FremantleMedia's Pindy O'Brien on building a new pre-school brand

VP Brand Licensing & Retail UK tells us the story behind new launch, Kate & Mim-Mim.
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Firstly, can you tell us the history behind the brand?

Kate & Mim-Mim is based on a real little girl and her best friend Mim-Mim. The series was created by husband and wife Scott and Julie Stewart who centred the story on their little daughter and her favourite soft toy. Kate & Mim-Mim was developed and produced by Nerd Corps and FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment holds the exclusive worldwide licensing and distribution rights to the show outside of Canada.

The series premiered on CBeebies on Monday 4th August and is due to air in Canada and Germany later this year.

Are you looking to expand the consumer products programme further this year – for example into new categories or new territories?

We are keen to sign master toy and are currently talking to a number of companies. Once this is in place we will be looking to follow up with publishing and apparel and then with further secondary categories. The series premiered on CBeebies this summer so we would hope that the first products will launch at retail in 2015.
Super RTL are representing the licensing and home entertainment rights in Germany and are actively seeking suitable partners for the region.

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Do you have any special marketing initiatives or promotional activity planned for the remainder of 2014?

We placed a big PR push around the launch of the series which included a special mail out to mummy bloggers and previewers and reviewers across the TV listings and nationals. The BBC put a big promotional push behind the show on air and online and included a Q & A with Scott and Julie on their Grown Ups blog. Ahead of the series launch we introduced Mim-Mim to thousands of young families in the North East at the Sunderland International Air Show which was attended by 950,000 people and in an email to KidStart’s 1.6million subscribers. We will continue to support the show with a big social media drive and are currently looking at experiential and other brand awareness plans for 2015.

What has the reaction from retail been like to the brand?

It’s still very early days but from our preliminary conversations the reaction to the show has been extremely positive and encouraging.

The pre-school sector is one of the most crowded – how does your brand stand out?

Kate & Mim-Mim fills a global gap for a strong and inspiring new girls pre-school property. Kate is every girl, a girl of today, full of life, bursting with imagination and tackling the world head on. Kate can be and do anything in her fantasy world, from being a princess, playing cowgirl or leading a pirate treasure hunt. Every little girl will want to be Kate or play in Kate’s world… Inspired by a real girl, with rich stories based on real world scenarios, Kate’s big and inspiring adventures in her imaginary world encourages children to use their imaginations, problem solve and work together. These key themes provide endless opportunities for creative product development across doll play, fantasy play, role-play and creative play.

What would you most like to achieve with the brand by the end of 2014?

From a consumer perspective we really want to establish Kate & Mim-Mim as a top rating and much-loved pre-school property. We hope to have signed a number of new licensees and have announced further international broadcast partners by the end of the year.

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