03/04/14: Disney’s Rita Ferro on the Mouse’s More Intimate Upfront Strategy


Good morning.It’s Tuesday, March 4, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.


Disney Channels Worldwide won’t be hosting a single, grandiose Upfront this year, a trend that seems to be growing among kids nets. Instead, the company will be talking up Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD and multiplatform offshoots at intimate meetings with key clients in NY, Chicago, San Francisco and LA-beginning today in LA. This year also will not see a standalone advertiser-driven presentation from Cartoon Network, which last year started an Upfront road show strategy, or Hub Network or Sprout. Nickelodeon will hold its event in New York March 13.

On the Disney agenda? “What we are doing from a content perspective, how we’re looking at different strategies for music, games, technology and how that’s really changing our business and setting up the next phase of our portfolio,” Rita Ferro, EVP, Disney Media sales and marketing, tells CynKids. “There’s no way to do that in a big setting. This is much more personal and conversational.” For the past two years Disney held large New York-based events packed with talent performances, to which the company invited clients to bring their kids. “We’re not discounting doing something like that again. It was great to have the kids be part of it and see their reactions,” Ferro says. Still central to the Upfront strategy is Gary Marsh, Disney president/chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide. “Gary has really been there since the brands started. There’s really no one better to hear from and we want to give clients that level of access to him, to get a sense of his input.” In the absence of a single Upfront marquee event, Disney is shifting the spotlight to the Radio Disney Music Awards, April 26 in LA. “There’s still a very big event this spring,” Ferro says. “We have a lot of key clients coming in town for that.”


The Exploding World of Kids’ Tablets: The New Way to Build Your Brand
Thursday, March 20, 2014 ||| 1:30 – 3:00pm ET ||| Sign-Up Now 

Speakers Include:
Moderator: Cathy Applefeld Olson  Editor {Cynopsis Kids!}
Abby Jenkins
– Director of Content {PBS KIDS Digital}
Mindy Brooks
– Director of Education & Research {SesameWorkshop}
Graham Farrar
– Co-Founder {IStoryTime}
Caroline Fraser
– VP, Digital Products & Production
{Scholastic Media}


BRB Internacional and Outfit7 have a lot to talk about these days. The companies are partnering up to produce new 3D TV series Talking Tom and Friends, based on the popular app and aimed at 8-12-year-olds. Since their “birth” on mobile screens in 2010, Talking Tom and Friends have gained global success. The characters have been featured on ABC’s Modern Family, NBC’s Today and at the 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll. The app has generated 1.5 billion downloads in 230 territories worldwide. Look for a trailer for the series at MIPTV in April.


Don’t miss out… Enter your programming, your marketing campaign and/or your execs in the the third annual Cynopsis Kids !magination + People Awards. Our morning ceremony will be held June 11 in NYC, hosted by Inside Edition’s Megan Alexander. Register here: http://www.cynopsis.com/events/kids-awards.

It was payback time at the Oscars. Disney’s Frozen not only won best animated feature film, as expected, but the film’s infectious song “Let It Go” bested U2’s “Ordinary Love,” Pharrell’s “Happy” and Karen O’s “The Moon Song.” In January, U2 walked away with the Golden Globe for best original song in a motion picture.

Curious about Mr. Hublot, which took home the Oscar as this year’s best animated short film? Here’s some info: The short, which is kinda, sorta about man and his best friend, is about the chaos that ensues when an OCD-plagued futuristic man brings a robotic pet in off the street. Directors Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares are first-time Oscar nominees. Witz wrote the script; Espigares has done animation work on Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Happy Feet Two. Mr Hublot beat out four other animated shorts, including Get a Horse!, the Mickey Mouse starrer that played in theaters before Disney’s Frozen.


KNeoWORLD (kneoworld.com), an online educational and entertainment site for kids, is relaunching Friday with new elements. The new Arcade Mode highlights a host of mini games, parents and school reps visiting the site will find a simpler way to preview and recommend the games to their students, and players can now quickly search games by grade level K-8, platform, or skill set.


Tomohiro Uesugi will be the new President of electronic entertainment developer, publisher and manufacturer Konami Digital Entertainment. His promotion from EVP of the company comes less than a year after he came to Konami from his post of EVP of Sanyo North America. DanceDanceRevolution and Castlevania are among Konami properties.

Tim Connolly, former Disney VP, digital video distribution & new product development, has joined Hulu as head of distribution.

Children’s magazine publisher Redan Publishing appointed Jessica McKnight as Sales and Marketing Director. She will manage marketing, licensing and distribution for the company’s Fun To Learn portfolio, handling logistics for all 11 publications including new Disney titles and Sesame Street magazine.



Reaching Today’s U.S. Hispanic Connected Audience Through
Digital, Social Media and Web Video Webinar

Date:March 27, 2014| Time:1:30 – 3:00 PM EST

Featured Speakers:
Daniel Eilemberg, Chief Digital Officer (Fusion)
Virginia Lennon,SVP, Client Partnerships (Ipsos MediaCT)
Carlos Restrepo,VP, Business Development & Sales (Outrigger Media)


Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question: What’s the first book Theodor Geisel wrote and illustrated? And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street. Maybe it was the snow on the East Coast–not one correct answer. Better luck with today’s Seuss-themed question!

Today’s Trivia Question: Where did Theodor Geisel attend college? (Email cathy@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)


The competition for best kids’ programming and marketing initiatives
Entry Deadline:March 14, 2014
Late Submissions:March 21, 2014
Awards Event: June 11, 2014 (NYC)

Visit ourwebsitefor additional information on:

Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Sponsorship Opportunities, Contact Information and FAQs.

Cheers — Cathy
Cathy@cynopsis.com for
Cynopsis Kids!

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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