We find out more about Home and its licensing programme ... and just when we can expect to see Jim Parsons in the UK.

THE BIG INTERVIEW: Adam Reed, Marketing Director, DreamWorks Animation UK, Consumer Products

Firstly, can you tell me the story behind Home?

The Home movie launches in UK cinemas on March 20th and stars global superstar Rihanna as the voice of Tip; The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon (Jim Parsons) as Oh and Steve Martin as the voice of Captain Smek.

When Oh, a loveable misfit from another planet, lands on Earth and finds himself on the run from his own people, he forms an unlikely friendship with an adventurous girl named Tip who is on a quest of her own. Through a series of comic adventures with Tip, Oh comes to understand that being different and making mistakes is all part of being human. And while he changes her planet and she changes his world, they discover the true meaning of the word HOME.

What are your licensing plans around Home? How many licensees does it have to date (in the UK and worldwide) and in which categories?

Consumer products delivers a broad cross-category mix of support including toys, apparel, accessories, beauty, electronics and lifestyle merchandise. Oh is the clear driver for product, combining humour and cuteness with visual appeal.

Signed UK licensees include Flair, Bandai Namco, RDP, Danilo, GB Eye, Pyramid International, Igloo, Aykroyds/TDP, Roy Lowe, Smith & Brooks, VMC Accessories, Spearmark, Trademark Collections, Character World, Kokomo and many more.

Home has over 50 licensees across international territories to date. Continuing into 2015 – 2017, the Home franchise will have ongoing publishing titles with DreamWorks Press.

Which products will be first to hit shelves?

For the movie release in March, there will be core products available including the incredible Flair toy range, Spearmark tableware/lunchware, RDP novelty toys, Danilo greetings, an Igloo range of eight books, a extensive GB Eye range of merchandise, and more to be confirmed.

Are you looking to sign up further partners in phase two? If so, what kind of categories will you be targeting?

We’re looking for best in class partners in confectionery, back to school stationery, outdoor toys, accessories, and others, so please get in touch with the DreamWorks team to discuss further.

Do you have any special marketing initiatives or promotional activity planned for 2015?

As DreamWorks’ film distribution partner, Fox have a wide ranging marketing campaign that has already begun, with trailering and in-cinema materials rolling out throughout 2014. Activity is now ramping up, to take advantage of the UK half term holidays… A media campaign will cover family and kids TV programming and press partnerships; face to face activity will be happening across 15 Intu shopping centres; and brand partnerships will give the movie additional exposure, especially via the McDonalds Happy Meal. And Jim Parsons will be visiting the UK for a publicity tour at the end of February, so expect him to be on a sofa near you very soon.

Outside of licensing, what else is planned to support Home (apps, live appearance, shorts, etc)?

A series of Home shorts now exist on DreamWorks TV’s YouTube channel – including Oh learning about normal everyday earth objects, and Rihanna and Jim Parsons ‘in conversation’ on the set of Home. Rihanna has already posted these on her Facebook feed, with millions of people having viewed them.

There is an amazing Oh character costume that will be visiting locations up and down the country, including a multimedia screening in Leicester Square on March 14th, and a number of apps, both free and paid, are available in the app store that will continue to entertain at home.

What has the retail reaction been like to the brand?

Retail reaction to Home has been incredible, in the UK and across Europe – so look out for Home products and in-store activities hitting toystores, and mass retailers, soon.

What are some of the main challenges you’ve come up against? And how have you overcome them?

With a completely new IP like Home, we’re starting from scratch to get the story and great characters into the public consciousness, so people will then go to the cinema and watch it, and then buy the products associated with it – a problem that doesn’t exist when talking about perennially popular characters like Shrek and Kung Fu Panda, for example.

With Home, we have been so lucky to have a story and characters that really resonate with kids and, of course, an incredible cast of actors promoting the movie, and a marketing campaign that is introducing Oh and Tip to families in many ways.

What would you most like to achieve with the brand in 2015?

We would love for DreamWorks Home to be watched by as many families as possible, and for product to be available for fans to buy, in as many places as possible. It would be great for Home to develop from a successful movie, into a full range of products that run through Easter, back to school, summer and Christmas…and who knows where it could go in 2016.

For any licensing enquiries on Home, or any other DreamWorks property, please contact adam.reed@dreamworks.com.

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