WildBrain CPLG turns up the volume with MTV x Eastpak collaboration

Leading entertainment, sport and brand licensing agency WildBrain CPLG has secured a global deal with Eastpak for a collection inspired by ViacomCBS Consumer Products’ iconic pop culture and entertainment brand MTV. The range launched earlier this month and during MTV’s 40th anniversary year, and spans backpacks, a duffel bag and bum bag, all featuring bold hand-drawn elements and bright 1980s-inspired graphics. The deal was brokered by WildBrain CPLG’s Benelux team.

The MTV x Eastpak range is now available at Eastpak’s stores and website globally and is being supported by an extensive marketing and social media campaign.

Peter Evers, Commercial Director Benelux at WildBrain CPLG, says: “There continues to be significant demand from consumers for merchandise that evokes a feeling of nostalgia and transports them back to a moment in time. Through this loud and bold collection, we’ve brought together two decade-defining brands from the 1980s to create a line that celebrates not only the importance of both MTV and Eastpak during that era, but also their continuing appeal with young adults today.”

Maxime Morel, Senior Merchandiser Special Projects at VF International – owner of the Eastpak brand – added: “Our new collaboration with MTV reimagines our classic designs in the style of the world’s most iconic entertainment brand. We translated the nostalgic MTV graphics into a capsule collection that features three vibrant prints, and each design stands out with co-branded MTV and Eastpak logos. The boombox-inspired MTV Duffle bag is exclusive to this collection, paying homage to the 1980s era.”

WildBrain CPLG represents additional pop culture and retro ViacomCBS Consumer Products brands in multiple territories, including MTV, Star Trek, Twin Peaks and 90210. This MTV x Eastpak collaboration builds upon WildBrain CPLG’s recent deal for ViacomCBS Consumer Products with Tommy Hilfiger, which saw the successful launch of ‘A Blast From The Past’ capsule fashion collection this summer. The Hilfiger range features iconic characters and logos from Nickelodeon and MTV across a range of T-shirts, sweats, and hoodies.

MTV, Milkshake! and Ben Fogle among ViacomCBS UK’s live event and summer festival line-up

ViacomCBS UK is embarking on a summer of live and in-person events across its portfolio of entertainment brands, from Channel 5’s Milkshake to MTV, thanks to its first 5 on the Farm summer festival and a new partnership with Parkdean Resorts.

Taking place at Cannon Hall Farm in South Yorkshire, 5 on the Farm is a new, live outdoor festival taking place across the August bank holiday weekend, from 28th to 30th, featuring a line-up of Channel 5 stars, including Ben Fogle, Amanda Owen, the cast of the hit drama All Creatures Great and Small, Milkshake! Monkey and more.

The three-day festival will be hosted by This Week on the Farm’s Helen Skelton, JB Gills, and Jules Hudson and will offer more than 70 hours of live entertainment for families through a series of workshops, activities, live panels, and demonstrations.

As it makes its preparations for the event, ViacomCBS UK has brought in Lindeman’s Wines and the outdoor clothing and camping specialist GO Outdoors as sponsors. Lineman’s Wines will be the exclusive wine partner of the event and will bring with it a carbon absorbing mural installation in celebration of the brand’s Carbon Neutral Certification across its European product range.

Meanwhile, GO Outdoors will have an integrated presence with branding and products visible throughout the site promoting outdoor activities to families and inspiring the public to get out and enjoy nature.

But that’s not all that ViacomCBS UK has in store for this summer, as it continues to build its event footprint through a new partnership with British Travel Awards 2020 Best UK Family Holiday Company winner, Parkdean Resorts to bring Channel 5’s Milkshake!, Nickelodeon, and MTV entertainment brands to British holidaymakers at the group’s 40 parks across the UK.

The branded entertainment will include sessions such as Milkshake! Mornings and Nickelodeon Summer Entertainment with SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and PAW Patrol for families and younger children, in addition to MTV-themed activities and music-fuelled MTV Weekender events for over 18s later in the year.

Dates and locations will be detailed in the coming months.

Virginia Monaghan, VP, events and experiences, VCN UK & Ireland, said: “We’re thrilled to be back with more live events this summer after a very tough year for the events sector. ViacomCBS UK is uniquely positioned to cater to all ages, from families with young children to hard-to-reach teenagers and young people.

“We’re looking forward to working with Lindeman’s Wines, GO Outdoors and Parkdean to safely entertain British holidaymakers and festival fans through our branded events across the UK.”

