2019 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Award Finalists Unveiled

Over 100 Innovative and Exciting Toys & Games Are the Judges’ Top Picks for the Holiday Season

The Toy Association has unveiled the 123 finalists for the prestigious 2019 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. Known as the “Oscars” of the toy industry, the TOTY Awards program recognizes the top toy, game, and licenses in the industry, and supports children in need by serving as a critical fundraiser for The Toy Foundation.link-banner

Finalists were announced by prominent online influencers who serve as TOTY Ambassadors. Between now and January 6, families can visit www.ToyAwards.org to vote for their favorite playthings in each of the 17 categories, including Action Figure of the Year, Innovative Toy of the Year, and Collectible of the Year. [SEE FINALISTS BELOW]

One winner in each category, as well as the coveted “Toy of the Year” award winner and the “People’s Choice” winner (based solely on consumer votes), will be announced at the TOTY Awards gala to be held on Friday, February 15, 2019 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in TOTY19LogoNew York City. The celebration will kick-off the 116th North American International Toy Fair and will include the induction of toy industry trailblazers into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame.

If you’re wondering what to get the kids and ‘kidadults’ in your life this holiday season, this year’s TOTY finalists are the hottest toys and games on the market. Whether you are looking for a doll, a board game, or the latest youth electronics, you’ll find great gift ideas for children of all ages. Every one of the TOTY finalists has been carefully screened by judges for its outstanding ability to deliver joy and wonder while facilitating key developmental benefits of play,” said Steve Pasierb, The Toy Association’s president & CEO.

Importantly, the TOTY Awards program supports The Toy Foundation’s important mission focused on serving children in need – whether they are living in foster care, impoverished, dealing with a traumatic or life-threatening illness, or facing other adversities,” added Pasierb.

The finalists were selected from more than 550 nominees submitted by over 200 companies of all sizes. Nineteen judges, including toy and play experts, retailers, academics, and journalists, reviewed and ranked the products in specific categories relevant to their areas of expertise. The judges then participated in a live discussion to determine the finalists in each category. They considered each product’s creativity, design, play value, and marketing.

ACTION FIGURE OF THE YEAR: Toys that include action figures

Mattel Jurassic WorldΓäó Dinosaur Action Figures

Mattel Jurassic WorldΓäó Dinosaur Action Figures

  • DJ Bumblebee (Hasbro, Inc.)
  • Mattel Jurassic World™ Dinosaur Action Figures (Mattel, Inc.)
  • Pokémon 4.5″ Battle Feature Figures (Wicked Cool Toys)
  • Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Deluxe Ninja Action Figure Assortment (Playmates Toys)
  • Stikbot Monsters (Zing)
  • Treasure X (Moose Toys)
  • WWE® Sound Slammers™ Figures (Mattel, Inc.)

COLLECTIBLE OF THE YEAR: Toys that compose a set and can be collected in multiples; can include novelty playthings, miniature versions of existing lines, licensed collectibles, etc.

Beaker CreaturesΓäó

Beaker Creatures™ (Learning Resources)

  • Beaker Creatures™ (Learning Resources)
  • Disney Doorables (Moose Toys)
  • LEGO® Harry Potter™ and Fantastic Beasts™ Minifigure Series (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
  • L.O.L. Surprise! Eye Spy Series (MGA Entertainment)
  • Lost Kitties Blind Box Multipack Assortment (Hasbro, Inc.)
  • Pikmi Pops: Pikmi Flips (Moose Toys)
  • Polly Pocket (Mattel, Inc.)
  • Twisty Petz (Spin Master)

CONSTRUCTION TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys that include building and engineering sets

  • Gears! Gears! Gears! Machines in Motion (Learning Resources)
  • GeoSmart Flip Bot (SMART Toys and Games, Inc.)
  • GraviTrax Starter Set (Ravensburger)
  • Kessel Run Millennium Falcon™ (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
  • LEGO® Harry Potter™ Great Hall™ (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
  • Marbleocity Triple Play Archimedes Screw (PlayMonster)
  • Snap Circuits BRIC: Structures (Elenco)

CREATIVE TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys that allow kids to build an/or make items that are unique to them

