Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2012 - (Page 44)

Licensing Digital Innovations Profile OUTFIT 7 LTD. The Talk of the Internet Cats and dogs are reigning on the Internet, and Tom the Cat, Ben the Dog, Ginger the Kitten and more Talking Friends are chatting up the Web with more than 500 million downloads. alking Friends is the entertainment franchise and digital app phenomenon that started with everyone’s favorite cat, Talking Tom. Since Tom’s rise to international stardom, he has been joined by a whole cast of characters including Talking Ben the Dog, Gina the Giraffe and Ginger the Kitten. Talking Friends apps have been downloaded more than 500 million times in less than two years. This amounts to 120 million monthly users and more than 850 million plays per month. The characters recently transcended the world of apps when they were featured in an animated series broadcast T Dan Amos New York on The burgeoning franchise is supported by an extensive global licensing program managed by Beanstalk, the exclusive global licensing agent for Talking Friends. The Talking Friends app capitalizes on the human tendency to express one’s own creativity through other characters, who appear on a device’s screen and can repeat what the users say. The characters also can be directed to perform certain functions – such as folding a newspaper, eating, drinking, or belching, or even doing a newscast of the user’s own design – by prodding them through the phone’s touchscreen. Videos can be assembled from these interactions. With a virtual camera, a movie set and other interactive items, users can film their own mini-movie and then share it with their friends on YouTube, Facebook or by email. Outfit 7 Ltd., the developer of Talking Friends, is focused on building the property to ensure its long-term success. Licensing is seen as a means to support the continued growth and longevity of the Talking Friends brand. The licensing program seeks to secure partners whose products allow fans of the Talking Friends apps to continue to express their affinity for the brand, while transferring the creativity they develop in the digital world into the physical world. Today’s technology user is equally demanding when purchasing real-world products based on digital properties, so finding ways to reward the consumer in the same way an app does is key, emphasizes Dan Amos, associate director of brand management at Beanstalk. Many Partners Since its introduction at the Las Vegas Licensing Expo in June 2011, the Talking Friends licensing program has grown at a pace that reflects the app’s 500 million downloads. Currently, 17 licensees are in the program. Early retail success has been seen in key 44 September/October 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2012

Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2012
Brand Licensing Europe
Showrooming Mushrooming
Pinch the Grinch
Category Insight
Upfront: BJ's Wholesale
Mind Candy
Outfit 7
Halfbrick Studios
Redasign Studio
Sony Pictures Consumer Products
Brentwood Licensing
Andrews McMeel Publishing
Chestnut Petroleum Distributors Inc.
The Hartley Co.
Mollie Stone’s Markets
Regal Oil
80Purple Cow Stores
Ocean State Job Lot
Staples Canada
Brookshire Grocery Co.
Wally’s Food Pride
Jewelry Television
Skin Science Labs Inc.
Great Clips
New & Noteable

Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2012