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Claire Broad from Moonbug Entertainment on great content and staying creative
Thanks for joining us, Claire. Moonbug is a global entertainment company… What’s the big idea? What’s their mission?
Basically, to create amazing shows that kids and parents love! And to connect with as many touch points as possible so wherever you are, you can connect with our IP.
“On YouTube, we operate the largest network of kids channels; we bring in more than seven billion views a month!”
And where did Moonbug come from? What’s the background?
We’re pretty new. We were founded in 2018, so in less that three years we’ve become one of the largest digital kids’ media companies. We’re on more than 100 platforms in multiple languages. On YouTube, we operate the largest network of kids channels which bring in more than seven billion views a month! That’s a lot of eyeballs.
How did you come to be working in the industry?
Kind of by accident. I trained as a theatre designer but there’s very little work about… After a few years I wanted to stop living like a student, so took an office job. I ended up as the office assistant to the Toy Product Development team at Disney Consumer Products.
Oh, wow. Big change…
Yes. And because I could draw, I started getting involved in things and moved into product development. I learnt on the job and spent nearly 17 years working my way up to PD Director. Then, earlier this year, the opportunity came up at Moonbug and I thought: let’s try something different.
Which begs the question: how different is it? What’s your role there?
I’m Head of Product Development across all categories – so not just toys. It’s a new role, which was one of the things that interested me. It means I’m able to build and shape a team. We look after all products globally out of the London office for all our brands, working with a variety of licensees to bring products to life.
What kind of product do you bring to life? And what’s your process for developing that product?
All sorts! Currently we lead with hardlines – toys – but our partner base on all the other categories is growing fast. For me, I want to work in partnership with our licensees… I don’t want us to be a reactive licensor, just sitting waiting for submissions. We are the experts on our brands, they are the experts in their manufacturing so, if we work together, we can get the best of both worlds.
“Licensing is about continuing the story of the content in every area of life.”
Licensing is about continuing the story of the content in every area of life which helps build the brand and its following. But I guess, at the end of the day, we need to create fun products otherwise kids see right through it and are onto the next thing.
Moonbug’s IP includes Blippi and Cocomelon… How much of a steer do you get from the content itself?
It’s where it all starts – so a lot! There are so many IPs out there now, that if you aren’t true to the content and the brand, consumers just walk away – doesn’t matter how hot the content is. We have to really bring the ethos from each of the brands into all the products. It could be in a really small way, or we could be literally recreating elements from the shows.
Tell me Claire: what do you do to stay creative?
It’s been hard over the last year being cooped up inside. A creative brain needs feeding, so getting out and about is important. You can get inspired by all sorts of things – adverts on the tube is often where I see nice fonts or graphics.
That’s a terrific point… The underground has terrible poetry – but great fonts!
Beyond that – in normal times – I like art galleries, events, travelling… Just staying curious about the world around me. And, of course, staying up to date with the industry is important – knowing what products are coming out and the big trends that are influencing products and consumers
Conversely, what is ‘Creative Kryptonite’ to you? What stops you having ideas?
Meetings! As my day stacks up with meetings, it can really sap the energy. If I then need to fit in some product concepting/creation, it’s pretty tough to switch my brain into gear.
I once read a book with the subtitle: Get More Out of Meetings OR Get Out of More Meetings!
Really? What was the book?
I think it was called Boring Meetings Suck. I stopped going to a lot of meetings after I read it… In my case, no one noticed! Claire, we need to wrap this up but I did mean to ask: what new opportunities are you keen to explore?
Well, I’ve only been at Moonbug for seven weeks! So at the moment I am just focussed on really getting under the skin of our IPs and the company!
Is that right?! It doesn’t come across that way; I’d never have guessed. Well, you’ll have to come back to is with an update! Finally, then, what’s the one question I didn’t ask you that I maybe I should’ve?
What was my favourite toy as a kid?
That’s a fun question! And what’s the answer?
Has to be LEGO. I had various sets which I used to create a town. One house had a coffee percolator made from a clear mini-fig head which I thought was genius!
Love it. I’ll try and find a picture of that! Meanwhile, thank you so much for your time… Let us know how you’re getting on in a few months.
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