ZAG appoints Carlotta Caracciolo as Consumer Products VP for MEA

Animation studio ZAG has appointed former MGA Entertainment and Warner Bros executive Carlotta Caracciolo as its first VP, Middle East and Africa, to oversee the company’s consumer products strategy in the region.  The appointment was announced today by Julian Zag, SVP Global Operations and Head of Consumer Products, to whom Caracciolo reports.

In her new role at ZAG, Caracciolo, who will be based in Dubai, will focus on building a consumer products programme for the Middle East and Africa for properties in the ZAG Heroez portfolio, with an initial focus on Miraculous – Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir and the company’s newest series, Ghostforce.

Miraculous has broad reach across the Middle East, with the series available on Disney Channel and MBC, whose MBC3 channel for kids is the most popular and biggest in the region. Combined, Miraculous reaches kids in Arabic across Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, West Bank and Gaza, Qatar, Saudi, Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Aran Emirates and Yemen. In Turkey, the series is available on Disney Channel. South and Sub-Saharan Africa is covered by Disney; with MBC reaching Northern Africa.

“The Middle East and Africa have become a top priority for ZAG, and the Disney/MBC combination is a perfect duo for us to reach children and families across the region,” says Julian Zag. “Miraculous is garnering strong ratings, particularly in Saudi Arabia, where the series ranked in the number-one slot on MBC following its launch in 2018, and has remained among the top programmes ever since. Carlotta will lead our market expansion in the region and drive the development of licensing partners for our portfolio of brands.”

Caracciolo served for the past three years as Head of Sales and Licensing, Middle East and Africa, at MGA Entertainment, where she was instrumental in launching the licensing and toy programme for L.O.L. Surprise! across the region. Prior, she was a Category Manager at the licensing agency Shooting Stars, where she managed and developed the softlines accounts for clients including Warner Bros and NBC Universal for the GCC region, following her earlier role with Warner Bros as a category manager based in Italy. She started her entertainment career with Warner Bros in Italy in 2011 as marketing and retail assistant.

Caracciolo says: “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with ZAG, and I look forward to growing the licensing and toy footprint in MEA Region, bringing new and exciting collaborations  across multiple categories for consumers to experience the brand.”

BBC Studios lines up five new US partners for hit kids’ series Bluey

BBC Studios has secured a raft of five new US licensing partners for the popular children’s animated TV series, Bluey, tapping the likes of Spin Master, The Bentex Group, and Jay Franco for new products.

The move to bolster the IP’s US licensing programme follows the successful premiere of Bluey across the region in 2019 and its current surge in viewership upon the Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney+. Bluey made its debut into the toy market through partner Moose Toys, while Penguin Random House headed up its publishing slate.

The popular children’s brand is poised to make an even bigger imprint at retail across the US this year, with new introductions from The Bentext Group, Spin Master, Jay Franco, Kurt Adler, and Zak Designs.

Spin Master will launch a range of games and puzzles from this autumn, Bentex will look after apparel and toddler’s clothing, Jay Franco will head up bedding, home decor, bath and accessories, Zak Designs for dining, and Kurt Adler for holiday decor.

“Bluey, Bluey, Bluey! The brand is picking up real momentum in the US off the back of the series success on Disney platforms, and the debut line of toys and books. The upcoming line of products from our new best-in-class partners are poised to help families build upon their Bluey-inspired adventures together,” said Suzy Raia, VP consumer products and business development, BBC Studios.

“We hope parents are eager to expand the Bluey presence in their home – it’s truly a show that continues to resonate with families and that parents are eagerly embracing.”

Bluey is a multi-award-winning Australian children’s series that has taken Australia and the US by storm and is charming audiences around the globe. Loved by parents and children for its heartfelt and funny portrayal of family life and celebration of play, the series follows Bluey, a six-year-old Blue Heeler dog, who loves to play and turns everyday family life into extraordinary adventures that unfold in unpredictable and hilarious ways, bringing her family, friends and community into her world of fun.

In June 2019, BBC Studios struck a global broadcast deal with Disney to premiere Bluey on Disney Junior and Disney+ in all territories outside Australia, New Zealand, and Greater China including Taiwan.

In Australia, Bluey is the most watched series ever on ABC iview, with over 480 million plays across series 1 and 2.

BBC Studios taps Brainbase Assist to power its growing licensing programme for Bluey

BBC Studios has underscored its commitment to the Bluey licensing programme, turning to the end-to-end IP management firm Brainbase and its Assist platform to help it streamline and manage its global licensing operations for the popular pre-school property.

The move comes as BBC Studios continues to grow the successful Bluey brand in the consumer products and licensing sector. The collaborations will enable BBC to ‘make strategic franchise decisions’ all based on insights garnered from the Assist platform.

Brainbase is a venture backed company specialising in IP management.

“We are ecstatic to welcome BBC Studios to the Brainbase family,” said Brainbase co-founder and CEO, Nate Cavanaugh. “Our team is excited to see Bluey’s consumer products come to life on our platform, and to provide best-in-class technology to support its globally-recognised IP and rapidly growing consumer products business.”

