New kid content co wants to play with brands

Omnicom alum Michael McLaughlin and veteran kids animation producer Kevin Gillis & co are joining forces to launch a prodco in Toronto with a focus on creating advertiser-supported content.

Former Breakthrough Entertainment exec Kevin Gillis, Omnicom alum Michael McLaughlin and Michael Iscove are launching a new prodco in Toronto this month, one which plans to build alliances with technology and digital media companies for content across all media, and with a special focus on creating advertiser-supported content.

Spanning development, production, marketing and distribution of original entertainment in children’s family and prime-time programming for worldwide TV, online, gaming and social media, Skywriter Media and Entertainment Group has Gillis – a veteran kids animation producer whose credits include The Raccoons, Atomic Betty and Jimmy Two Shoes – taking the reins as CEO, with McLaughlin serving as president and Iscove as COO and CFO. