LM interviewed Gianluca Aprile, CEO of Pea & Promoplast
2020 was a challenging year for the entire industry, without exception, putting licensing and promotion to the test in particular.
In the collectibles, promotions, kiosks and toys sector, Pea & Promoplast has been able to innovate and maintain its leadership position as Gianluca Aprile, CEO of the group, tells us in this interview with LM.
LM. 2020 has been a challenging year for you, as for the whole sector. How did you operate and what results did you get?
GA. In reality, the challenge for us began three years ago, with a project to build a new Business Unit and with a strong re-identification of our business model. The crisis in the sector has arrived for us too but it has been greatly attenuated by the investments made previously, which allowed us to close the year 2020 with double-digit growth compared to the previous year.
LM. What are the 2021 objectives?
GA. 2021 sees us protagonists in direct distribution with a new asset of the group, the inclusion in the world of Toy. In fact, we have just completed the construction of two lines of licensed toys, 100% designed in-house in Italy.
Today we are active in publishing with several licensed international collectible projects, such as Disney World, Warner with Harry Potter, intended for the kids’ area. In the PROMO channel, we support loyalty operations in special collections and, last but not least, in the toy sector we will have a new launch in Italy as early as next Christmas with an important property.
LM. Can you tell us about the RFID project developed for DeAgostini?
GA. The RFID platform was created and developed to support DeA’s ambitious project with licensor Walt Disney and currently sees us engaged in over eight countries with approximately 6 million devices produced to date.
LM. Do you intend to transpose this project into other areas as well, for example, toys or loyalty?
GA. Compared to RFID, our Phase Zero is the current one of the ongoing project with DeAgostini with millions of pieces already in distribution for the newsstand channel, with the forecast of producing 10 million by 2022.
Subsequently, as Phase One, the RFID model will have its natural implementation with additional functions and with different finishing levels for the Toy and Loyalty channel and with the distribution of the new TATA brand.
We can anticipate that from the third quarter of 2021 in a further phase of project development, we will propose TATA as an integrated platform that will allow us to track increasingly tailor-made behaviors for our customers on different channels.
In fact, the evolution of the current RFID project, TATA, will allow us to create a link between the physical and digital world. We imagine in the future, in fact, to be able to attribute in addition to an electronic identity to each physical product, to authenticate it, collect usage data, in addition to the behavioral values of consumers and then transfer them to the RFID Value Chain.
LM. What would its strengths be?
GA. What we are doing is a Business Unit that, through the use of RFID, allows us from now on to give life to the physical product by creating a bridge to the digital world. Beyond being able to develop and use content, most of the time accompanied by licenses and brands, we may have the opportunity to intercept the interests of the children we address with consolidated expertise, and to profile the subsequent contents more accurately through their wishes and their needs.
Through the use of tools such as RFID, it will be possible to start using the data that we will have through a data entry system with our customers and accompany them not only in the publishing market but also in promotional and toys. The TATA system is a set of devices that will allow children to enjoy content in digital format, through devices and products dear to children for immediate use. Our intent over the next 3 years is to be able to provide our partners with information on their customers’ wishes and behaviors towards their brands.
Our Vision is to build projects that go beyond their essence as a physical product, providing more and more precise information on their use and imagining it applied in different product and distribution areas.