ViacomCBS Consumer Products promotes key executives across its leadership team

ViacomCBS Consumer Products has promoted a swathe of key executives across its leadership team, a move that follows a period of success and growth in the consumer products division across franchises including SpongeBob SquarePants, Blue’s Clues & You, Star Trek, South Park, MTV, and more.

Lourdes Arocho has been promoted to senior vice president, Paramount Pictures Licensing, Global Games and Publishing for ViacomCBS Consumer Products, where she will lead the global strategies and partnerships for these businesses. Meanwhile, Chris Groll is promoted to senior vice president, consumer products design, ViacomCBS, a critical role in liaising with the creative community on brand extensions across all ViacomCBS franchises globally.

Elsewhere, Priya Mukhedkar takes on the role of senior vice president, packaged goods, ViacomCBS Consumer Products, overseeing CPG in the US and expanding her scope to include global promotions and all seasonal and celebrations businesses.

“I want to congratulate Lourdes, Chris, and Priya on their well-deserved promotions and the tremendous leadership that they have shown for their teams,” said Pam Kaufman, president, global consumer products, ViacomCBS. “As they step into their new positions, these roles serve as cornerstones that are crucial to delivering the most innovative global consumer products campaigns for our adored characters and iconic franchises.”

In her expanded role as SVP, Paramount Pictures Licensing, Global Games and Publishing, Arocho will bring her strong industry relationships, strategic growth plans, and proven global partnership management to VCP’s gaming, publishing, and Paramount licensing programs. She has previously launched numerous successful partnerships, retail programs and products driving significant growth for the company’s biggest franchises. Arocho is based in Los Angeles and reports to Pam Kaufman.

Groll has been promoted to senior vice president, consumer products design, ViacomCBS. In this new role, Groll will build on more than a decade of experience in consumer products design. Through his leadership, he has ensured that the consumer products organization is working with forward thinking, best in class designers that reflect current trends, while expanding perspectives on design at a global level.

Groll will continue to oversee his expanding team, and play a key role working with the ViacomCBS content teams to translate the company’s top IP into innovative VCP brand extensions. He is based in New York reporting to David Chustz, executive vice president, global creative group, ViacomCBS.

Finally, as SVP, packaged goods, ViacomCBS Consumer Products, Mukhedkar will continue to oversee all CPG businesses in the US and add global oversight of the promotions and seasonal business.

Since joining ViacomCBS in 2018, Mukhedkar has built strategic alliances with major consumer products brands and is the driving force behind some of our most iconic partnerships. She joined ViacomCBS from The Walt Disney Company where she was responsible for growing the Star Wars and Marvel consumer products business in several categories. She worked across Consumer Products Licensing, Disney Parks and Studios.

Tommy Hilfiger goes ’90s and ’00s retro in ViacomCBS partnership

The Tommy Hilfiger brand has partnered with ViacomCBS Consumer Products to launch a new capsule collection under the banner A Blast from the Past, tapping into Tommy Jeans’ long history of pop culture collaborations featuring characters and logos from Nickelodeon and MTV.

In a deal brokered by WildBrain CPLG, the partnership will witness the launch of a range of t-shirts, sweats, and hoodies all in a unisex style. The collection will be available across Tommy Hilfiger retail locations, on tommy.com, and through wholesale partners globally.

A Blast from the Past will feature a range of micro-capsules that bring a playful streetwear vibe to the classic oversized and bold colourways that Tommy Jeans fans recognise of the brand, fused with pop culture icons from the late ’90s and early ’00s.

Beavis and Butthead, Garfield, MTV, Ren & Stimpy, and SpongeBob SquarePants will all play starring roles in the collection.

Each micro-capsule remixes the heritage Tommy Jeans flag in unique and surprising ways, such as weaving Beavis and Butt-Head within its red and white blocks or using it as a pattern to fill the MTV logo, adding a fresh twist on timeless favorites.

The deal was brokered by WildBrain CPLG, one of the world’s leading entertainment, sport, and brand licensing agencies.

“There continues to be significant consumer demand, particularly among young adults, for high-end fashion collaborations that utilize retro brands and bring with them a sense of fun and nostalgia,” said Matt Tobia, senior sales manager at WildBrain CPLG.

“This partnership between Tommy Jeans and ViacomCBS Consumer Products is perfectly positioned to meet this demand, as it combines ViacomCBS’s impressive portfolio of iconic TV brands with Tommy Jeans relaxed ’90s aesthetic. We also couldn’t think of a better pairing for our first time teaming up with Tommy Jeans.”