Avengers Hero Inventor Kit

Avengers Hero Inventor Kit

  • Antsy Pants Build & Play Kit (Beach House Group)
  • Avengers Hero Inventor Kit (littleBits)
  • Building Bricks Play N Store Table (KidKraft)
  • Cool Maker KumiKreator (Spin Master)
  • Rock And Roll It Spectrum Drum (MukikiM LLC)
  • Sew + Glow (Tech Will Save Us)
  • The Big Engineering Makerspace (Thames & Kosmos)

DOLL OF THE YEAR: Toys that include baby, toddler, and fashion dolls

Barbie ® Ibtihaj Muhammad Doll

Barbie® Ibtihaj Muhammad Doll (Mattel, Inc.)

  • Barbie® Ibtihaj Muhammad Doll (Mattel, Inc.)
  • Barbie® Robotics Engineer Doll (Mattel, Inc.)
  • Cry Babies (IMC Toys)
  • DreamWorks Spirit Riding Free Deluxe Spirit Walking Horse (Just Play/Universal Brand Development)
  • Hairdorables (Just Play)
  • L.O.L. Surprise! Eye Spy Under Wraps (MGA Entertainment)
  • Marvel Rising Secret Warriors Doll Assortment (Hasbro, Inc.)

    my-friend-fancy-nancyceb3c3a4c3b3-doll.jpg

    My Friend Fancy Nancy™ Doll (JAKKS Pacific)

  • My Friend Fancy Nancy™ Doll (JAKKS Pacific)

Continue reading

2018 Holiday Gift Guide: PANDORA Jewelry & The Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes Announce PANDORA As The Official Jewelry Partner For The Second Consecutive Year

PANDORA Jewelry Debuts Two Seasonal Mementos Featuring PANDORA’s Signature Charms: ‘Radio City Music Hall Charm and Ceramic Box’ and ‘2018 Exclusive Holiday Charm and Ornament Gift Set,’ Inspired By The Glamour Of The Radio City Rockettes

PANDORA Jewelry and The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, presented by Chase, have announced that for the second consecutive year, PANDORA will be the Official Jewelry Partner of The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes. Expanding upon the successful 2017 inaugural year of the partnership, PANDORA has created two seasonal mementos, ‘Radio City Music Hall Charm and Ceramic Box‘ and a limited edition ‘2018 Exclusive Holiday Charm and Ornament Gift Set,’ which was inspired by the world-famous Radio City Rockettes.

PANDORA Logo

PANDORA Logo (PRNewsfoto/PANDORA Jewelry)

As part of the partnership, PANDORA will again host an exciting pop-up activation within Radio City Music Hall during the show’s run from November 9, 2018 January 1, 2019, where the exclusive merchandise will be sold for audiences attending the Christmas Spectacular as well as at Radio City’s Sixth Avenue Store.

The Christmas Spectacular holds a special place in the hearts of many during the holiday season, much like the feeling of finding that perfect piece of jewelry as a gift for a loved one,” said Laurie McDonald, General Manager, PANDORA U.S.A. “Whether you’re attending for the first time or have fond memories of going in the past, we’re excited to continue creating and being a part of these wonderful moments that last forever.

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2018 Exclusive Holiday Charm and Ornament Gift Set

The ‘2018 Exclusive Holiday Charm and Ornament Gift Set‘, is a limited-edition Christmas ornament and charm for fans who are looking to add some extra Rockettes inspired glamour and sparkle to their holiday season. Inspired by a Rockettes costume, the silver base features stripes of white enamel inlaid with cubic zirconia gems and is topped with a delicate bow. Presented in an exquisitely designed matching holiday ornament, it makes for a beautiful and sophisticated keepsake. The exclusive gift set is currently available for purchase at PANDORA authorized retailers, on the PANDORA ecommerce website, at PANDORA’s Radio City Music Hall pop-up, and at Radio City’s Sixth Avenue Store. Continue reading

On Location Experiences And Bud Light Launches Three Day Music Fest Leading Up To Super Bowl Liii In Atlanta

First Ever Bud Light Music Festival Brings The Biggest Names In Music on 2019 SuperBowl LIII Weekend

Bruno Mars, Cardi B, Aerosmith, Ludacris, Migos, Lil Yachty, Lil Baby And More To Perform

