July 26, 2023
To honor International Friendship Day on July 30, Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products has launched the second annual “Friends” Fan Week on July 24, with experiences, programming, giveaways and products to celebrate friendship and the television series. The week-long celebration inspired by the “Friends” TV show invites fans to celebrate with their own friends to recreate scenes at The “Friends” Experience, make memories playing with new games and toys from Uno and Polly Pocket, enjoy Central Perk Coffee with giveaways hosted daily at CentralPerk.com and more.
"Friends" Polly Pocket
Polly Pocket brings “Friends” fans an exclusive collector compact in its Polly Pocket Partnership collector series. The coffee cup exterior opens to reveal three locations from the show and all six characters as micro dolls.
The WB Shop launched July 25 with new WB100 Looney Tunes x “Friends” products. The design with the “Friends” intro scene merges with “Looney Tunes” on a range of items, including a towel, T-shirt, blanket and notebook.
A “Friends”-inspired UNO Card Game featuring characters from the series is available from Amazon, and an interactive experience created by Warner Bros. Discovery Global Themed Entertainment, Original X Productions and Warner Bros. Television Group, The “Friends” Experience will host an online giveaway on Instagram beginning July 28.
In collaboration with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products, Fisher-Price is unveiling the Little People Collector “Friends” set. This set features the six main characters: Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey and Phoebe.
“The Friends Book of Lists: The Official Guide to All the Characters, Quotes and Memorable Moments” book is packed with facts and trivia from all ten seasons as well as breaks down the series with a collection of more than 100 lists focusing on themes, characters and moments from the show. It’s available from Running Press on Amazon and wherever books are sold.
There is also a “Friends: The One with the Crochet: The Official Crochet Pattern Book” from Insight Editions. This deluxe collection includes 25 official patterns.
In honor of “Friends” Fan Week, Central Perk Coffee is giving away free coffee via @CentralPerk on Instagram.
“Friends” debuted in September of 1994 and ran through May of 2004, but in 2020, HBO Max (now Max) reported that “Friends” was its most-watched show since it moved to their platform from Netflix. Like any entertainment medium, “Friends” has aged. So has its fan base, with a YouGov Omnibus survey finding that 81% of those between the ages of 35-54 say they have watched episodes of the show. However, 72% of those between the ages of 25-34 have watched it, and 52% of those between 18-24 have watched it. Nearly seven out of 10 Americans have watched the show (69%). This intergenerational fondness has allowed the show to stay in the cultural discourse and, therefore, in the licensing arena.
The Harvard Business Review reported, “Nostalgia, by heightening feelings of connectedness, reduces people’s desire for money, says a team led by Jannine D. Lasaleta of the Grenoble School of Management in France. In one experiment, nostalgic feelings increased people’s willingness to pay for desired objects. In another, participants who were asked to draw pictures of coins drew them 10% smaller after writing about a nostalgic event. Inducing warm feelings about a cherished past could bring big benefits for those seeking to part consumers from their money, the researchers say.”
These figures show that those who feel connected to this show will be willing to shell out for its merchandise, hence marketing initiatives like “Friends” Fan Week. For new fans of the show, it’s typical “new” IP hype that leads to purchasing, but for older fans, that nostalgia is what keeps them coming back.
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