Brand Jam’s Halo Licensing Survey is the only comprehensive report into the global licensed partnerships landscape. Find out how to subscribe using our special trial offer.

Retail may be shrouded in darkness, but notoriety is generating twice as much light as in pre-pandemic times. That’s the key finding from the latest edition of the Halo Licensing Survey, where cobranded campaigns during 2021’s opening quarter outpaced Q1/2020 by an astonishing 101.5%.

Our most recent look into the global innovation landscape reached subscribers’ inboxes this week and shows IP owners sustaining the record levels of activity achieved in the latter half of last year. Once again, more than 500 cases were recorded during Q1: crushing the performance levels of a year ago. The IP industry’s share of total collaborations is also rising, and now appears to account for more than 40% of all collaboration campaigns.

As usual, our Q1 edition provides links to all the stories, while highlighting key case studies and trends – including a look into the some of the main factors helping to prop up a buoyant market.

Licensing of Asian entertainment properties and toy brands continues to soar, while booming numbers of celebrities, sports figures and music artists are crowding into the space as they seek to boost and diversify their exposure with product collaborations. This edition sees music properties coming agonisingly close to heading our rankings for the first time ever.

Consumer brands remain the most active group, but their market share has fallen by more than a quarter since the onset of the pandemic. Execution was also patchy in this segment, with many campaigns generating questionable value. Nonetheless, collaborations involving names like Polaroid and Coca-Cola were among the period’s most remarkable.

Several of Q1’s best cases saw brands double down by taking a portfolio approach to licensing: none more so than Adidas Originals, whose ambitious Kermit-led campaign employed a full roster of green Disney characters to drive its Stan Smith line into more sustainable terrain. Our report looks into how they did it and how the market reacted.

Kermit’s warm nostalgia was echoed across many other platforms, especially via standout sportswear collections – with brands like Puma Golf, Teddy Fresh and Vans finding refreshing novelty in old names like Arnold Palmer, Care Bears and Penn.

Meanwhile, video game integrations, multi-brand product drops and new product categories (NFTs anyone?) continue to boost activity as more brands seek to compete for editorial and audience access.

For these insights and more, join our list of avid Halo Licensing Survey subscribers via our special promo offer. Or if you’d like to test the waters before jumping in, we will send a free sample report to the first ten readers to drop us an email at brandjam@brandjam.it. Just use the subject line: Free Sample HLS Q4/2020.