Tickets To The General Public Went On Sale Friday, November 9 At 12:00 Pm Via Superbowlmusicfest.Com And Ticketmaster

On Location Experiences, the official hospitality partner of the National Football League (“NFL” or “The League”) and Bud Light, the official beer sponsor of the NFL, announced the launch of the first-ever Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest. The three-night festival will give football fans and the entire city of Atlanta an opportunity to enjoy the artists they love from Thursday, January 31st through Saturday, February 2nd at Atlanta’s fully transformed, premium, sports, and live entertainment venue State Farm Arena. On Saturday Night, the Bud Light Super Bowl Eve concert will feature one of the world’s biggest pop artists Bruno Mars and one of the top female rappers in the game Cardi B. Friday’s lineup includes Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Aerosmith and a soon-to-be-announced special guest.

On Location Experiences Music Fest

On Location Experiences Music Fest (PRNewsfoto/On Location Experiences)

Electronic Arts Inc.‘s EA SPORTS BOWL will once again serve as the unofficial kickoff to the biggest weekend in the NFL season Thursday night with a Welcome to Atlanta Showcase that features Atlanta hip-hop legend Ludacris and friends, as well as a special Quality Control Music showcase featuring rap supergroup Migos, Lil Yachty, Lil Baby and more.

Super Bowl Music Fest was created from the vision of bringing the scale of a top-tier music festival and building it around the excitement of one of the world’s biggest sporting events. With an all-star lineup and the chance to showcase outstanding local talent to over 45,000 people over three nights at State Farm Arena, Super Bowl Music Fest creates a one of a kind experience,” said John Collins, CEO of On Location Experiences. “We are tremendously excited to bring this unique experience to Atlanta and fans all weekend long.”

In addition to top-level talent spanning a multitude of genres, the festival will feature celebrity and athlete appearances. Additional presenting partners for the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest are StubHub and Ticketmaster. An array of premium seating offerings, including suites and club packages, will be available also featuring options for premium hospitality. For updates, visit https://www.superbowlmusicfest.com.

Atlanta is a city with such a strong music culture, that we wanted to work together with our partners at On Location Experiences to bring a music festival to the city that has something for everyone and pays homage to the city’s history of iconic music,” said Shana Barry, Director of Experiential, Bud Light. “Between bringing some of the biggest acts out there right now along with some local Atlanta flavor, we hope that we can give people a chance to come together, drink a few beers and have an unforgettable experience during Super Bowl weekend.

BUD LIGHT SUPER BOWL MUSIC FEST SCHEDULE

  • Thursday, January 31 – Ludacris & Friends, Quality Control Presents: Migos, Lil Yachty, & Lil Baby. Plus Metro Boomin + Special Guests, a DJ set by Lil Jon, & more
  • Friday, February 1 – Aerosmith and Special Guest
  • Saturday, February 2 – Bruno Mars and Cardi B

The Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest is executive-produced by On Location Experiences and SYNERGY Productions, LLC with production support from Live Nation Urban.

On Location Experiences (a privately held company, owned by RedBird Capital Partners, Bruin Sports Capital, 32 Equity and the Carlyle Group) is a leader in premium experiential hospitality business, establishing a new industry standard to serve iconic rights holders with extensive experience in ticketing, curated hospitality, live event production and travel management in the worlds of sports and entertainment. The events planning company is a partner to over 150 rights holders including the NFL, NCAA, the PGA of America and the United States Tennis Association, and provides unrivaled official access for both corporate clients and fans looking for immersive experiences at marquee events including the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, NFL Draft, NCAA Final Four, PGA of America events, numerous College Football Bowl Games and the Tennis Majors.

