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Exploring LBE entertainment with Elf on the Shelf

The Lumistella Company talks to License Global about LBE trends

lumistella elf on the shelf
Christa Pitts

Christa Pitts is co-chief executive officer at The Lumistella Company. She recently spoke to License Global about the growing future of location-based entertainment (LBE) in the wake of COVID-19, as well as the company’s plans to continue expanding Elf on the Shelf in this space.

The Lumistella Company is the creator of Elf of a Shelf, the much-loved Christmas brand.

To start with, Pitts talks about some of the changes that the company has seen in the LBE space, following the global pandemic and the lifting of restrictions:

“With restrictions lifting and mandates easing, venues, brands and consumers are excited to re-engage in meaningful interactive moments. Fortunately, our hero brand, The Elf on the Shelf, has become a part of the fabric of Christmas, practised in people’s homes, which were the “safe space” during the pandemic.

“This, combined with our strong partnerships, allowed us to continue offering safely executed, trusted location-based experiences to our fans throughout the world during such extraordinary times. Now it seems there is a feeling of “normalcy,” and so the market is invigorated. People are hungry for the connection LBEs provide and the unique way in which they can create memorable, engaging, one-of-a-kind moments.”

Elf on the Shelf in LBE

LBE is important for consumer engagement. These kinds of experiences are a way for brands to connect with fans in a personal way and also to build loyalty.

“The Lumistella Company is known for its beloved brands, characters and stories of Santa’s North Pole,” explains Pitts. “Through LBE, consumers are given the opportunity to become personally immersed in magical environments, interact with their favourite North Pole characters and participate in original stories in real-time.”

These experiences broaden the connection between fans and brands, bringing the characters to life beyond the page or screen.

When it comes to The Lumistella Company’s approach to opening new licensing opportunities for Elf on the Shelf, it aims to find imaginative and engaged partners with whom it can collaborate.

“We work with those partners to seek the appropriate venues for each experience to fully engage fans across the globe. We are also looking for partners that have the capability to reach audiences in a personal way.”

Guests as active participants

Looking to the future of the global LBE marketplace as it continues to grow and evolve, Pitts says:  

“We’re going to see an increase in the incorporation of gaming, AR and the metaverse into LBE activity. Companies are brainstorming ways to develop a one-of-a-kind branded engagement offering that is more immersive and accessible than ever.”

Companies are brainstorming ways to develop a one-of-a-kind branded engagement offering that is more immersive and accessible than ever.

Experiences are shifting more to consumers being active participants who can have an impact on the storyline and outcome. 

Mall activations and more

The Lumistella Company’s LBE experiences can be found around the world.

This year, the Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey, from Constellation Immersive in association with The Lumistella Company, returns to Los Angeles with an outdoor immersive theatrical adventure. Guests will experience life in elf-size as they take a journey through a winter wonderland. Along the way, they will also be helping Santa’s Scout Elves on their mission to raise Christmas Cheer. 

The Elf on the Shelf Magical Holiday Journey
The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages}

One of the company’s recent successes was The Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt at Tanger Malls. This was a two-month outdoor experience featuring clues, fun activities, and prizes at 34 mall locations.

“Twelve Scout Elves hid in clever and creative spots throughout public spaces and inside retail stores. Eye-popping banners, posters, window clings and floor decals guided participants throughout the mall footprint.

“In addition, this experience’s heartwarming appeal brought out the holiday spirit. Good Samaritans ensured underserved children and entire elementary classes participated in this safe, socially distanced activity. 

2022 will also mark the fourth year that the company has partnered with Westfield Malls across Australia and New Zealand.

“Our partnership includes online and in-centre competitions, photo moments and arts and crafts,” says Pitts. “In 2022, we hope mascot meet and greets and holiday events will return after taking a break during the pandemic.”

Location-based entertainment will also be the core theme of Licensing Expo 2022 in Las Vegas. For more information on attending the event to meet exhibitors, delegates, and speakers from across the brand licensing market, as well as finding future partners in the LBE space, click here to register  

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