Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 11, 2012 09:54 AM
Last year, Americans spent nearly $135 billion on gifts during the holiday season, with video games ranking most popular for kids. So this holiday season, Energy BBDO and Xi Chicago decided to remind kids the simple joys of play with the opposite of a video game: a cardboard box.
Remember Caine's Arcade, the touching video of a boy who made a cardboard arcade in his dad's used auto parts store in East Los Angeles? Cue "Mister Imagine's Toy Store," a pop-up shop selling nothing but cardboard in Chicago’s Wicker Park, to promote real play and creativity, as part of the Chicago Children’s Museum’s current “Unboxed: Adventures in Cardboard” exhibit.
As Adweek notes, “Children can select a box (a donation is requested) and then head to the art room to create their own unique creation. If kids are having trouble figuring out what to make, they can step up to an augmented reality station and see options appear on their box, ask a handy art facilitator on staff, or simply look around at the stunning artworks that make up the decor.”Continue reading...
no kidding around
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 21, 2012 09:19 AM
In 1985, Elmo pushed aside Grover, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and even Ernie and Bert to make his way to the front of the pack on Sesame Street. And he’s been leading the way ever since, pulling in viewers for the show and big bucks for anybody who finds a way to sell an Elmo-related product.
But now the man who brought Elmo to life, Kevin Clash, will no longer be pulling the puppet onto his arm, thanks to allegations that Clash had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 15-year-old and possibly other young men. This came on top of allegations from another young man that have since been recanted. Whether it is true or not, damage has been done to the Elmo brand and Sesame wanted to control that as quickly as possible. Clash resigned from the show Tuesday and in what Children’s Television Workshop called “a sad day for Sesame Street.”
Elmo products, of course, have been a big staple of holiday wish lists for children for close to 30 years now and this season is no different. This year’s include the $39.99 LOL Elmo, which is a direct descendant of the Tickle Me Elmo doll that set sales records years ago, and Let’s Rock! Elmo, which sings and comes with a drum set and microphone. Hasbro, which is the main toy licensee for Sesame Street, put out a statement Tuesday that expressed confidence that Elmo will still be an important part of the show for years to come, the New York Times reports.
“People are making the separation that this is about Kevin Clash, this is not about Elmo,” said Jim Silver, editor-in-chief of Time to Play magazine, according to the Times. “The more people make the separation, the less effect on sales.” Silver says Sesame Street-related toys bring in about $75 million annually and Elmo accounts for 50 to 75 percent of that.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 13, 2012 10:00 AM
McDonald's US released this holiday TV commercial today, touting its Happy Meal tie-in with Dreamwork's Rise of the Guardians animated feature, hitting theaters on Nov. 21.
Meanwhile, it's heating up down under, where McDonald's is launching its new "Do Summer" campaign with limited-time menu items in Australia and New Zealand: the Blazing Omelette McMuffin for breakfast; the Smoky BBQ Bandit, boasting "100% Aussie beef, golden onion rings and smoky BBQ sauce;" and "with a new fiery chilli-coated patty and Peri-Peri style Mayo," the new Scorcher Peri-Peri chicken sandwich. Check out those spots below.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 12, 2012 03:54 PM
The challenges facing Groupon are mounting as the daily deals pioneer struggles to create a viable business model. As Reuters notes, interest by consumers and merchants in its daily-deal local offerings continues to wane, and it is far from clear that the Chicago-based startup can offset the decline in the bulwark of its original business model with other services that will generate enough business to keep it afloat.
Accordingly, Groupon's market capitalization has dropped to just $1.8 billion, down 90% from nearly $13 billion when its stock went public at $20 a share a year ago in the second-biggest US IPO since Google. Key executives and salespeople continue to jump ship, while it's also coping with controversy over its accounting methods.
Even though Groupon had more than 4.3 million customers last month, and "an annual run rate of nearly $1.5 billion in global billings and nearly $500 million in revenues shortly after its one-year anniversary in September," according to a company spokesperson, the now-apparent weakness in its business model means that imitators, such as the Amazon-backed LivingSocial, are having unprecedented problems.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 5, 2012 07:31 PM
Tesco made headlines a year ago when its HomePlus retail subsidiary in South Korea tested a virtual store in a Seoul subway station, showcasing items that could be scanned and ordered by smartphone for home delivery, while Peapod is testing virtual grocery shopping in the U.S.
Now Walmart is testing a similar idea in Toronto in partnership with Mattel. The retail and toy giants are teaming up on what's described as Canada's first pop-up virtual toy store, enabling QR code-based shopping of Mattel brands — including hot toys from Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends brands — to holiday shoppers.
The pop-up is located in the city's massive PATH underground walkway, a retail concouse that connects downtown buildings and and an array of businesses to Toronto's Union Station rail commuter hub. It may find a ready pool of virtual shoppers, as it will run for four weeks in the same location where Wells.ca tested a QR-enabled store in April.Continue reading...
license to thrill
Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 17, 2012 02:11 PM
In an all-out assault on Europe for the 2012 holiday shopping season, American toy-maker Hasbro is re-launching a number of its classic toy lines and making a big licensing push at Brand Licensing Europe in London from October 16-18.
In the US, Hasbro recently re-launched its classic Furby brand, the quirky mechanical creature "with a mind of its own" that caused a sensation some fifteen years ago. The updated version uses a blend of robotic engineering and digital programming "that brings a whole new way to play to kids," said Samantha Lomow, Hasbro's SVP, New Brand Franchises and Global Brand Leader. "The personality of each Furby appears to evolve by the way children play with it, and every unpredictable action and reaction helps make each Furby seem unique."
Now Hasbro bringing Furby to Europe with a wide-ranging licensing program. Get ready for all things Furby, including apparel and accessories, back-to-school supplies, food and beverages, home decor, paper and party goods, and sporting goods. Furby-licensed merchandise will begin arriving this fall in retail outlets in France, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Turkey and the UK. Hasbro has aggressive re-launch and licensing plans for other toy lines, too.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 16, 2012 01:14 PM
Even though we haven’t yet had Halloween, retail brands are gearing up for the holiday season. Target raised eyebrows by releasing its holiday TV commercial before Halloween, which is the marketing equivalent of wearing white after Labor Day in the U.S. But even that hoary old rule no longer applies, so get ready for the holiday blitz to start earlier than ever this year.
Toys “R” Us is already promoting its Marine Toys for Tots Foundation campaign, which is back for the ninth year with Shaquille O’Neal ("Give Back With Shaq!" for the fourth year) offering “Shaq’s Santa Sack,” the first-ever Toys for Tots Wish List filled with donation suggestions.
More than 16 million children are living in poverty in the U.S. according to the United States Census Bureau, and now through December 2, consumers can “Give Back with Shaq” by donating new, unwrapped toys at Toys“R”Us and Babies “R” Us stores or online through Christmas Eve.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 24, 2012 10:14 AM
As one potential war in China heats up, another is officially over, at least according to one brand.
"LEGO and BanBao Have Ended Their War" is the title of the press release sent out by BanBao Europe. The announcement celebrated a settlement between there two brands under which the duo will "seek a fair competition based on respect for each other's position."
If one didn't know any better, it might sound as if Banbao — less well known as Guangdong Jumbo Grand Plastic Moulding Industrial Co., Ltd. — had finally settled a corporate dispute between equals. But Banbao was a lot less conciliatory in more private statements.Continue reading...