Mickey celebrated 90 years in 2018 in style: in France alone, all of the 300 licensees were involved in the celebration and the old mouse is still one of the most lucrative brands for Disney even without movies for decades! Batman turned 80 in 2019 and made a big fuss out of it with product collections for kids and adults and spectacular retail activations including the glamourous department store Galeries Lafayette. 2021 will see Pokemon hit 25!
For Entertainment brands every year adds value and the celebration of milestone anniversaries can be a significant source of revenues if well planned and executed.
Creating movies, tv series and video games is expensive (hundreds of million dollars) and it is a high-risk business. Celebrating milestone anniversaries on the other hand looks like an easy exercise with a straightforward recipe: dedicated creative assets including specific logo and styleguide, a range of specific merchandise including capsule collections, limited and exclusive editions including re-edition of iconic items, collabs, a full catalogue of retail activations, PR with “hero products”.
This will engage, relate and motivate the whole ecosystem which will contribute to the success. The main benefit of anniversaries is certainity which makes it predictable, controllable and adjustable. It is easy to lock dates for milestone anniversaries, years in advance and to prepare for it so that every new celebration is better the previous one! You may imagine what the anniversary will be when Mickey crosses the 100!
Interesting to note that sport in particular sport federations or even clubs are nowhere near as good as Entertainment to celebrate and monetise anniversaries. In a world driven uncertainty and the risks attached to it, it is strange that the most certain aspect of the business is poorly considered and generally delegated to the kit supplier which has limited know how in the matter and usually sees it as a low priority.