On Location through CID Entertainment & Future Beat also partner with numerous artists and music festivals across genres, including Imagine Dragons, Metallica, Luke Bryan’s Crash My Playa, Electric Daisy Carnival, Migos, Post Malone, Iron Maiden, and J. Cole. On Location’s operations include Anthony Travel, CID Entertainment, Future Beat, KreateInc., PrimeSport, and Steve Furgal’s International Tennis Tours.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS / HASHTAGS
Website:
www.superbowlmusicfest.com
Instagram:
SBMusicFest
Facebook: SBMusicFest
Twitter: SBMusicFest
Hashtag: #SBMusicFest

Saks Fifth Avenue reveals “Theater Of Dreams” Holiday Window Concept In Partnership With Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

Saks Fifth Avenue continues its long-standing tradition of delighting and captivating spectators around the world with a holiday show like no other. In alliance with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, one of the nation’s leading industry-based HIV/AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations, Saks Fifth Avenue will unveil its theater-inspired 10-story-tall theatrical light show and holiday windows concept on Fifth Avenue on Monday, November 19.

As we reimagine our iconic Fifth Avenue windows and celebrate the holiday season with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS this year, we hope to connect with people in a meaningful way while helping those in need,” said Marc Metrick, President, Saks Fifth Avenue. “From the Broadway-caliber Theater of Dreams performance on Fifth Avenue to spreading holiday magic across all Saks stores in North America and online, we strive to deliver an unparalleled holiday shopping experience for our customers.

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‘Theater of Dreams’ Logo

Over a year in the making, the fantastical show is an ode to the grandeur of the Broadway stage. The performance, titled Theater of Dreams, will include well over one hundred Broadway dancers performing a one-of-a-kind number live on Fifth Avenue, in a number produced by Broadway Cares. The musical performance is directed by Michael Lee Scott and choreographed by Tammy Colucci.

What could be more magical for the holidays than 124 high-spirited Broadway dancers filling Fifth Avenue to usher in the holidays in front of New York’s most iconic window displays and light show at Saks?” Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Executive Director Tom Viola said. “We’re honored Saks invited us to join them in this special celebration and are particularly appreciative of Saks’ support for those who’ve been marginalized and simply need a kind, helping hand.”

For the first time in the retailer’s 94-year history, Saks Fifth Avenue premieres a digital storytelling animation concept, along with the brand’s traditional vignettes in its New York holiday window display. The windows, presented by Mastercard, will bring to life an imaginary shopper’s visit to the theater, where she dreams of Saks Fifth Avenue.

Rendition of Saks Fifth Avenue 'Theater of Dreams window facade

A rendition of Saks Fifth Avenue ‘Theater of Dreams window facade

As part of the display, the Fifth Avenue center six windows each depict a different scene from the shopper’s dream, integrating real-life props with digital screens. Vignettes include the shopper experiencing countless luxurious offerings within Saks, including her personal Fifth Avenue Club visit, her search for the perfect shoe inside the world-renowned 10022-SHOE, and her trip to a spa room for pampering unlike any other on the revolutionary beauty floor.

Saks Fifth Avenue crowd

Saks Fifth Avenue crowd

Saks Fifth Avenue facade

A rendition of Saks Fifth Avenue ‘Theater of Dreams window facades

The New York unveiling of Theater of Dreams will be live from Fifth Avenue and streamed via Saks.com for audiences around the world to enjoy. The online event, presented by Mastercard, will take place on Monday, November 19 at 7:00 PM ET. The window animation and light show will continue throughout the holiday season until January 2, 2019.

Mastercard is proud to partner with Saks Fifth Avenue on this year’s Theatre of Dreams, the brand’s 2018 holiday experience,” commented Linda Kirkpatrick, executive vice president, U.S. Merchants and Acceptance Mastercard. “For over a decade, Mastercard has partnered with Saks to create unique experiences for customers and cardholders that are truly Priceless and captivate audiences around the world. The Saks’ holiday windows and light show is an iconic New York City tradition and we are excited for this year’s performance.”

Customers can sponsor a light bulb on the façade of the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship for the annual holiday light show and all proceeds will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Visit saks.com to purchase.

Select Saks stores across the country will host an extraordinary array of events, including theatrical performances and shopping surprises starting November 29. Events are held each Thursday, Friday, and Saturday through the holiday season until December 22. Visitors can view their local store’s activities on the Store & Events page on Saks.com.

In celebration of the gift-giving season, Saks offers dedicated holiday concierges to assist customers with all of their gift-giving needs, including gift-wrapping, shipping, delivery, or simply finding that perfect present. Customers may access the holiday concierge in select Saks locations or 24/7 on saks.com/locations/services.

