The independent animation studio, Aardman, has promoted Alison Taylor and Rob Goodchild to the positions of director of distribution and business development and commercial director, respectively.
These newly created roles in the sales and marketing arm of the business form part of a departmental restructuring to consolidate all the studio’s sales, marketing, and brand management expertise. Both Taylor and Goodchild will be central to providing market insight, financing, distribution and licensing for Aardman’s portfolio of brands.
In her new role, Taylor will be responsible for driving the financing, distribution and long-term content exploitation strategy for each brand. She joined the firm’s broadcast and development department in 2004, where she advanced through the sales team before being promoted to head of sales and acquisitions in 2016.
Since then, Taylor has led the international distribution team and is responsible for global distribution of Aardman’s own award-winning series such as Shaun the Sheep and Timmy Time, along with third party distribution for children’s properties such as Digby Dragon(Blue Zoo Animation) and Brave Bunnies(Glowberry / Anima Kitchent) across all content platforms.
Taylor also played an integral part in securing Aardman’s first Original with Netflix, Robin Robin, with financing content for new and existing brands being a key part to her new role.
Meanwhile, Goodchild joined Aardman as UK licensing manager in 2008 before progressing to head of licensing. In that time he secured major partnerships for all of Aardman’s key brands supporting global business growth, particularly in Japan and China, as well as working to deliver innovation-led projects such as The Big Fix Up, a new Wallace & Gromit immersive story told through AR (augmented reality) in collaboration with Fictioneers.
In his new position as commercial director, Goodchild will assume strategic responsibility for the selling and marketing of the studio’s services including third party commercials and short films, the rights exploitation for all Aardman brands, and defining new business opportunities such as the development of IP and animated content for third party brands, theme parks and attractions.
He will be tasked with delivering revenue across different categories and markets, influencing growth in key territories across Europe and Asia. Goodchild also directs the development of Aardman’s branded interactive business, working to increase its presence in the gaming space and with pioneering companies to grow the studio’s output in new technologies including AR and Blockchain.
Both will report to Sean Clarke, managing director at Aardman.
Clarke said: “Behind each of our beloved brands is a wealth of knowledge across rights, distribution, sales and marketing that, over recent years, has allowed us to start very successfully representing third party brands in addition to our own IP.
“The restructuring of our sales and marketing arm is the natural next step in maximising this industry-leading expertise, to continue to realise the full potential of Aardman’s IP alongside developing our studio service work for third party brands. Alison and Rob will make a formidable partnership, working alongside Lucy Wendover who will continue to lead the Marketing and Brand team.”
Upcoming Aardman projects include the recently announced Robin Robin, a half-hour, festive, musical tale coming to Netflix in 2021, and a Shaun the Sheep half hour special also for Christmas 2021.
In autumn of this year, the studio will launch Wallace & Gromit: The Big Fix Up, a brand-new AR immersive experience created in collaboration with Fictioneers backed by funding from UK Research & Innovation (UKRI). Rendered in CG using the latest technology, fans will be able to interact in a host of new ways and get closer than ever to the iconic duo.