Report – Commissioner Conversations: Branded Content

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 9:44pm by Cate Zerega


  • Do your brand homework. New IP has to fit with the brand voice to make an impact.
  • Think more kid – qualitative child research is at the forefront of Beano Studios.
  •  CMC Changemaker Femi Owolade-Coombes said it best: the future is inclusive and collaborative.


Moderator, TV presenter Nigel Clarke, kick-started the conversation asking his panel about the opportunities for content creation. Hasbro’s Finn Arnesen seeks IP internally and externally that fits a global audience and has strong merchandise potential. The other end of the spectrum is Gina Costelloe with Lego. Lego’s content focus for the last ten years serves to amplify the Lego play system. On the digital front, Hayley Granston of Beano Studios seeks IP that matches the rebellious charm of the Beano Studios voice.

Hasbro’s recent content creation has been responding to audience research indicating there was market room for an entry level show that is more mission based and parent friendly and contributes to the lifeline of the fan economy. Lego has found success with growing their brand partnerships. Beano’s concentration is with kids – they have a panel of eight to eleven year old trend spotters who meet every week and are building their studio reputation on agility and knowing kids better than anyone else.

How have system disruptors like Netflix and YouTube impacted content creation? Traditional linear TV is still important to Hasbro because it provides the worldwide impact they seek.  The discoverability issues with Netflix have kept that platform from entirely usurping linear TV. All participants are interested in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. For Hasbro that looks like content for all platforms all the time. A healthy ecosystem for Beano means putting the right content on the right platform. Beano’s research indicates that parents worry about the unsafe rabbit holes their children can slide into on YouTube. Thus their content creation seeks to alleviate that fear and they’ve scored high numbers of parental trust and satisfaction. Platform also impacts Lego’s content creation. They have launched eight YouTube channels in the last year with specific, shorter content for the platform.

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Cate Zerega

About the author

Cate Zerega

University of Nottingham, Student

Cate hails from Chicago - so she likes her theatre fringe and her pizza deep. Her MA thesis analyses male anxiety in post war Hollywood film for the Institute for Screen Research at the University of Nottingham. Cate has worked in casting, as a talent agent and as a nanny;… Read more