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ChefClub, DoohYouLike Cook Up Culinary Advertising Agency

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Chefclub and DoohYouLike have teamed up to offer consumers an omnichannel cooking experience, mixing videos of recipes with synchronized multi-broadcasting on social media as well as on screens directly in store.

The France-based culinary advertising service offers food and beverage brands a multi-pronged solution. As part of the deal, advertising services will include the creation, production and broadcast of cooking videos by Chefclub on social media – that will feature the advertiser’s product – as well as simultaneous broadcast in small-size grocery stores via DoohYouLike screens.

“Conviviality, fun, and creativity are at the origin of Chefclub, it seemed natural for us to join forces with DoohYouLike to create an original and ad-hoc media proposal for brands looking for closeness and authenticity,” says Marie-Laure Marchand, director, licensing and business development, Chefclub. “We are excited about this partnership that will allow advertisers to explore new ways to reach out to consumers directly in-store and on social media.”

For Chefclub, the deal adds to its previously announced slate of partners. Earlier this year, the brand named four licensing agents to represent ChefClub in different international territories.

Firefly to Get Weird with ‘The Freak Brothers’

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Firefly Brand Management has announced that it has secured new licensing partners for newly animated adult toon series and brand, “The Freak Brothers.”

Licensing agreements have been secured with Get Down Art, Famous Brandz, Hot Properties, Surreal Entertainment and Trevco.

“It is exciting to be working on such a classic that has now come to life via the animated series,” says Cynthia Modders, chief executive officer, Firefly Brand Management.  “With an outstanding celebrity cast and touch on cannabis, we are seizing the opportunity to build a program that is unique and unlike our traditional licensing programs.”

Get Down Art’s deal will conclude with the launch for men’s and women’s t-shirts, paper posters and canvas art.  Famous Brandz will debut small glass blown mystery pipes as part of the partnership. Hot Properties will develop magnets, key chains, buttons, pins, squeezies, stickers, can coolers, lanyards, air fresheners and bottle openers for the series. Surreal Entertainment plans to offer fans beverageware, ceramic products, bedding, pillows, stash jars, mugs, bowls, paperweights and pens. Trevco will develop a line of knit tops, t-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, infant snap suits, bandannas, blankets, towels, pillows, totes and stickers. Blackball will also develop a line of posters for “The Freak Brothers.”

 “I’ve worked closely with Cynthia and her team on many projects over the years with tremendous success, so it was a no-brainer when we had the opportunity to join forces on this wonderfully unique ‘Freak Brothers’ property,” says Jeffrey S. Edell, president, WTG Enterprises. “We’re excited about the licensees that Firefly has already brought on board as well as the ones that we will look to partner with in the near future.”

The deal adds to Firefly’s portfolio which includes brands such as Todd Goldman’s line of books and illustrations.

Wow! Stuff Named Master Toy Licensee with Magic Light Pictures

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Wow! Stuff have inked a master toy licensee deal for Magic Light Pictures’ full catalogue of brands including The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, Zog and The Snail and the Whale.

Wow! Stuff will launch a line up of toy figures and playsets based on the catalogue of characters in Jan. 2021. Prices for the first to launch Gruffalo line will include collectables, character action figures, playsets and electronic animated plush.

“This is a fabulous way to show what we can do when we have a master license and are free to explore traditional key toy categories and add our innovative take,” says Kenny McAndrew, product development and licensing head, Wow! Stuff. “Partnering with Magic Light we’ll bring Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s characters to life with the physical figurines the children dearly love. Each character and the playsets are part of a special universe and perfectly complement and pay homage to the books and films. The characters are hugely ‘toyetic’ and our tests showed the reaction from parents and grandparents and their propensity to purchase was at the very highest level – family awareness and parental approval on the brand is sky high.”

The Master Toy deal is multi-territory. Products in the collection will be available in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Australia, U.S. and Canada.

“A master toy partner is something we’ve long wanted for our Gruffalo family of brands,” says Daryl Shute, brand director, Magic Light. “The toy category has grown massively for us over the past year and Wow! Stuff are joining us at just the right time. They have added the innovation they’re renowned for and brought the characters to life in a way that is full of the charm and wonder that our little fans know and love. This is the third new license announced in this category in the past month, which is something else we’re pretty chuffed about.”

For Wow! Stuff, the deal marks another expansion of the company’s growing effort. Last year the company launched a “Harry Potter”-inspired invisibility cloak in partnership with Warner Bros.

Grateful Dead, Sanuk Kick Off Shoe Collab

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The Grateful Dead have teamed with Sanuk to create a hippie-inspired footwear collection, according to a report by Rolling Stone.

The collection includes Sanuk’s most popular silhouettes emblazoned with Grateful Dead imagery including tie-dye and psychedelic prints along with embroidery of the Bertha skull-and roses and more.