ViacomCBS turns up its podcast activity with SpongeBob Squarepants, PAW Patrol and Catfish

ViacomCBS has dialed up its podcasting activity with a raft of new series based on its hit children’s and adult entertainment roster, including SpongeBob Squarepants, PAW Patrol, and Catfish. The firm has said that it is ‘accelerating its momentum on the audio space’ with a robust new line up.

The news has arrived the same week that ViacomCBS revealed it was developing a new version of Yo! MTV Raps and more audio spin-offs of The Daily Show. These follow a new deal it has struck with iHeartMedia, Deadline reports.

New shows include in its audio line-up include those from its Nickelodeon arm, SpongeBob BingePants: The Rewatch, an Avatar / Korra Airbender Universe podcast, and a PAW Patrol podcast. The Catfish podcast will come from MTV in partnership with podcast producer Wondery, the company behind Dirty John and Dr Death.

“Powered by an expansive portfolio of leading brands and iconic IP, ViacomCBS is accelerating its fortified momentum in the podcasting space,” said Domenic DiMeglio, EVP, head of operations and chief marketing officer for ViacomCBS Digital. “With a robust slate of new and returning series, we are building from an incredible foundation to super serve our global audiences wherever they choose to listen.”

ViacomCBS Consumer Products brings yoga and an MTV workout to Festival of Licensing’s Community & Wellbeing programme

If you thought that the all-virtual nature of this year’s Festival of Licensing meant simply sitting in front of a computer screen, you’d better think again, because ViacomCBS  – sponsors of the event’s Community and Wellbeing programme – is challenging you to don the yoga pants, dig-out the neon headbands, and take a break from the serious stuff with its most iconic brands.

This October will see ViacomCBS Consumer Products swap the usual networking session for a perhaps more cathartic programme of three complementary sessions when Festival of Licensing kicks off its four-week run, delivering a Family Friendly Dance and Yoga session that will draw from its library of Nick Jr. exercise videos, encouraging festival goers to take a break from business and have fun and exercise with the kids.

If you’re in need of something a little more high-energy however, the firm is also hosting a Retro Workout Class, featuring iconic MTV products in a workout class complete with an MTV soundtrack taken straight from the ’80s and ’90s. ViacomCBS will round it all off with a special self care session directly from the ViacomCBS Wellness studio itself.

On top of all of this, the programme will also feature Business mentoring and advice clinics in which festival goers can take advantage of the advice clinics offering legal, financial, and career advice, as well as speed networking sessions for those looking for new job opportunities.

The programme will be concluded with the Global charity fundraiser in support of The Light Fund, Magic Wheelchair, and Licensing International Small Business Global Grants Fund.

“We’re delighted to be working alongside ViacomCBS to bring valuable – and much needed – community and wellbeing content to Festival of Licensing attendees from all the over the world,” said Anna Knight, VP Global Licensing Group, Informa Markets. 

“Surviving through Covid has been incredibly challenging for many – whether financially, physically or emotionally – and it’s important that Festival both acknowledges this and provides meaningful support where we can.”

Festival of Licensing runs online from 6-29 October 2020. Brands who are interested in exhibiting or sponsorship opportunities should visit www.festivaloflicensing.com. Free visitor registration is also open at www.festivaloflicensing.com.

Glue Creative Thinking: “There’s always been room for a design-led brand in the pre-school space”

Glue Creative Thinking refers to itself as a ‘David sized team working with a portfolio of Goliaths’ in its role as brand extension and licensing agency that has seen it not only carve out projects for the likes of BBC Studios’ own London Fashion Week activity, and managing MTV’s Music Meets Fashion competition, but help bring the likes of The Natural History Museum or Tatty Devine into the homeware, fashion, stationery, and accessories sectors in just a few short years.

The outfit, which started out under the guidance of its founder and director Carla Bowden six years ago, recently made the industry headlines for its latest partnership with the fledgling children’s brand Lemon Ribbon and its plans to build out the branding and consumer product programme across the UK’s children’s sector.

Licensing.biz catches up with the team at Glue Creative Thinking to explore the potential for the lifestyle brand, the company’s successes in the licensing business, and what the future holds for the space from here on out.

Hello team! To start, can you tell us about Glue Creative Thinking? Who’s in the team, how long have you guys been in the licensing business, and what does Glue Creative bring to the licensing space?

Glue Creative Thinking is a brand collaborations and licensing agency built of a team of creative yet commercially aware individuals. Carla Bowden, founder and director, started the go-to agency six years ago after 20 years of experience of licensing, fashion and retail with Blu-chip names such as Disney, Boots and Habitat. She sourced; Jess Brown, account director, due to her experience and knowledge within the licensing and buying arenas from her time at Nickelodeon, Warner Bros and Disney, Saskia Anderson Harper, project and account manager, for her fashion knowledge, and Martin Williamson, designer and office manager to ensure the team is well equipped to deliver above expectations.

