designed by the artists of Macy’s Parade Studio, the masked Red Titan balloon will debut in the Thanksgiving Day celebration transformed into a 51-feet long, 28-feet wide, 42-feet tall giant balloon.

“We are thrilled to welcome Red Titan to the Macy’s Parade balloon lineup this year,” says Jordan Dabby, producer, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “The giant balloons in the Macy’s Parade have always featured the most recognized characters in the world, and with the reach of ‘Ryan’s World’ on YouTube, we are sure that millions of viewers will be delighted to see Red Titan fly this Thanksgiving.”

Live from 34th Street, the 94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be broadcast nationwide on NBC-TV, on Nov. 26, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to noon in all time zones and hosted by Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker.

Licensing Leadership Summit: How to Navigate Digital Disruption and the Retail Revolution

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This year saw significant global upheaval. Drastic changes in our everyday lives even led to the common use of the term “new normal” to make sense of the massive deviations from our daily lives.

These changes have been dramatic in all walks of life, including the business world. New consumer and work trends are affecting every company on the planet. 2020's upheaval has led many businesses to consider how they can better manage change today and in the future. From pivoting to new retail challenges to understanding how to leverage technology to find stable footing, players, both large and small, are reexamining how they do business.

Marcus East, technical director, office of the chief technical officer, Google, delivered a keynote at Licensing Leadership Summit to illuminate how companies can more effectively manage digital disruptions today and in years to come. East's presentation, The Retail Revolution: Planning Ahead for Digital Disruption, highlighted the core functions that must be examined to keep up with the change of pace due to technology. 

Register for Licensing Leadership Summit Today!

Key points from his live engagement included flexibility and looking at customers as a guiding star. According to East, one of the core challenges companies face is their inability to adapt to technologies' rapid evolution. East finds that companies that have become too attached to legacy systems are the first to falter during digital disruptions.

"It is not about architecting the best solution or creating a highly complex platform," says East. "It is about making sure that your technology is flexible enough to support the changes that you're going to experience in the marketplace. This is where most digital transformations die."

Another critical aspect of the presentation focused on the vital importance of the consumer. East reported that in his view, the companies that put customers first could adapt to the changing tides of business the best.

"The companies that have been most successful at handling and dealing with digital disruption are those companies that have understood that their customers are their kings and queens –that everything that they do is geared around creating incredibly compelling experiences for their customers," adds East. "That for me is when you get to this pinnacle of creating a culture that is digital and innovative."

East finds that companies' goal shouldn't be to foresee the future, but, instead, be adaptable enough to manage change. He says that change will happen, so it's most important to adjust to those evolutions by staying flexible.

"The best way to prepare is not to try to predict the future, but to create the capabilities so that as the change comes, you can handle it," continues East. “Changes are coming whether we like to or not."

Learn More

See East's full keynote to understand the practical steps needed to manage digital disruption. Registered Licensing Leadership Summit attendees can watch the presentation on-demand now. Those interested in attending the Summit can also still register for the event online.

Asembl Teams Bundaberg Rum and Ice Break for Iced Coffee

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Following the successful launch of Diageo’s Bundaberg Rum with Ice Break last year in the Queensland market, the brands are back together in 2020 for Ice Break Bundaberg Rum Spiced.

Brokered again by Asembl., the deal sees the partnering of Bundaberg Rum with Ice Break for an iced coffee beverage that will be available in Australian petrol and convenience stores as well as supermarket chains, Coles and Woolworths.

“Last year’s launch of our first partnership between Diageo’s Bundaberg Rum and Ice Break was an incredible success in Bundaberg Rum’s home state, Queensland,” says Justin Watson, managing director, Asembl. “So popular was the range that we have continued our strategic licensing roll-out for the brand with this second product launch of Spiced which will see it available nationwide in petrol and convenience outlets as well as Coles and Woolworths supermarkets.  We are incredibly proud of this second product launch and are sure it will be a fan favorite when it launches just in time for summer.”

Hilco Gets in the Season with New Holiday Items

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Hilco is offering candy novelty items as stocking stuffers and gifts for the holidays. 

Kool-Aid brand story books, candy canes, tube toppers and Disney Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse Gummy Playhouses have all been revealed.

