In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 27, 2007 / 10 Tamuz, 5767

Why Elvis is in your bathroom — and not coming out anytime soon

By Lenore Skenazy

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If it sometimes seems impossible to find a sweatshirt without a logo, a toy without a tie-in, or even a pillow without a pedigree, there's a reason for that.


Licensing is the business of coupling a famous name — be it Elvis or Disney or even Lysol — with a product that could use a little glamour (or as much glamour as Lysol can confer).

The resulting marriage benefits both parties: Disney gets its character on, say, an otherwise generic toothbrush. The toothbrush gets screamed for by an otherwise generic tot. And an otherwise generic mother — me — drags out her wallet so her child can stick Mickey in his mouth.

This mix 'n' match business has been very good for business. Today, $180 billion worth of products boast big-time brand names — sometimes even weird ones, like Jim Beam grilling equipment. (Which beats Jim Beam driving equipment, I suppose.) The bulk of all that mixing 'n' matching goes on during one week — this one — at the Licensing 2007 International show in New York, which I just wandered through.

So, what's hot?

Elvis. Still. In fact, he's especially hot right now, as August marks the 30th anniversary of his demise.

"We've had a lot of new folks," said Iris Houston, a licensing manager for Elvis, gesturing toward the crowd at the booth. "People want to do everything from swimming pool products to new apparel to soap dishes."

And which Elvis is selling — fat or skinny?

"We prefer to go by decades," she replied curtly: "The '50s Elvis, the '60s Elvis, and "

Yeah, yeah. The fat Elvis. Gotcha.

Over at the booth for another icon — the trim John Wayne — there was considerably less traffic, but better freebies: tins of John Wayne mints (versus Elvis cell phone charms).

So far, the young woman manning the booth said, Wayne's name or likeness has been licensed to about 40 products, including lighters, knives and firearms. No soap dish fellow, he.

Yet, moments later, along came a handbag designer, eager to talk trade. So I guess we'll see.

While the biggest of the booths were for the biggest companies — Nickelodeon, Warner Brothers, NASCAR, etc. — feisty newcomers were trying to make their way, too.

"Danger Rangers are focused on preventable childhood accidents," said an account exec for the cartoon, Cara Barlowe. Like everyone else, she's trying to turn her PBS show into a marketing juggernaut like "Sesame Street."

Good luck. "There's bicycles, fire, water, poison, dogs," Barlowe said, enumerating the dangers her Rangers encounter, "and exploring."

Exploring is bad?

"Like, caves."

Oh, yes. Exploring caves. Big problem these days. The "Danger Rangers" episode being screened was all about teaching children never to play with a stray dog. But when that stray dog proceeded to run off with a banner and that banner caught on fire and that fire set an entire carnival aflame, well I just couldn't see kids clamoring for any plush toys associated with imminent, smoky death (and rabies).

But maybe that's just me.

In any event, Barlowe will soon know if she's got a hit. Fully 86 percent of all this year's licensing deals get inked at the convention.

Next year at this time you could be toting your Danger Ranger taffy in your John Wayne purse on your way to get some Elvis gas: regular, premium or skinny.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Lenore Skenazy's column by clicking here.

Lenore Skenazy Archives

© 2007, Creators Syndicate