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The ABC’s of Sesame Street’s Direct-to-Consumer Strategy

Sesame Workshop says fans of the Sesame Street show should “expect the unexpected” when it comes to Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) products for the holidays.

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, says it’s teaming up with some popular (DTC) brands to let fans show their love for their favorite Sesame Street Muppets in a new – and fashion-forward! – way.

“The pandemic has changed the way consumers shop, accelerating ecommerce growth to new heights,” said Gabriela Arenas, Vice President, Global Licensing, Sesame Workshop. “With the DTC model taking center stage and shifting even more retail activity online, we’ve pivoted our licensing strategy to meet this new consumer demand.

“As we continue building long-term relationships with our fans, we’re thrilled to collaborate with these trend-setting lifestyle brands and take an innovative multigeneration approach to propel our characters forward,” she added.

Below is a list of Sesame Street’s latest DTC collaborations, direct from a Sesame Workshop release:

  • Inspiring dignity and pride in the kitchen, Hedley & Bennett has launched a Sesame Street-inspired collection of their chef tested, premium kitchen gear this month. Featuring Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Elmo, and Bert and Ernie, the aprons are handcrafted and super functional for any cooking adventure.
  • Nugget, makers of the original play couch and leaders in the play couch category, has teamed up with Sesame Street to create the Elmo Nugget. This is a one-of-a-kind, mixed-fabric Nugget featuring a soft patterned cushion in microsuede, a thick sturdy base in Elmo’s signature red, and two triangle pillows each with Elmo eyes and nose—all for endless mix-and-match fun.
  • Sesame Street and NYC-based Staple joined forces on a new streetwear collaboration. Mixing Staple’s iconic pigeon and colorful graphics with favorite Sesame Street characters, the collection includes adult shirts, hoodies, hats, outerwear, a rug and plush.
  • Starface—the skincare brand helping people feel positively cute about caring for their skin—is spreading joy, fun, and self-expression via a limited-edition collection inspired by Sesame Street characters. Starface products like Hydro-Star pimple protectors and Lift Off Pore Strips have been redesigned to feature Elmo, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, and Oscar the Grouch.
  • Taking a light-hearted, expressive, and fun approach to an internationally practiced tradition, yoga accessory brand Yune Yoga is offering a new collection featuring Sesame Street’s Elmo, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, and The Count. Available now, the light-but-dense Trekk travel mat makes it easy for yogis to take their practice to any environment. Made from eco-friendly PER, these lightweight reversible mats have a soft, ridged surface and a firmer, stickier bottom for grip on any surface.

These collaborations are not Sesame Workshop’s first forays into the DTC market, although DTC is a relatively new aspect of the brand’s marketing and sales strategy.

Earlier this year, the organization announced a project with Hanna Andersson for an exclusive capsule collection of Sesame Street organic cotton pajamas, the launch of its sixth apparel collection with Bombas,  and a collaboration with Designs by Chad & Jake for personalized gifts for infant and toddlers featuring Sesame Street characters.

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