The Benefits Of Licensing Entertainment Properties


Table Of Contents


The Sizzle of Hollywood Can Spark Sales

Are you a fan of your favorite TV show or movie franchise? Do you find yourself wanting to buy merchandise associated with your favorite characters? You're not alone.

Fan culture significantly impacts the world of product licensing, and it's not just limited to toys and t-shirts. In this blog post, Hollywood Branded discusses how fan culture influences product licensing decisions for movies and TV shows by affecting demand for merchandise, demographic preferences, fan communities' opinions, and the popularity of characters and storylines.

Blog The Benefits of Licensing Entertainment Properties

The Importance Of Fans

Companies that license merchandise for movies and TV shows must consider the preferences and interests of fans to help them make informed decisions.

Licensed merchandise has been part of fan culture for decades. And with good reason. Entertainment franchises become franchises because they are embraced by legions of true fans, who believe that affiliation with the IP helps define their own identity.

Licensees create items ranging in price-point, from mass market retailers to high-value, very limited-edition items craved by the most passionate fans – willing to pay a premium for these treasured collectibles.

Demand For Merchandise

There are several ways that fan culture influences product licensing decisions by brands when deciding what merchandise to license, produce and sell to ensure the items meet fan preferences and needs.

Fans often have strong opinions about the merchandise they want to see associated with their favorite movies and TV shows. This demand can drive licensing decisions, as companies aim to meet the needs and wants of fans. An interesting post online shows that merch licensed for several leading film franchises far outsold the box office revenue of the films themselves. For example, the nine "Star Wars" films collectively have generated $10.3 Billion at the box office, while franchise merchandise sales exceed $42.2 Billion. The same can be said for the popular "Frozen" films. Its four films have tallied $2.32 Billion at the box office, while merchandise sales are more than $10.6 Billion!

Fan Demographics

Understanding fans' demographics can help companies make informed decisions about what merchandise to license. For example, if a show has a large teen fan base, companies may decide to license merchandise that appeals to that age group, such as clothing and accessories. Companies can also gain valuable insight into fan culture by observing online fan communities and discussion forums. These communities provide a direct line to the preferences and opinions of fans, allowing companies to make informed decisions about licensing merchandise.


Fan Communities

Popular characters and storylines are often the driving force behind fan culture, and companies take this into account when deciding what merchandise to license. For example, a company may decide to license merchandise featuring popular characters, such as toys and action figures, to tap into the popularity of those characters. Some old perennial favorites can also get facelifts for a new generation, such as the recently announced relaunch of the Barney franchise.

Let’s take a deeper dive into a few brand categories that regularly create licensed partnerships with entertainment properties.

Beauty And Personal Care

Beauty and personal care brands are some of the most active in this space. One example is Covergirl, who created a limited-edition makeup collection inspired by the "Star Wars" franchise. The Covergirl Star Wars collection featured makeup products that were inspired by the characters and themes of the "Star Wars" universe. The products had names like "Lashblast Mascara in Very Black" (inspired by the Dark Side), "Outlast All-Day Lipcolor in Red Rogue" (inspired by the Rebel Alliance), and "Nail Gloss in Red Revenge" (inspired by the lightsabers).

Hollywood Branded's article on licensing with jurassic park as an example

Photo Credit: Covergirl 

The packaging of the products was also designed to evoke the "Star Wars" universe. The mascara came in a black tube with the iconic "Star Wars" logo, while the lipsticks were housed in metallic silver tubes with the movie's logo on the cap. The nail polish bottles were designed to look like miniature lightsabers.

The Covergirl "Star Wars" collection was praised for its creativity and the way it brought together the worlds of beauty and science fiction. It was also popular among fans of the franchise, who appreciated the attention to detail and the nods to the movie's characters and themes.

Toys And Collectible Items

Companies such as Hasbro, Mattel, and Funko often create merchandise based on popular characters and franchises from movies and TV shows. A great example is Mattel’s line of products aligned with "Jurassic Park." The toy line features a wide variety of toys, including action figures, vehicles, and playsets, designed for fans of all ages.

Licensing benefits for brands

Photo Credit: Mattel

One of the key features of the "Jurassic World" and Mattel toy line is the attention to detail. The toys are designed to look just like the dinosaurs from the movies, and they come with a variety of accessories, such as capture gear and weapons, to enhance the play experience. Some of the most popular toys in the line include the Indominus Rex, the T-Rex, and the Velociraptor Blue. Another unique feature of the Jurassic World and Mattel toy line is the interactive elements. Some of the toys feature sound effects and phrases from the movies, and some even have built-in sensors that allow them to react to certain actions or movements.

New call-to-action

Clothing And Fashion Brands

Unsurprisingly, apparel is a very active category in the licensing space. We’ve all seen entertainment-themed t-shirts, pajamas, and sweatshirts at stores like Target, Walmart, and Hot Topic. But consumers with a bigger budget had another attractive clothing option.

Prada Great Gatsby Vogue

Photo Credit: Vogue 

The fashion brand Prada collaborated with the movie adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" to create a collection of high-end dresses and accessories inspired by the Art Deco fashion of the 1920s. The collection included beaded flapper dresses, feathered headbands, and Art Deco-inspired jewelry in a range of high-end dresses, shoes, bags, and accessories designed by Prada's creative director, Miuccia Prada. The collection was praised for its attention to detail and for capturing the Jazz Age's glamour and elegance.

Licensing an entertainment property can be a highly effective way for brands to connect with fans, create exciting products, and increase their brand appeal and credibility. By carefully selecting the right property and creating products that are well-designed and appealing to fans, brands can leverage the power of popular culture to drive sales and grow their business. 


Eager To Learn More?

Great! We've got lots to tell you about - there's so much more to discover on our HB blog!

Want to stay in the know with all things pop culture? Look no further than our Hot in Hollywood newsletter! Each week, we compile a list of the most talked-about moments in the entertainment industry, all for you to enjoy!

New call-to-action