LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Macy’s Parade & Entertainment Group and Nickelodeon today announced that beloved pop-culture phenomenon SpongeBob SquarePants will serve as Macy’s 2014 Holiday Ambassador. Kicking off this November, an exclusive SpongeBob talking plush complete with sound chip and Patrick and Plankton finger puppets will be available exclusively in more than 600 full line Macy’s stores and Macys.com, as part of the Macy’s collectible plush program that runs through December 31. Adding to the holiday cheer, the first-ever ‘square’ balloon makes its 11th triumphant return to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® this November in New York City.
“SpongeBob SquarePants has experienced many iconic moments over the last 15 years, and we are honored to add Macy’s coveted holiday ambassadorship to the list,” said Pam Kaufman, Chief Marketing Officer and President Consumer Products, Nickelodeon. “The holidays are a magical time of year and who better than SpongeBob, the eternal optimist, to deck the halls with cheer this season.”
“For over a decade, SpongeBob SquarePants has delighted millions of spectators along the streets of New York City and several millions more in homes across the nation, as he’s soared down the streets of Manhattan in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” said Amy Kule, Group Vice-President, Macy’s Parade & Entertainment Group. “We are overjoyed that SpongeBob will be adding Macy’s Holiday Ambassador to his list of entertaining accomplishments as he helps Macy’s kick-off the holiday season in our stores across the nation.”
Macy’s collectible plush program has for almost two decades, featured some of the most beloved and iconic characters in history. Selected to highlight the family fun and excitement that awaits shoppers at stores during the holiday season, SpongeBob SquarePants joins a star-studded list of the world’s most famous characters that in the past have welcomed the holidays at the retailer. From the first plush of Babar the elephant to the most recent stars including The Smurfs™, Kermit the Frog, Scooby-Doo, Snoopy, Shrek® and Mickey Mouse, the plush has become a Macy’s tradition and a coveted collector’s item.
The SpongeBob SquarePants plush features SpongeBob’s laugh and loveable quotes such as “Did you know you were my best friend?” and “I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready,” and will be available for $15.95. In addition to the Patrick and Plankton finger pals, owners of the plush will have access to exclusive online added value components including a customizable and shareable digital holiday greeting.
As part of the program, SpongeBob will be featured in holiday collateral at stores nationwide including posters and other signage. In addition, there will be a number of in-store events that will feature the loveable character. At Macy’s flagship location at Herald Square in New York City – the third most visited site in the city during the holidays, annually attracting more than 350,000 visitors per day – custom-designed shopping bags featuring SpongeBob will be distributed throughout the holiday season; a SpongeBob cold-air inflatable will also adorn a marquee entrance to the store; and a window on the famed 34th Street side of the iconic department store will be dressed in Bikini Bottom holiday flair with the exclusive plush and other holiday décor.
Floating at 44-feet tall, 41-feet long and 34-feet wide, SpongeBob’s helium balloon will travel down New York’s most famous Parade route for the eleventh time. Last year the quadrangular balloon received a state-of-the-art makeover with the eternal optimist donning a holiday-themed ensemble for his second and newest balloon in the annual holiday spectacular. The new design was re-imagined by Nickelodeon and Macy’s Parade organizers to give it a fresh, more vivid look. The balloon structure was also fine-tuned as organizers accomplished an engineering feat, incorporating more than 800 tie lines in the single chamber sphere that intricately pull together SpongeBob’s trademark square shape.
Since its launch in July 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants has become one of the most beloved animated characters in TV history, and a global pop culture phenomenon. In its 15th year, the series continues to rank as the number-one animated series with kids 2-11 on all of television, as well as one of the most ‘liked’ animated series on Facebook, with more than 81 million fans. Over the past several years, SpongeBob has averaged more than 100 million total viewers every quarter across all Nickelodeon networks. SpongeBob SquarePants is executive produced by creator Stephen Hillenburg, who previously worked as a writer, director and creative director on Nickelodeon’s animated series Rocko’s Modern Life. Paul Tibbitt served as a director and writer on SpongeBob SquarePants for its first three seasons and is currently executive producer.
About Macy’s Parade & Entertainment Group
Macy’s Parade & Entertainment Group, a dedicated staff at Macy’s, Inc. are the creative, marketing, design and logistics organization behind world-famous events including Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® and Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks®. The group also oversees the creation and production of local in-store and significant community events in cities across the nation. Its partnership marketing team is responsible for creating strategic alliances with companies that will add value to Macy’s retail and shopping experience. From celebrity appearances and flower shows to extravagant fashion events, tree lightings and parades; Macy’s Parade & Entertainment Group is charged with bringing the magic of Macy’s to millions of people from coast-to-coast.
Nickelodeon, now in its 35th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in almost 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 19 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B).