Japanese ad firm and animation giant Dentsu is rebranding its US arm with the aim of expanding its global reach and bringing a Western sensibility to its productions.
To make the transition, the L.A.-based Dentsu subsidiary DCI Los Angeles operating under that name since 2008 has been rechristened Dentsu Entertainment USA. The new entity is charged with developing original animation and media content as well as growing consumer products opportunities for existing and new properties.
‘They’ve bought us a real pot to allow us to grow and establish some roots,’ is the analogy SVP of global strategy and development, Marc Harrington, uses to describe the rebrand. He adds that Dentsu set DCI up as a test group after it sold the bulk of its stake in anime company Geneon to Universal in 2008.
Fuelling Dentsu Entertainment’s growth is Monsuno, a 52 x half-hour, boy-targeted animated series being developed with toyco Jakks Pacific. It’s scheduled to launch in 2011 in North America, Europe and Asia with a simultaneous rollout of Jakks-produced toys and other consumer products from yet-to-be announced licensee. (The IP is being managed through a joint-venture between the Dentsu and Jakks.)
In addition, the L.A. division has just signed a US deal with The Hub to air Deltora Quest, a series already on air in Asia and based on a fantasy-adventure book series of the same name.
Dentsu Entertainment USA is also taking on existing properties, including Chub City, a series in development based on the toy line of street-savvy figurines and vehicles produced by Jada Toys, and bean-dog toy line Mameshiba that debuted in Japan in 2008. Related consumer products for the canine generated US$55 million at international retail in 2009.