Bluey has seen a surge in demand from audiences since it started airing on Disney Junior and Disney Channel in the US and becoming available to stream on Disney+.

“As we continue to grow the wildly successful Bluey brand, we noticed an increasing need to create an intuitive and collaborative centralized system,” said Suzy Raia, VP consumer products and business development, BBC Studios.

“We are beginning our relationship with Brainbase to improve partner management and help us make strategic franchise decisions based on insights.”

Brainbase’s flagship product, Brainbase Assist, helps licensing teams unify their global operations into a single software platform – from deals, product approvals, royalty reporting, digital asset management, and dashboard analytics.

Top licensed properties for BBC Studios include Bluey, the multi-award-winning animated preschool series that has taken Australia and the US by storm; Doctor Who, one of the longest running action-adventure television series in the world spanning 56 years and winning over 100 awards; and His Dark Materials, with the launch of a dedicated global online store following the successful debut of the second season on HBO.

BBC Studios joins a Brainbase customer roster with leading brands including Bonnier, BuzzFeed, kathy ireland Worldwide, Sanrio, the global lifestyle brand best known for pop icon Hello Kitty, SYBO Games and the Van Gogh Museum, among others.

BBC Studios launches Bluey: The Album on US streaming platforms in Demon Music Group partnership

BBC Studios has partnered with Demon Music Group Ltd for the US launch of the first album from its hit pre-school series, Bluey across all major streaming platforms. Titled Bluey: The Album, the release will feature singles Keepy Uppy, Here Come the Grannies, and Instrument Parade.

The album will feature 17 original compositions from season one of the series currently airing on Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney+ in the US. The album has been composed by Bluey’s song-writer Joff Bush and his music team. The soundtrack will initially be released in the US and Australia, with other regions to follow later in the year.

Harriet Newby-Hill, brand director, BBC Studios, said: “Music plays an important part of the storytelling in Bluey and beautifully encapsulates the warmth, energy and humor of the series. We’re thrilled to bring fans of all ages a collection of songs that captures the joyful and heartfelt spirit of Bluey.” 

 Adrian Sear, commercial director, Demon Music, added: “Everyone remembers their first album so we’re excited that this could be the first album for many young Bluey fans and provide the soundtrack for their own played-filled adventures.”

 Bluey composer, Joff Bush, said: “I’m incredibly proud and honored to be a part of something as special as Bluey. This album is for fans young and old and I hope they enjoy listening to it as much as I loved creating it.”

Bluey is a multi-award-winning Australian children’s series that has taken Australia and the US by storm and is currently charming audiences across the globe. Loved by parents and children for its heartfelt and funny portrayal of family life and celebration of play, the series follows Bluey, a six-year-old Blue Heeler dog, who loves to play and turns everyday family life into extraordinary adventures.

 In June 2019, BBC Studios struck a global broadcast deal with Disney to premiere Bluey on Disney Junior and Disney+ in all territories outside Australia, New Zealand and Greater China. 

ZAG to premiere two new Miraculous animated films on Disney Channel and Disney+

Disney Channel and the studio’s own streaming platform Disney+ have acquired the global rights to two new Miraculous animated TV movies, set to air this autumn and spring 2021. The two new feature films will take the cast of Miraculous – Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir on their first overseas adventures, the first to New York City, the second to Shanghai.

The launch is the result of a partnership between the independent animation studio ZAG and the European animation leader ON Kids & Family. The two companies are also currently in production on a $60 million budget animated Miraculous feature to be released globally in autumn 2021 or early 2022.

The two animated TV movies, Miraculous World – New York -United HeroeZ and Miraculous World – Shanghai – Lady Dragon, will be available on Disney Channel and Disney+ who have acquired global rights except for Brazil and China. It will then roll out across France’s TF1 for the second window.

Brazil’s Gloob (Grupo Globo), Canada’s Family Channel & Télé-Québec and UK’s POP have acquired respective territory rights.  Created by ZAG and produced by ZAG and ON kids & family (Mediawan Group), the 3D-CGI-animated TV movies are directed by Thomas Astruc.

“With our two new movies, we’re expanding the world of Miraculous like never before as Ladybug and Cat Noir explore New York and Shanghai, and meet new superheroes as they take on treacherous villains far away from their home city of Paris,” commented Jeremy Zag, founder and CEO of ZAG.

“We thank all of our fans for their continued love for Ladybug and Cat Noir, and our tremendous partners, and we can’t wait to share this whole world of new amazing hero characters with everyone.”

Aton Soumache, president and co-founder of On Kids & Family, added: “We are fortunate to be the producers of an extraordinary franchise, that has grown forcefully over time, with phenomenal success and which crosses frontiers. It is now time to extend “The Miraculous World” and today we are taking our universe to a decisive stage in its evolution. The legend will now expand all over the world.”

Miraculous has garnered over 16 billion views on YouTube (authorized and of user-generated content) and has seen over 150 million products sold during the past three years. Miraculous is the winner of thirteen awards, including the 2018 Teen Choice Award for Choice Animated Series, and airs in over 120 countries across the globe.