Candy Crush and Moschino attend Coachella, release merchandise together

Dive Brief:

  • King, the developer of Candy Crush, and fashion brand Moschino have partnered on a limited-edition collection containing a backpack, phone case and swimwear, according to a press release. The collection, which is priced from $70 to $650 and timed with the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, launched on Moschino’s website Friday and will be available as long as supplies last. 
  • To celebrate the collection, Moschino and King threw a party Saturday during the Coachella music festival at a venue they transformed into a Candy Kingdom by bringing to life key moments and visuals from the game. The party and the collection mark Candy Crush’s fifth anniversary. Prior to the party, celebrities expected to attend included Katy Perry, Kylie Jenner, Emma Roberts, Jared Leto and Hailee Steinfeld, per Women’s Wear Daily
  • Tidal livestreamed musical performances at the party. Lil Uzi Vert performed, and DJ acts DJs Mazurbate, Mia Moretti and The Misshapes kept the music humming. Moschino and King created the hashtag #MoschinoCandyCrush, and Tidal and Moschino formed the hashtag #TidalMoschino for social media users to follow along with the festivities. 

Dive Insight:

High fashion brands and ubiquitous mobile games aren’t usual bedfellows. But this mash-up makes quite a bit of sense. Moschino designer Jeffrey Scott, who Vogue called fashion's most evolved connoisseur of junk culture, is attracted to pop culture properties (for e.g., McDonald’s and SpongeBob), and King is attracted to the buzz he could build for Candy Crush. Amplified by the Coachella bash, that buzz is intended to pique the interest of young Millennials and Gen Z consumers that aren’t the game’s core players. Candy Crush players tend to be women in their mid- to late-thirties.

Candy Crush Saga has been among the top 10 grossing apps for nearly five years, Dean Takahashi noted in VentureBeat. There aren't many consumer subsets the game has yet to touch, although fashionistas and the flower-crown donning crowds at Coachella aren’t likely the biggest Candy Crush addicts, at least not yet. In order to keep growing, King must reel in new recruits to play the game and, with any luck, a fraction of them will make in-game purchases to fuel the freemium offering’s revenues. “The deal with Moschino will generate a little more merchandising money for King, but if it is successful, it will push the brand higher in awareness," Takahashi suggested. "And if that awareness leads to more users, it could also generate some high rollers for King.”

Candy Crush is one of the few mobile games popular enough to support an expansive merchandising strategy. But Candy Crush isn't alone in jumping off the very small screen. Angry Birds has shown a mobile game can be a force in entertainment and consumer goods, having expanded into plush toys and a movie that produced almost $350 million in worldwide box office revenue. The Point 1888 was recently named King’s licensing partner for Candy Crush, and it’s a decent bet the firm is hard at work thinking up ways to extend the game into products. Expect more Candy Crush stuff to spend on soon. 

Filed Under: Apps Campaigns Gaming Mobile marketing trends
Top image credit: King