Founded 10 years ago as a media planning and buying service, Bohbot Entertainment & Media has grown into one of the top domestic syndicators of animated children’s programming. Series distributed under its Amazin’ Adventures banner include Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders, Sky Surfer Strike Force and Street Sharks.
Now Bohbot hopes to build upon its programming success and create long-term partnerships with brand marketers by developing on- and off-air national promotional tie-in opportunities beginning this year.
This expansion was accelerated a year ago when several promotional agencies came to the Bohbot booth at the 1995 NATPE and inquired if it was considering entering the area of national promotions. Sparked by this interest, Bohbot decided that it would be a natural and necessary direction to develop such opportunities. The first results from this effort are poised to take place in early 1996 (at press time, details were unavailable).
‘In the last 10 years, Bohbot has grown so much in the animation and children’s entertainment area that I think any promotional agency can see the benefit of getting involved in a company like ours,’ says Nancy Aries-Koff, vice president and director of domestic marketing services for Bohbot. ‘Since we’re new to it [national promotions], the opportunities are really endless at this point.’
Because Bohbot handles program syndication sales distribution, licensing and merchandising, many of the elements to solicit promotional opportunities were already in place. The problem was how to figure out the best way to go about creating them. Aries-Koff solved this by hiring Sharyn O’Mara as Bohbot’s first national promotions manager. O’Mara works directly with agencies, brand marketers, packaged goods and fast food companies and other potential partners to develop creative opportunities that will be beneficial for all parties.
Bohbot has experimented successfully with a few modest promotions at the local station level. It has run ‘View & Win’ promotions, a turnkey promotion in which secret code words are shown on screen during the broadcast of one of Bohbot’s Amazin’ Adventures series. Viewers send in postcards to the local station for a chance to win. Prizes are supplied from one of Bohbot’s licensees, such as Hasbro and Toys ‘R’ Us.
‘We’re starting small, but we’re hopeful that we’ll work our way to brand association,’ she says. ‘We are able to work with these types of partners in the beginning stages of something [bigger] that has yet to come for later 1996.’
Bohbot plans to be flexible in its approach to developing its on- and off-air promotions for its Amazin’ Adventures properties. ‘Some agencies out there look for the perfect property, and they take charge of the match that they’ve generated. There are other situations in which we will solicit various companies directly because there are certain elements of these properties that we can really hone in on with various partners and that’s when we’ll do the creative input. We’re looking into all venues and we’ll do what the situation calls for.’
Bohbot believes that the strength of its properties will ensure added exposure for all parties concerned. Additionally, since Bohbot is involved in all aspects of production, promotion, merchandising and licensing, it can not only inform agencies and brand marketers of what is coming down the programming pipeline in the next year, but often the year after that, and even show them work in progress, so agencies can begin advance planning.
Based on the response from the advertising community, Aries-Koff is excited about what lies ahead. ‘We know we made the right decision in getting involved. This was definitely an area of marketing that we had not yet tapped into. Our goal is generating added exposure for all partners involved, and I think the properties we bring to the table can dictate that, and everyone can benefit. We stand by our product and we support our licensees, and I think that when you tie those two things together, it only offers success in national promotions.’