The candies are available for purchase now.  

Barneys New York, KROST Team for Capsule Collection

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Barneys New York has announced the launch of a limited-edition capsule collection with New York-based fashion label, KROST

The complete Barneys New York x KROST collection will consist of an assortment of crewnecks, hoodies, joggers, tees and baseball caps. Items incorporate Barneys’ historic brand with KROST’s contemporary fashion to form a capsule that represents the past, present and future of New York City. The collaboration’s advertising campaign also draws inspiration from 1990s Barneys New York ads shot by photographer Steven Meisel.

“Barneys is a destination known for its unique collaborations and we are excited to continue this tradition with a partner dedicated to uplifting the spirit of NYC,” says Natasha Fishman, executive vice president, marketing, Authentic Brands Group, owner of Barneys New York. “The Barneys New York x KROST collaboration highlights the dynamic fusion of two brands; one rich with symbolic heritage and one with modern tones.” 

Barneys New York x KROST has also partnered with The Food Bank of New York City and One Warm Coat for the line. The collaboration will provide 2,400 coats and 800 meals over the holidays. 

“Barneys New York is where I first discovered my love for fashion and apparel,” says Samuel Krost, founder, KROST. “As a New York-based brand, it’s truly a privilege to be collaborating with an iconic New York institution like Barneys. More importantly, we’re excited to be supporting two amazing non-profit organizations that are combating the effects of the pandemic on the New York Community.”

Consumers will be able to purchase the collection at KROSTNEWYORK.COM, Basic.Space, BarneysJapan and Selfridges London.

Chipita S.A. Renews Fineti Dips & Sticks Deal with Emoji

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Greek company Chipita S.A. is renewing their Fineti dips & sticks products with an emoji collectible toy in every pack.

The deal was brokered by WildBrain CPLG on behalf of the emoji company. Fineti Dips are crispy breadsticks to dip in a hazelnut spread with cocoa while Fineti Sticks are the mini-sized wafer sticks with hazelnut and cocoa filling.

The collection of emoji premiums can be found in pack with items such as:

  • Erasers;
  • Sharpeners;
  • Stampers;
  • Sticky notes;
  • Key chains; and
  • more than 10 designs per collection.

“We are pleased to work with a company like Fineti and to be part of children´s everyday lunch who will be able to enjoy the delicious taste of this product and will also have the opportunity to collect a bunch of emoji brand premiums for this back to school season,” says Marco Hüsges, chief executive officer and founder, the emoji company.

Godzilla Takes Jelly Bean Form in ‘Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout’

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Mediatonic and Toho have teamed to bring the King of the Monsters to gamers everywhere in “Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout.” 

Beginning Nov. 3, fans will have the opportunity to use the all-new Godzilla skin available to players for 10 Crowns total. The partnership comes ahead of Godzilla Day and the Godzilla Festival in Japan.

On Nov. 3, 1954, Godzilla made its first appearance in Toho’s “Godzilla.” The date is officially Godzilla’s birthday, with a Godzilla Festival held in Japan each year to celebrate. In 2019, the festival gathered more than 20,000 visitors, and this year’s event will be held virtually where even more fans are expected to tune-in.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Mediatonic on this Godzilla costume,” says Lora Cohn, managing director, Toho International. “With only two months since launch and boasting millions of players worldwide, ‘Fall Guys’ presents such an exciting opportunity for Godzilla fans everywhere. Now, players will get to celebrate Godzilla Day in such a unique way by putting on the Godzilla suit and stomping their way to victory!"  

The skin will include Godzilla’s trademark features such as its three rows of dorsal fins. It has been designed to fit right into the “Fall Guys” world with different colors available depending on the specific player playthrough.  

"There are many parallels to be drawn between the mighty Godzilla and an average ‘Fall Guy;’ they are both fiercely competitive, they battle on an international stage with incredibly high stakes, they always get back up after being knocked down and according to worrying reports from our social media channels, they are both much taller than you'd expect,” says Jeff Tanton, vice president, creative, Mediatonic. “We are proud and deeply honored to share the stage with the greatest Kaiju - and if anyone is still struggling to get a crown with this costume, though it may sound primitive and un-scientific, we recommend that through the fairies, they could perhaps ask Infant Island for help?"