With a clear understanding of entertainment, fashion and licensing industries, the team can bring them all together momentously with ease.

Can you talk us through the Glue Creative Thinking portfolio? Who are you guys working with and what makes a brand/client a perfect fit for you?

We’ve worked on some incredible projects with globally influential entertainment names that we’re really proud of, including; launching BBC Studio’s #SustainableMe Halo activity at London Fashion Week and mapping out the brand collaborations and licensing strategy to follow. Most recently we’re managing MTV’s ‘Music Meets Fashion Competition’ with ViacomCBS; a global student competition in collaboration with the British Fashion Council, River Island and designer, ICEBERG.

Through our licensing arm, we’ve brought iconic names such as The Natural History Museum, Tatty Devine and Barbara Hulanicki (the founder of Biba) into the world of Homeware, Fashion, Stationery and Accessories.

We are a David sized team that works as an extension to these Goliath names, helping them weave the market and innovatively adapt to propel their message forward.

 Focusing on the recent announcement around your plans for the Lemon Ribbon brand, what attracted you guys to the children’s lifestyle space? What are your plans for the brand? 

We first discovered the Lemon Ribbon brand about three years ago and have been actively talking to the team for about two years. As soon as we saw the brand the whole team fell in love with it. We were instantly drawn to the design aesthetic with its playfully bright and bold colour palette and the fun and engaging characters.

We have worked with the team at Lemon Ribbon Studio to build a three-year strategy to kick start the licensing journey for the brand here in the UK. Initially we are planning to launch with brands collaborations across lifestyle categories including Apparel, Homewares, Stationery and Gifting, and we will look to complement this with a master toy licensee. From there we will be building a core licensing programme across all categories as we move into years two and three.

As the brand continues to evolve there will also be animation by Cloth Cat Animation coming through as part of the new content pipeline and as this develops, we will incorporate this into the brand’s consumer product strategy.

Why is now the right time to be developing the Lemon Ribbon licensing programme? Do you think ‘lockdown life’ has underscored the value in the children’s market/lifestyle space?

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic we felt there was room for a new design-led brand in the pre-school market, one like Lemon Ribbon, which could resonate with children and parents alike and the lockdown has definitely amplified this.

Lemon Ribbon has the great ability to engage and inspire families. Now more than ever we appreciate how important it is to enrich pre-schoolers minds and this is supported by the science which tells us 90 per cent of a child’s brain development happens before the age of five. Through their refreshing, inclusive and joyous characters Lemon Ribbon will captivate children’s imaginations and ultimately, we want to bring these characters to life through the range of consumer products we are aspiring to create through a program of brand collaborations and licensees.

The team at Lemon Ribbon have already embraced the principle of play led educational content in their current partnership with ‘Imagine That Publishing’ who have produced 10 books utilising their characters and unique design aesthetic. However, we are now actively looking to build on this, and we are starting the process of talking with new publishing partners.

How has business been for Glue Creative Thinking over the past few months? How has the current situation influenced or impacted upon the licensing strategies you look at?

Fortunately for Glue, we’ve always been a remote, global team so there wasn’t much of an adjustment period when lockdowns occurred and due to our knowledge and size, we were able to act fast on the changing needs of our clients and their consumers.

We’ve been keeping an eye on the market; on which industries and brands are leaving this period stronger than before as well as which trends and innovations are working in this elevation of digital importance.

What do you think the future of licensing will look like as we emerge from this pandemic?

We’re incredibly optimistic for the future of the licensing industry and how we, as an industry, can provide consumers with what they’re looking for.

Working with influential brands we look to bring nostalgia to the public with innovative and engaging experiences, both physical and digital, especially now when igniting memorable connection is more important than ever.

The landscape is changing, and we’re excited for the new opportunities that digital provides.  We’re especially supportive of the growing desire for sustainability to be at the forefront of the conversation and how the two can support one another’s growth.

 What’s the next big step for you guys?

We’re here to support our clients through this next phase, helping them meet targets and reach consumers authentically, whatever the future may bring.

We’re excited to bring Lemon Ribbon to the wider UK market and are actively looking for partners. The third instalment of the ‘Music Meets Fashion Competition’ launches at London Fashion Week this September, we’ll be releasing some exciting updates, so keep your eyes peeled for that! We’ve also been actively looking ahead to 2021, working on a few different proposals for the gaming and TV worlds; we’ve been, gratefully, very busy!