Apps, back to school and homeware among categories highlighted for pre-school brand in 2014.

V&S’ Vickie Corner tells us about the ambitious plans for Everything’s Rosie this year

Firstly, can you tell us the story behind the brand?

Everything’s Rosie was in development for ten years before going into production. The concept was to create a show that would not only excite and entertain but would stand the test of time for generations to come. We also wanted to appeal to boys as much as girls – so no pressure then… Rosie premiered on CBeebies in the UK in May 2010. She became an instant hit with children all around the globe and now transmits in over 160 territories worldwide. The greatest reward for us and for the broadcasters is that both boys and girls love Rosie in almost equal measure, making Rosie a unique offering in the pre-school arena.

How did the brand perform in 2013?

The year finished on a a positive note with our Bedtime and Playtime Apps (developed by Egmont Publishing) reaching number one and number two in the childrens book chart on the iTunes store. Earlier in the year saw the very successful launch of the Everything’s Rosie Nintendo DS Game. In addition to the licensing programme, the momentum continued as we completed production on series three and delivered our 24-minute special which aired on CBeebies on New Year’s Day. 2013 also saw over 51 million YouTube hits and 3.4 million iPlayer requests.

How many licensees does it have to date, and in which categories?

We have enthusiastic support from a number of blue-chip licensees including Egmont (Publishing), NBC Universal (DVD), Aykroyds, TDP, Blues (Apparel), and Brand International (Footwear). With deals recently inked with Daredevil Development (Apps) in the UK: Nestle (Confectionery) and Edicolandia Junior (Kiosk Collectibles) in Italy; Naavi Enterprise (Back To School) in the Middle East; plus new agents in Turkey and Israel; the licensing roll-out continues to gain traction both domestically and internationally.

What are some of the best performing products?

Alongside the best selling Bedtime and Playtime Apps, Rosie features prominently in the successful CBeebies compilation Apps, and there is currently a sixth app in development for release in the spring. Everything’s Rosie also continues to be a staple in CBeebies Weekly, Toybox and Animals magazines, as well as Redan’s Fun to Learn. Following on from the success of the fourth DVD release in June, NBC Universal are set to release a fifth DVD later this year, alongside an Everything’s Rosie Box Set.

Are you looking to sign more licensees this year – if so which categories are you targeting?

With new media fast impacting the pre-school sector, and apps becoming pivotal to both entertainment and learning from an early age, we are looking to develop new and existing apps and games for both the UK and international markets. Back to school and homeware ranges are also next on the agenda. As the brand continues to grow we are always looking to extend Rosie’s global reach with new licensees both in the UK and internationally. There are exciting new launches rolling out this year in Israel and Turkey. Our co-production partners JCC will also be launching product in the Middle East.

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

Everything’s Rosie will be returning to ‘West End Live’ for the third year running in June. Organised by Westminster Council, the event takes place in London’s Trafalgar Square and is attended by over 500,000 people. A live appearance by Rosie and Raggles on stage is always a highlight and the specially built marquee with Candy Floss, Balloon Modelling and iPad Apps was a huge hit last year. There are many more events in the pipeline including character costume “meet and greets” planned for various Shopping centres around the UK and internationally.

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

With a well established fan base alongside a huge broadcast footprint, retailers have always been very positive and upbeat towards the Rosie brand. They have recognised that there is a gap, in what is a predominantly boy-led market, for a quality British girl brand. As the demand for merchandise continues to grow, retailers remain fully supportive of Rosie.

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

In response to on-going demand for merchandise, our aim is to deliver what the consumers and fans want. This means high quality products, at reasonable prices, that reflect the values of the brand. There are big developments around the corner for Everything’s Rosie and we can’t wait to share them with Rosie’s fans. Watch this space.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Engaging characters and fun stories are the biggest triggers for imaginative development. Encouraging pre-schoolers to create their own role-play scenarios is essential to early learning and the Everything’s Rosie team recognise how important it is for children to be given opportunities to build on their communication and social skills. With series four currently in production, surely there can be no better job that to provide children with memorable programmes and experiences that will stay with them all their lives.

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