By, Sadhana Bharanidharan, August 03, 2023 1:30pm (Kidscreen)
EXCLUSIVE: The goal is to cater to a growing number of brands that want to use entertainment to widen their awareness and reach.
Lion Forge Entertainment (Hair Love) and media agency dentsu are hooking up to create content for brands looking to build awareness and audience reach.
The companies have inked a non-exclusive strategic partnership to co-develop and co-produce brand-centric films, TV series, shorts and digital content for dentsu’s global client roster, which includes Crayola, Oreo and Hershey’s among many others.
With US$8.23 billion in revenue generated last year, dentsu ranks among the top-five ad agencies in the world, according to career data website Zippia. Greg Suess and Jon Kanak from LA-based Activist Artists Management, which brokered the deal with Lion Forge, will executive produce all of the projects it takes on. Lion Forge president and CCO Stephanie Sperber (pictured right) will manage content output.
Working with Lion Forge—headed up by CEO David Steward II (pictured left)—should give dentsu an edge in engaging younger demos, given that the animation studio has been building a strong presence in the kids entertainment space. Former Imagine Kids+ Family president Sperber, who joined Lion Forge in March, is overseeing a strong slate of shows about to deliver to major buyers. The studio is prepping Iyanu for Max/Cartoon Network, and also signed a first-look deal with Nickelodeon Animation last month.
Sperber tells Kidscreen that Lion Forge owns a vast number of characters/IPs that this partnership can leverage—including in-house book-based properties from the Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group, such as Brenna Thummler’s Sheets and Dave Scheidt’s Wrapped Up.
“We can also work with clients to create new stories and characters, specifically for [those] who want to bring their brand identities to life through content.” she explains. “Given the way in which content and brand messages are consumed today, the best way to reach audiences is through compelling stories.”