The officially licensed partnership is designed with, and approved by, David Lemieux who was the band’s long-time archivist and legacy manager. Lemieux worked with the band members for more than 20 years.

“We are stoked to continue to pay tribute to this seminal band’s vibrant energy with a fresh set of new patterns, designs and styles, all designed for turning on, tuning out and chilling out,” says Seth Pulford, marketing director, Sanuk. “Now more than ever, we are proud to honor and celebrate the legacy of a band that believed in the power of music to heal and affect positive change.”

The limited-edition collection includes styles for men, women and kids. Prices range from $32 to $70. The collection is available exclusively on Sanuk's website now and will it hit select retail stores in August.

Sanuk and the band have collaborated twice before, with the last collection dropping in April of this year and selling out within days of the release. For the Grateful Dead, the band has also played on with other partners in recent years. Just earlier this year, the band’s imagery was leveraged for a deodorant deal with North Coast Organics.

American Girl, Team USA Sprint to the Finish Line

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An exclusive Team USA doll collection has been released by American Girl.

The collection provides a tribute to Olympic athletes and features outfits and sporting gear accessories for multiple Olympic sports. Clothing and accessories for six summer sports including beach volleyball, soccer, gymnastics, swimming, track and field and softball are represented in the collection. Along with these sports, a kid-sized “Go for the Gold” T-shirt and a Team USA Medal Ceremony Set are available. The Team USA sets can be purchased individually or as play packs in a customized American Girl gift trunk.

In addition to products, the American Girl website and YouTube channel will include video content inspired by the collection.

American Girl’s collection comes as part of its larger summer product launch which aims to encourage girls to “dream, lead, grow, make a difference, and shine.” For the doll brand, the collection comes following a recently announced partnership with How to Cake It. Earlier this year, How to Cake It and American Girl teamed for a virtual birthday bash aimed at providing comfort to fans who were unable to throw an in-person party due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.

The LEGO Group, Chronicle Books Releasing Jigsaw Puzzles, Minifigure Line

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In collaboration with The LEGO Group, Chronicle Books is releasing three 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles and three LEGO Minifigure products this fall. 

The new puzzles include the LEGO Minifigure, LEGO Minifigure Faces and LEGO Ice Cream Dream. The minifigure products include a journal, notecards, and LEGO We Just Click” – a follow-up to LEGO Small Parts.

The new products are available for preorder now on Chronicle Books website. In 2021, the new collection will see the additions of future books such as The Secrets of LEGO House and LEGO The Art of the Minifigure.

The announcement comes after the release of LEGO’s Super Mario collection earlier this month. For Chronicle Books, the deal also extends their recent partnerships with LEGO. The company previously announced a slate of new LEGO licensed products in February. 

As E-Commerce Sales Soar, Amazon Buckles Down on Counterfeit Goods

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As non-essential brick-and-mortar stores temporarily closed their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many consumers turned to their computer screens to buy products at home. The Adobe Digital Economy Index found that e-commerce sales jumped 49 percent in April. Many consumers were even turning to online shopping for the first time. Fraud protection service provider ClearSale reported that the average number of brand-new online shoppers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Mexico and Argentina rose by 12 percent between March and April.

As more and more shoppers test the online shopping waters, many will look to continue shopping virtually even as shops begin to re-open.

The online shopping shift highlights the growing need for more substantial restrictions on counterfeit consumer goods on online platforms. Now, to help brands in the e-commerece realm, it looks like Amazon is doubling down on its anti-counterfeiting measures with a new crime unit.

Amazon Doubles Down on Counterfeiting

The e-commerce giant's Counterfeit Crimes Unit is dedicated to bringing counterfeiters attempting to list counterfeit products in its store to justice. Amazon's unit is made up of former federal prosecutors, investigators, and data analysts.

The task force comes on the heels of last year's investment of over $500 million in its bid to fight fraud and counterfeiting. Amazon hired more than 8,000 employees as part of the development. The company says it blocked over 2.5 million suspected bad actor accounts before they made a single product available for sale and blocked over six billion suspected counterfeit listings in 2019.

"Every counterfeiter is on notice that they will be held accountable to the maximum extent possible under the law, regardless of where they attempt to sell their counterfeits or where they're located," says Dharmesh Mehta, vice president, customer trust and partner support, Amazon. 

Losing Trust in Brands

The new crime unit should be good news for licensees struggling to combat the vast potential of counterfeiting online. Brand management firm, Incopro, reported that 26 percent of U.S. consumers had mistakenly bought at least one counterfeit product in 2019. That stat should be particularly worrisome to brands because the risk of buying counterfeit items online is not just money lost on a product.

Reports show that fake product purchases hurt a brand's image in the eyes of consumers. The Incopro study found that 52 percent of consumers have lost trust in a brand after unintentionally purchasing a counterfeit product online.