Whether shopping for exclusive gifts or designer delights, customers can find impeccable presents in the 123 page ultimate Saks Holiday Gift Guide. Gift guides are in stores or on Saks.com. Continue reading

Let’s Have A Parade™: The World-Renowned Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® Kicks Off The Holiday Season

The 92nd edition of the iconic holiday event ushers in the season with its signature giant character balloons floats of fantasy, the nation’s finest marching bands, whimsical performance groups, music’s biggest stars, and the one-and-only Santa Claus

Performers include Bad Bunny, Barenaked Ladies, Bazzi, Ally Brooke, Kane Brown, Brynn Cartelli, Jack & Jack, John Legend, Leona Lewis, Ella Mai, Tegan Marie, Martina McBride, Rita Ora, Carly Pearce, Pentatonix, Anika Noni Rose and the cast & Muppets of Sesame Street, Diana Ross, Sugarland, Ashley Tisdale, Mackenzie Ziegler and Johnny Orlando

A spectacle like no other awaits millions as the 92nd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® kicks off the holiday season. Set to march through the streets of New York City on Thursday, November 22 at 9:00 a.m., the nation will celebrate Thanksgiving gathered with family and friends and more than 8,000 volunteers. Dressed as clowns, guiding the flight of larger-than-life character balloons, bringing the beat in the nation’s best marching bands and entertaining the crowds with their show-stopping performances, these participants will inspire and delight the nation. With the time-honored phrase, Let’s Have a Parade™, the spectacle begins for more than 3.5 million spectators in New York City and more than 50 million television viewers nationwide.

2018_Thanksgiving_Poster

The world-renowned Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® officially kicks off the season with the 92nd edition of the holiday tradition on Thursday, Nov. 22 at 9 a.m. ET. (Graphic: Business Wire)

This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will redefine spectacle with a jaw-dropping mix of must-see entertainment for millions of spectators,” said Susan Tercero, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “Featuring an amazing line-up of high flying balloons, dazzling animated floats, world-class marching bands and performance groups, the nation’s top music artists, and of course, the one-and-only Santa Claus, the Macy’s Parade will once again herald the arrival of the holiday season.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the nation’s biggest and most anticipated holiday celebration. Broadcast nationally on NBC, with millions of families nationwide tuning in to watch the excitement unfold, the TODAY Show’s Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker will host the three-hour broadcast from 9 a.m. – noon (in all time zones).

The 92nd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will begin at 9 a.m. from 77th Street and Central Park West. The procession will march to Columbus Circle, turn onto Central Park South and march down 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas. At 34th Street, the Parade will make its final turn west and end at 7th Avenue in front of Macy’s Herald Square.MTDP_LOGO_18_TRI_COLOR_highres

On 34th Street, Broadway’s best shows will take a star turn in front of Macy’s famed flagship with special performances. In addition, the show-stopping Radio City Rockettes® will bring their signature high-kicking magic to Herald Square.

Since November of 1924, the Macy’s Parade has enthralled the nation and become synonymous with the start of the holiday season. For the 92nd edition, the line-up will feature 16 giant character balloons; 43 novelty balloons, heritage balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 26 floats; 1,200 cheerleaders and dancers; more than 1,000 clowns; and 12 marching bands.

STARS ON PARADE

The star power along the Parade route and in homes across the country will feature some of the nation’s most exciting performers. Appearing onboard one of Macy’s signature floating stages will be Bad Bunny, Barenaked Ladies, Bazzi, Ally Brooke, Kane Brown, Brynn Cartelli, Jack & Jack, John Legend, Leona Lewis, Ella Mai, Tegan Marie, Martina McBride, Rita Ora, Carly Pearce, Pentatonix, Anika Noni Rose and the cast & Muppets of Sesame Street, Diana Ross with her children and extended family (including Rhonda Ross, Tracee Ellis Ross, Chudney Ross, Ross Naess and Evan Ross with wife Ashlee Simpson-Ross), Sugarland, Ashley Tisdale, Mackenzie Ziegler and Johnny Orlando; with a special appearance by the one-and-only Santa Claus. Continue reading

This Just In:A Message from Rose McGowan on Asia Argento

I would first of all like to start off this statement saying thank you for your patience. A lot of people have been demanding answers and a response to the recent events surrounding Asia Argento’s sexual assault case. Many people believe that because we have been close in each other’s lives over the past year that perhaps I am affiliated with this incident or being complicit. I am not.

