Adhering to its new upfront strategy, Cartoon Network has taken its presentations once again directly to where clients and promotional partners are, and the network is now preparing itself to better reach kids where they are through an expanded portfolio of platform-specific original content that includes series, specials, shorts, interstitials, games and apps – including a mobile micro-network that delivers 15-second clips.
GEAR / iKIDS / MOBILE / TV
While the process of apps inspiring television series has become commonplace these days, mobile hardware developer Fuhu is taking things a step further by creating a TV series that stars an actual tablet. The company has teamed with BabyFirst to launch the original series Albert & Junior, which is based on Fuhu’s nabi kids tablet brand.
GEAR / iKIDS / MOBILE / SOCIAL
While the early success of Disney Infinity helped the House of Mouse’s Interactive segment see sales rise 38% to US$403 million in its first fiscal quarter of 2014, the company is laying off 700 people – or 26% of the division’s global workforce – following particularly sharp losses on the social gaming front.
iKIDS / PEOPLE MOVES / TV / WEB
AwesomenessTV, the Dreamworks Animation-owned media company that develops and distributes content for teens and tweens, has tapped former Disney digital marketing exec T.J. Marchetti to lead branding initiatives as chief marketing officer.
California-based toymaker Jakks Pacific, which is looking to bounce back in 2014, has secured a multi-year licensing renewal with Saban Brands to produce Halloween costumes and accessories for kids and adults based on the Power Rangers boys brand.
- A whopping 61% of teens are using game consoles to browse the internet (eMarketer)
- Young people weigh in on whether advertising to children through social media should be allowed (The Guardian)
- On writing YA well (Publishers Weekly)
- Hulu sells off its Japanese subsidiary in order to focus its efforts stateside (TechCrunch)
As Moshi Monsters creator Mind Candy continues to develop its mobile strategy, the company has launched the free-to-play Moshi Karts app for iOS devices that will also usher in a new branded toy line from UK-based toyco Vivid.
Cartoon Network boy-skewing action series Lego Legends of Chima and Tenkai Knights – both of which also share roots in construction toys - are adding new iOS gaming extensions to their names.
- Why food and beverage companies actually welcome a US proposal to ban the marketing of sodas and unhealthy snacks in public schools (Advertising Age)
- Do gendered toys hamper creativity for kids?
- Sony pulls back its US retail presence (ZDNet)
- Celebrities’ kids – many of them famous in their own right – will start moving out of the spotlight (The Globe and Mail)