Brand Jam’s Halo Licensing Survey is the unique comprehensive survey of the global licensed collaborations scene. Here is a quick summary of the Q3/2020 report just out: be sure to find out how to subscribe to the service using our promo offer.
After a second quarter that could be best described as ‘pensive’, the brand innovation marketplace bounced back strongly in the period just completed. Licensed properties were no exception to the general trend – as captured in the latest edition of Brand Jam’s Halo Licensing Survey.
Indeed, the 460 cases logged last quarter represent record high levels of activity. While we assume most of the gain is due to the release-valve effect of coming out of global lockdown, within this growth pattern we saw surging numbers of activations driven by consumer brands and TV/movie properties.
It stands to reason that shoppers living in isolation are more engaged with their favourite TV shows, or harbour nostalgic cravings for beloved food, car and sportswear brands. If their growth in activity since July is indeed correlated to the global situation, then the market’s reaction time is impressive.
Other big winners last quarter were celebrities from the worlds of TV, music and sports – all no doubt eager to seek out new sources of visibility and income. Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack Meal at McDonald’s led the pack in a busy season, but elsewhere we saw brands and celebrities step up their game with sophisticated campaigns built on elements of endorsement, influence, content and merch. To the licensing industry, this growing breed of mega-influencers represents both a threat and an opportunity.
A trend observed across all segments was a softening of tone and intent. Campaigns invoking social purpose grew strongly: also represented in a continued growth of presence for non-profit brands as campaign protagonists and partners. Several music artists preferred to use their charities (or their lifestyle brands) over their names and identities to activate brand partnerships.
Video games also grew, as much as a partner platform for brand and property activations as a participant in classic licensed merchandising. Toys and toy brands have been similarly inventive and aggressive this year – though none quite like Lego, whose high-profile partnerships with Levi’s, IKEA and adidas last quarter accompanied record sales and the blockbuster success of their Super Mario integration.
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