I first met Asia on a red carpet, but it’s only been the past year through our shared experience of the HW case that we have bonded. Asia was a person who understood my trauma in a way that many others didn’t. We were able to talk through them together and champion each other’s voices. We even got matching dot tattoos! Something I had posted on my IG just about a month ago. It’s no secret to anyone that Im a blunt, candid, brazen individual vocally- and I think that’s what I really related to Asia the most with. They were edgy, confrontational, and strong willed with very little care about how much other’s liked or disliked them. Rare things to find in women in this industry or the world.

But then everything changed. In an instant. I received a phone call and series of messages from the being I’ve been dating- Rain Dove. They said that they had been texting with Asia and that Asia had revealed that she had indeed slept with Jimmy Bennet. Rain also shared that Asia had stated that she’d been receiving unsolicited nudes of Jimmy since he had been 12. Asia mentioned in these texts that she didn’t take any action on those images. No reporting to authorities, to the parents, or blocking of Jimmy’s social media. Not even a simple message “Don’t send me these images. They are inappropriate.” There were a few other details revealed as well that I am not at liberty to mention in this statement as investigators do their job.

Rain Dove said that they were going to go to the police with these texts once we were done speaking no matter what. But that they wanted me to be aware of them so that I may be able to take further actions. I responded with “You have to. You must.” I wasted no time. It wasn’t hard to say or support. What was hard was the shell shock of the realisation that everything the MeToo movement stood for was about to be in jeopardy. An hour after our conversation was finished Rain Dove confirmed that they had turned over the texts and were in conversation with officers. Almost 48 hours later the texts were in the press.

I had introduced Rain Dove to Asia Argento last month, three days after the passing of Anthony Bourdain. I was with Asia to comfort and support her. Rain Dove came to support us both. It was an emotionally chaotic time and Rain Dove suggested we go to Berlin for a couple days to take the mourning out of Asia’s home and into a neutral space. So we did. While in Berlin Asia had mentioned that she was being extorted for a large sum of money every month by someone who was blackmailing them with a provocative image. No one in the room knew who the extortionist was. Now we know it to be a reference to this case.

Rain Dove continued on communicating with Asia occasionally after meeting her- and their conversations have been their own. I know Rain is a person to whom many high profile entities consult when they are experiencing social pressures because Rain is good at guiding them through the research confrontation, rehabilitation, and solution process. While they are a person who is good at keeping a secret for those dedicated to making things right- they are also justice driven. So it was not a surprise to me that I received that call and the messages from them. I’ve referred to Asia in the past as “My Ride or Die” and said very clearly that their friendship comes first. I know that coming to me with those messages must have been hard for Rain because of that so I commend them for their bravery.

To the people who have checked in with me to see if I’m alright- the answer is thank you and Yes. I’ll be fine. Its sad to lose a friend connection, but whats even more sad is what happened to Jimmy Bennet. Whether or not the extortion case is true- it wasn’t fair and it wasn’t right. It is the type of thing I fight against alongside so many. The reason I haven’t released a statement is because I’ve frankly been extremely humbled by this event. I had to take a step back and realise that in my own activism while I fight hard with passion- I need to evolve. In the past I have been occasionally angry. As a victim I was justified in fiery feelings. But I know that those accused are the friends, parents, and family members of other people. There absolutely should be no leeway or tolerance for sexual assault. Hard stop. NONE. Victims also shouldn’t be told how they should react or what they should say about their abusers. However as allies to the victim and voyeurs of an event we should find a better way to balance support of the victim with due process for the accused. I’ve never claimed to be perfect. This week especially has made me come to terms with the fact that we all have a lot of growing to do, including myself.

At this current moment it may be easy to focus on the drama of the situation. The conspiracy. But the real focus should be on supporting justice. Supporting honesty. And supporting each other. We can not let this moment break the momentum of a movement that has freed so many people. We must use it to allow us to become stronger. More compassionate. More aware. And More organised.