"The research suggests that changing consumer preferences are pressuring brands and platforms – whether ecommerce or social – to meet evolving expectations, by taking greater action to flag genuine goods, limit the propagation of fake items [or] content, and take responsibility swiftly and with integrity when issues arise," adds Nathalie Nahai, web psychologist, author and speaker, in Incopro's report.

Stopping Counterfeits is a Team Sport

While Amazon's task force is a good move for brands, it has only to be part of the puzzle. As e-commerce shopping progresses and counterfeiting becomes more commonplace, it will be key brands to also do their part to ensure a more level playfield.

For licensees, it's crucial to provide consumer education and leadership. Technology will need to be coupled with smart strategies and retailers' help to ensure the black market is clamped down on as much as possible.

Gap Nabs Yeezy Collaboration

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Kanye West is bringing his Yeezy brand to customers around the world through a new partnership with the Gap brand. The Yeezy Gap line is expected to appear in Gap stores and Gap.com in 2021.

This partnership brings the relationship between West and Gap full circle, as West worked in a Gap store as a teen growing up in Chicago.

“We are excited to welcome Kanye back to the Gap family as a creative visionary, building on the aesthetic and success of his Yeezy brand and together defining a next-level retail partnership,” says Mark Breitbard, global head, Gap.

Under West’s creative direction, the Yeezy design studio will develop the new line to deliver basics for men, women and kids at accessible price points, with the creative process just getting underway. Additionally, West’s design vision will extend to Yeezy Gap expressions in Gap stores and digital channels over time.

West maintains sole ownership of the Yeezy brand and Gap Inc. maintains sole ownership of the Gap brand. This new apparel partnership furthers the size and scope of the Yeezy business, building on the success of Yeezy footwear.

Kendall and Kylie Jenner Team for Makeup

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The Kendall Jenner x Kylie Cosmetics makeup collection has officially launched.

After Kylie Jenner released makeup collections with her other famous sisters, Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian and Khloé Kardashian, as well as one with her daughter Stormi Webster and her mother Kris Jenner, the makeup mogul has now launched a line with her sister, super model Kendall Jenner.

The eight-piece collection includes a 15-shade eyeshadow palette, a blush, bronzer and Kylight stick, a blotting powder, a lip blush lip kit, an all-purpose gloss, a perfecting balm and a high gloss.

The cosmetics collection will sell individually as well as in 200 public relations boxes that will be autographed by Kendall and Kylie. In addition, a portion of the sales will go toward defending Black transgender rights in honor of Pride Month.

"Kylie and I will be donating a portion of the sales from our @kyliecosmetics collaboration to the Marsha P Johnson Institute, an amazing organization that protects and defends the human rights of Black transgender people,” Kendall announced via Instagram.@mpjinstitute was created in response to the murders of Black trans women and women of color, to elevate, support, and nourish the voices of Black trans people. We are so proud to be supporting their mission and thank the team for their work!"

Kendall previously had a contract with Estée Lauder from 2015 through 2017, preventing her from creating the long-awaited collaboration. In addition to a makeup collaboration, the sisters have worked on a branded clothing line for PacSun.

The line is available now on the Kylie Cosmetics website.

Pocket.watch Expands ‘Ryan’s Mystery Playdate’

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Pocket.watch unveiled plans to expand kids’ television series “Ryan’s Mystery Playdate” to international markets, beginning with Amazon FreeTime Unlimited in Germany. The show has been picked up for a fourth season by Nickelodeon amid strong ratings throughout the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia.

“We’re thrilled to be deepening our partnership with Amazon to bring ‘Ryan’s Mystery Playdate’ to kids and families on a global level,” says Thanda Belker, senior vice president, distribution, pocket.watch. “As we continue to further our mission to be everywhere kids and families are, ‘Ryan’s Mystery Playdate’ has continued to prove the success of a creator-focused franchise, with unlimited viability across platforms including TV and games.” 

“Ryan’s Mystery Playdate” seasons 1 and 2 will be available for the first time in Germany starting July in English and August in Germany on the Amazon FreeTime Unlimited streaming services, with season 3 becoming available in October. 

“We are excited to bring ‘Ryan’s Mystery Playdate’ to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, our service that delivers premium, fun and educational content for kids,” says Kurt Beidler, general manager, Amazon Kids & Family. “Kids around the world love following along on Ryan’s adventures, and we’re pleased to offer more of that content to families in Germany.” 

In addition, pocket.watch’s gaming division, p.w Games, will also be launching a new “Ryan’s Mystery Playdate”-themed mobile game called “Blast,” which allows fans to join Ryan in discovering the next mystery playdate by solving puzzles. The game will tie in familiar elements of the TV show such as unlocking mystery boxes, spinning the mystery wheel and dropping the “hintamajig.” It will launch this fall through pocket.watch’s gaming division p.w Games.

For more information on pocket.watch, its expansion, creators and its premium slate of content, please visit Pocket.watch.com.