Virtual brand immersion event is a hit with licensees and retailers as new deals and plans unveiled by The Point.1888.
It’s probably fair to say that the novelty of video calls and webinars wore off for many of us this year, with so much of our working lives suddenly forced to take place online.
However, there was clearly something about the Moonbug Virtual Brand Immersion Event hosted by licensing agency, The Point.1888 last month that drove 225 retail buyers, agents and licensees to attend. For me, I was keen to join because I’d seen first-hand how well The Point.1888 can put on a show, having attended its Moomin Immersion Event back in September. But for the others in attendance, I think perhaps the calibre of the brand was the main driving force….
Moonbug Entertainment is the one of the most popular family media companies on the planet. Its portfolio – which includes children’s favourites Blippi, Cocomelon and Morphle – achieves approximately 6.5 billion digital views per month across YouTube, Sky, Netflix and other platforms. This is higher than any other, including Warner Media and Disney which accomplish 4 billion and 2.4 billion monthly views respectively.
When Moonbug appointed The Point.1888 as its master agent in EMEA for its brand portfolio in August this year, it was seeking a trusted partner which would help it widen consumer engagement touchpoints. The brand licensing agency could see endless opportunities for the licensing programme and as the 90-minute long webinar demonstrated, there is a lot coming our way.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with The Point.1888’s Brand Immersion events, their purpose is to give potential retailers and licensees the chance to hear about the plans for a brand’s licensing programme directly from the brand itself, its licensing agency, and any marketing and PR teams. Attendees are educated on the brand’s values and objectives, presented with the brand guidelines and style guides, and gain sneak peeks of soon-to-be launched products or content.
Pre-pandemic, these were held as physical events but since moving to an online format this summer, The Point.1888 has certainly realised some advantages – particularly if the brand licensing programme in question covers the whole of EMEA.
For the Moonbug event, guests dialled in from far and wide – from Poland to Turkey and Spain to the UAE. The event kicked off with an introduction from The Point.1888’s md, Will Stewart, who explained the agency’s retail first approach, as well as how its team is structured and the values they live by.
He then handed over to Dan’l Hewitt, head of commercial at Moonbug, who discussed how the business is capitalising on the changing dynamics of kids’ media by buying popular but under-developed IPs and using data to transform them into global franchises. He was able to share some statistics on the success of this tactic, as well as showcase many high profile partners secured across distribution, brand, music and toys.
Ditte Lucas, Moonbug’s head of brand, then gave an overview of the company’s biggest brands – Blippi, Morphle and Cocomelon – covering everything from subject matter, target audience and appeal, brand vision and franchise goals, to forthcoming media developments and product launches. With each brand so family focused and with multiple learning benefits, it’s not hard to see why they’re among the most popular kids YouTube channels in the world.
Our attention was then handed back to The Point.1888 where senior commercial manager, Becky Langer, presented the licensing strategy for the main brands, as well as introducing us to a few new properties which we will see taking centre stage soon.
In three months, the agency has secured no less than 11 new licensees for Blippi, five for Morphle, and 18 for Cocomelon, widening their reach into the areas of publishing, night and daywear, bedding, baking, arts and crafts and more.
In the area of toy licensing specifically, there were updates from two existing licensee partners, Jazwares and Bandai. The former discussed the impact its toy, My Buddy Blippi, had enjoyed since its launch late last year across the UK, US and Australia, where it sold out on Amazon within two weeks and ranked fourth in Smyths top selling preschool toys.
Bandai then showcased the branded toys which it launched this summer which have already generated sales worth £1.5million.
As mentioned, The Point.1888 prides itself on its retail-first approach, creating new products based on the gaps the team sees at retail; rather than what it thinks the brand’s target demographic might like. Head of retail, Hannah Stevens, ended the presentation explaining Moonbug’s retail mantra: Think Differently; Think Digital; Think Futuristic, and presenting her predictions for the retail landscape in 2021 and the feedback received on the agency’s outreach so far.
It was argued that, as a digital and innovation first licensor, Moonbug can provide retailers with a market first approach to supporting cross category product launches both in store and online, with digital content, advertising packages, high quality creative and in-store support, as well as competition mechanics to drive further engagement. An attractive proposition to any buyer.
As master agent for EMEA, The Point.1888 closed by explaining its strategy to drive consumer products across the region and which sub-agents it would be appointing to ensure the greatest success for the programme.
Unsurprisingly, after the 90 minute webinar, there were many requests from buyers and licensees for copies of the slides, keen to digest the popularity and influence of the brands in their own time. Commenting on the event, Jo Galpin, brand associate at Moonbug, said: “We were thrilled with the event and have already had a lot of very positive feedback. So far every email or message has been one of gratitude, praise or excitement for what lies ahead.”
I understand that The Point.1888 has more virtual events planned for the next six months – watch this space.