Smosh, a digital entertainment brand featuring comedic duo Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, is expanding its franchise to licensed retail merchandise. Licensing agent The Joester Loria Group will be assisting Smosh in its merchandising endeavors, identifying opportunities and helping to bring the Smosh experience to its loyal fans through new licensing partnerships.
Smosh made its debut on YouTube in 2005 with one of its first videos, the "Pokémon Theme Song" video, which immediately became the No. 1 most viewed video upon its launch. Since then, Smosh has progressed into a powerful, five-channel brand that has now surpassed 10 million subscribers. Smosh's multi-faceted enterprise, based around its flagship YouTube channel and highly trafficked website, includes multiple channel spin-offs, top-charting musical endeavors, merchandising brand extensions, mobile apps, gaming and a theatrical exhibition.
"There's a new generation of kids, tweens and teens who don't tune in to scheduled TV for entertainment. They are catching their favorite series and user-generated content on their tablets, laptops and phones, where they can watch marathon sessions through Netflix or YouTube and access entertainment on-demand and at their own speed," says Debra Joester, president and chief executive officer, The Joester Loria Group. "So, it's no wonder that Smosh has attracted tens of millions of fans and a range of top-level advertisers that are leveraging the brand's powerful connection to a highly influential consumer audience."
Smosh, which skews heavily to a male audience with its focus on gaming and edgy humor, has a rabid and loyal following of viewers who identify with the brand's unique point of view and humor. The brand recently launched the mobile game app, "Super Head Esploder-X," which became a top 10 paid app within 48 hours of its launch, and a recent branded video campaign for Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed III" has garnered more than 30 million views.
"We're focused on identifying opportunities that will take Smosh to another dimension," says Joester. "We want to further engage fans with merchandise that's an extension of the Smosh user experience."
Joester says working with Smosh is very reminiscent of working with the South Park property 20 years ago.
"These shows are being delivered within minutes of being produced, so they have that 'just-in-time' sensibility that makes them very fresh and ties directly into the zeitgeist. I see the same potential for Smosh that we did in South Park. Smosh's top-ranking animation channel, Shut Up! Cartoons, has dozens of episodes with great content, great characters and memorable slogans that can be easily translated into a signature collection of merchandise."
Since "sitting around playing games and snacking" is an integral part of the Smosh experience, food is an obvious licensing category for the brand. Joester has the appropriate experience, as she brought snack licensing to South Park with Cartman's favorite fattening snack, Cheesy Poofs.
"It's a totally different retail environment now," says Joester. "When we introduced the South Park snack years ago, only Spencer's carried it. Two years ago, Frito-Lay had a South Park licensed product in Walmart. The humor and zing of the Smosh brand could really resonate with food product manufacturers to create some really fun introductions and interactions."
Joester says that the brand is keen on finding mid-sized, nimble manufacturers who can move quickly on trends and are adventurous and innovative.
"Convenience stores have an appetite for newness in snacks, and our consumer is a great fit for products that are new and fun," notes Joester.
Wearable products and collectibles are two other key areas that are considerations for Smosh brand extensions.
"We have already caught the attention of companies who want to get to the table early and be part of the ideation process," says Joester. "Content integration will keep product authentic and truly connected to the Smosh experience."