How the Gingerbread House Turned to the Future


Taste of Home is well-known for its presentation of lifelike displays. In the past two years, it’s delivered one-of-a-kind, life-size gingerbread houses. Every holiday, its annual display is paired with a nearby tree lighting ceremony—redefining holiday cheer with wholesome experiences.

Sharing an Iconic Brand

Both Taste of Home and Folgers are iconic brands—each with equally iconic histories. Responsible for bringing families together, displaying wholesome experiences and interacting with consumers, Taste of Home is returning with its fan-favorite Gingerbread Boulevard.

Gingerbread Boulevard brings a fully interactive hotspot to brand-lovers. The brands welcomes park visitors via its Visual Shazam facial recognition technology. As event-goers travel, they experience a 360-degree view of each gingerbread home. Each interior is interactive, letting visitors click around hotspots and take selfie photographs. Taste of home packs a wealth of holiday traditions into a single hotspot, so no stone is left unturned.

The Future of Holiday Experiential Marketing

Every Gingerbread Boulevard home celebrates the many cultures Taste of Home reaches. Last year, displays included Ski Chalet, Surf Shack, Houseboat and Farmstead. Every display additionally features life-size candy decorations, giving event-goers something physical to touch alongside the event’s augmented hotspots.

While Folgers and Taste of Home products are consumed year-round, the holiday season is an excellent time for cross-brand features. Twix, Snickers, M&Ms and Dove, too, are present, and each can be added to family favorite recipes available throughout the experience.

Taste of Home, today, is a leading producer of cooking, food and entertainment information. It’s responsible for helping home cooks engage media, enjoy comfort and meet with other enthusiasts within the digital community. For this reason, its experiential marketing event is highly unique.

The Media Crossover

Gingerbread Boulevard makes an impressive impact in the Taste of Home magazine, too. Paired with the taste of Home Cooking School, many of the brand’s displays comprehensively support cooking enthusiasts every year.

By blending expertise and energy, Taste of Home’s 24 million fans assist the brand directly. Inspiration is always preserved, and Gingerbread Boulevard, every year, succeeds in presenting the Folgers way.

Soho Studios Recognizes Smiling Hugo and Creator Philip Schwartz

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At Soho Studios, we're all about community involvement and living your dreams as fully as you can every single day. We want everyone in our area to have the resources to be able to get the life they want. We're not just business owners. We're also parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and simply people who care deeply about the future of our society and our entire planet. We know that one of the most important keys to the future is the education of all of our children. This is why we want to help provide support for those who help children understand the world better and teach them to discover the beauty that surrounds us whenever we go.

Philip Schwartz

Philip Schwartz is a local area poet and a great friend to all of us at Soho Studios. Schwartz is a father and a grandparent, as well as a writer and a poet. In a recent interview on the Take Flight Show, he spoke to DJ Smiley about his writing work and his love of poetry for children. Like many other Miami residents, Schwartz wants to help his own children and other children discover the amazing world we live in and the places we can see. His own love of animals has been the inspiration for his poetry. In his work, he talks to kids about how animals help us learn about our world. His work is focused on the way that poems can help people of all ages feel happy and learn to use their own imagination.

Smiling Hugo

Smiling Hugo is a delightfully friendly character created by Philip Schwartz. This purple hippo helps children explore the world of nature with a buddy at their side who loves the world he sees as much as they do. Hugo's jaunty blue cap and relaxed air help children relate to him as he does all kinds of wonderful things each day. Children can follow along with Hugo as he watches butterflies flit across a beautiful field of flowers, takes a bicycle ride across town or just enjoys a fun ride on top of the back of his great friend the giant turtle. Hugo, just like many of his fans, loves to do all kinds of fun things that kids do like swinging on a swing in the park or learning to surf at his favorite local beach.


Poetry for Children

As a father and grandfather, Schwartz knows that children respond well to simple rhymes and language they can understand well. This is one of many reasons why Schwartz writes in language he knows his readers will understand and love. In his poems, nature is all around Smiling Hugo and all around all of us. Hugo and all of his friends see the world of nature wherever they go. A large building in front of him becomes a giant concrete forest full of excitement and mystery. Schwartz shows his young readers how to use their imagination and see the world in new and exciting ways. A young reader might hear his poem about being on a swing and see the world waiting at his feet as he swings back and forth with his own friends and parents.

Charming Illustrations

In addition to poetry, fans can also find Smiling Hugo in a series of delightful illustrations that instantly help us see his many daily fun activities. Hugo is at the heart of gentle illustrations that invite readers into a world of color, light and movement. The soft primary colors used by Schwartz to set off his poetry is soothing on the eye and conveys a world of happiness and wonderful beauty. Hugo sees a friendly sun greet him in the morning as he travels on his bicycle. Tall trees with detailed branches hold a perch where his friend Ozzy the Owl watches out for him. His friend Jonathan the giant turtle invites all of us to be with Hugo on his gaily painted green back. The blue swirly waves of Australia's Bondi Beach are great fun for Olie the Octopus as he sits on top three surf boards surrounded by his many friends.

Come join up with Philip Schwartz, Smiling Hugo, Sammy the Shark, Danny Dolphin and the entire adorable cast of characters as they travel the natural world. We hope you'll be right there with us as we await his next series of adventures!