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How Warner Bros. Discovery is celebrating every story with WB100

The WB100 celebration has ignited the imagination of partners across the globe, with a licensing programme described as being ‘as diverse as the Warner Bros. archive itself’. Notably, EMEA has the largest WB100 campaign across Warner Bros. Discovery’s global consumer products business. LicensingSource.net finds out more.

If there is ever a cause for a major celebration, it’s reaching a century. And Warner Bros. Discovery is certainly going all out, as LicensingSource.net finds out from Julian Moon, head of consumer products EMEA and Asia Pacific at Warner Bros. Discovery Consumer Products.

“We’re incredibly excited about WB100 and clearly so are our partners – EMEA has the largest WB100 campaign across WBD’s global consumer products business,” he begins. “The milestone is an excellent excuse to celebrate the great heritage of our core franchises including DC, Wizarding World and Classic Animation, but we’re also using this landmark to reimagine our brands in ways that have never been seen before.

“Central to this is our Looney Tunes mash up programme which sees the Looney Tunes dressed as iconic Warner Bros. characters. The premise is that the Looney Tunes are celebrating 100 years of Warner Bros. storytelling by dressing in costumes of their favourite characters. We’re not attempting to build a new IP; this is a limited edition creative execution to mark 100 years of the studio and it has captured the attention of key partners across the region.”

Given the sheer depth and breadth of the portfolio, WB100 has provided a huge source of inspiration for partners – indeed, there are more than 200 licensees now signed to the programme.

WB100logoJulian continues: “From a Happy Meal promotion at McDonalds through to inspiring collections from high-end fashion partners like DKNY and Marc Jacobs, WB100 is fully present across all product categories. Zara has reported excellent early sell through of its boy’s mash up collections, and New Era has launched a Europe wide campaign for its mash up collection with Footlocker including windows, social media and influencer outreach.

“Candlelight: 100 Years of Warner Bros., from Warner Bros. Discovery Themed Entertainment (WBDGTE) and Fever, will bring to life scores from some of the studio’s most celebrated films and television series with commemorative candlelight concerts in 100 cities worldwide, while the Royal Dutch Mint will be releasing a commemorative WB100 €5 coin. It’s a licensing programme that is as diverse as the Warner Bros. archive itself.”

Candlelight: 100 Years of Warner Bros. will bring to life scores from some of the studio's most celebrated films and TV series, with concerts in 100 cities worldwide.
Candlelight: 100 Years of Warner Bros. will bring to life scores from some of the studio's most celebrated films and TV series, with concerts in 100 cities worldwide.

Retail wise, Julian says that its ‘hand in glove’ service is already paying dividends. “It’s remarkable how much the retail landscape has changed and how we’ve responded by changing the way that we work with retailers,” he offers. “We pride ourselves on a unique hand-in-glove retail service and our role as a curator, helping retailers to navigate our archive with a laser focus on responding to trends and developing consumer driven lifestyle brands. It’s an intelligent approach the results of which will be seen not only in Primark but at Zara, El Corte Ingles, H&M and OVS to name but a few.”

When asked what he would most like to achieve throughout the year of celebrations, Julian is clear that the consumer is key. “Consumers are central to everything that we do and this year, more than ever, we want the fans to be part of Warner Bros. history and celebrate the fandom wherever they are, laying the foundations for another century of storytelling,” he concludes.

TazmashupHonouring the past and the future

“The centennial year provides us with an incredible opportunity to honour the past and build the future of Warner Bros. and bring our characters and stories to life in new and engaging ways,” says Julian.

“In a world where content is consumed so quickly and brands are sometimes here then gone, it’s a great gift to have time to reflect upon what makes Warner Bros. brands iconic and timeless.

“Franchises like Batman and Wizarding World have been nurtured over many decades and we feel very privileged to have so many like them in our stable.”

WBHappyMealGlobal highlights

WB100 is a truly global celebration, with initiatives, live events, new product launches and retail collaborations taking place around the world.

Just some of the activity includes Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi taking a trip down memory lane to the greatest moments in Warner Bros. history; DC-inspired Park Row in Soho, London launching a ‘Master Wayne’ table with butler service and a ‘Taste of Gotham City’ menu; and Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood debuting a new 100 Years of Warner Bros. exhibit.

Meanwhile, product will be varied and plentiful – from Dr. Martens and New Era, to Italian luxury lifestyle brand, Montegrappa; long time partner brands in Brazil such as Cacau Show, DAC, Kalunga and Zona Criativa; plus Suburbia, Walmart, Epicland and C&A among others in Mexico.

Across Asia, retailers and suppliers in the home and apparel space have partnered with WBDGCP including Popmart’s blind box figures and Tom & Jerry mash up toys from Soap Studio. Skechers will also launch an apparel range in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

In Japan, a special BE@RBRICK collection of Tom & Jerry figures dressed in Hogwarts house-robes from the Wizarding World will launch in August; in South Korea, ice cream brand Baskin-Robbins is offering Looney Tunes and WB100 branded products in its 1,570+ stores nationwide; in India, The Souled Store has eight different styles of t-shirts; New Zealand’s Mint has stepped back in time to launch a series of silver coins called ‘Art of the 100th’, showcasing Warner Bros. movies over the decades; and in Australia, partners include Headstart, Zak, EB Games Australia, Woolworths, Coles and Australia Post among others.

This feature originally appeared in the summer 2023 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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