Asia you were my friend. I loved you. You’ve spent and risked a lot to stand with the MeToo movement. I really hope you find your way through this process to rehabilitation and betterment. Anyone can be better- I hope you can be, too. Do the right thing. Be honest. Be fair. Let justice stay its course. Be the person you wish Harvey could have been.

Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness Will Join SMIRNOFF™ Vodka at the 2018 NYC Pride March

In Honor of LGBTQ Pride month and Inclusivity for all, SMIRNOFF Vodka Pledges to Donate an Additional One Million Dollars to the Human Rights Campaign in Support of the LGBTQ Community

This Sunday, SMIRNOFF™ vodka continues its decades of support for the LGBTQ community by partnering with Queer Eye television personality, hairdresser, web series star and podcaster, Jonathan Van Ness, to bring love in all its forms to life at the NYC Pride March. From dancing in the streets with SMIRNOFF drag queens to self-love selfies to strutting alongside marchers up Fifth Avenue, Van Ness will join the brand at the 2018 Pride March to encourage people everywhere to show their support for equality and love of all kinds.

SMIRNOFF-Pride-Logo

Smirnoff logo

SMIRNOFF is all about inclusivity and democratizing fun times for everyone, which totally speaks to me as a member of the LGBTQ community,” said Van Ness. “I could not be more excited to join SMIRNOFF for this year’s New York City Pride March. It truly is the ultimate celebration of love and equality for all, and once you add SMIRNOFF into the mix it becomes one big, fabulous, inclusive party. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?!

SMIRNOFF’s Pride March celebration is meant to showcase that Pride comes in all different flavors, shapes, and colors. To celebrate PRIDE loud and proud, SMIRNOFF will have a large presence in this Sunday’s New York City Pride March. The brand has proudly participated in the parade since 2013, but is prepared to make this the biggest year yet with an over-the-top float, that is bold and inspiring, just like the LGBTQ community, in celebration of love in all its forms and “Pride in Every Flavor.” In addition to Jonathan van Hess as its host, the brand will also host 200 marchers, electrifying special guests will be performing along the parade route to get the crowd excited and engaged. In addition to New York City, SMIRNOFF is excited to bring its celebration of “Pride in Every Flavor” to Pride Marches in San Francisco, Atlanta, San Diego and more.

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SMIRNOFF ‘Love Wins’ bottles

SMIRNOFF originally launched its “Love Wins” campaign in May 2017 with its limited-edition “Love Wins” bottle packaging for SMIRNOFF No. 21 vodka. Now, in 2018, the “Love Wins” bottles are back and are available nationwide for a limited time. Inside each bottle is the iconic SMIRNOFF No. 21 vodka, triple distilled and ten-times filtered, from the world’s most awarded name in vodka in the last ten years. As a brand that has supported the LGBTQ community for several decades, and was honored alongside DIAGEO with the prestigious 2018 Corporate Equality Award by the HRC this past February, SMIRNOFF is proud to continue to support love in all its forms.

SMIRNOFF’s redesigned 2018 “Love Wins” bottles feature the newly updated, special-edition bottle packaging, which highlights 34 real LGBTQ couples from across the United States. Each couple featured on the 2018 packaging submitted their photos through the brand’s website last year for a chance to be a part of the SMIRNOFF “Love Wins” campaign. Jessica & Whitney from Alabama, whose story began with a simple Facebook message, and Jeremy and Wutichai from Washington, D.C., who met while volunteering for the Peace Corps in Thailand, are just some of the real couples featured on the new bottles currently on shelves across the United States. Every SMIRNOFF “Love Wins” bottle is unique, with a different set of photographs that display real love and real people, along with its iridescent rainbow aesthetic and LGBTQ SMIRNOFF logo.

SMIRNOFF-From-Whipped-Cream

SMIRNOFF’s Ad Creative

In addition to the brand’s partnership with Van Ness, SMIRNOFF has also announced an increased commitment to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), with a pledge to donate $1 for every SMIRNOFF “Love Wins” bottle made to the HRC for a minimum of one million dollars over three years, starting in 2019. These funds will go towards supporting local HRC events to drive awareness of the fight for LGBTQ equality and help empower those who are leading that fight for equality in HRC’s 32 volunteer-led local steering committees in communities across the country. Continue reading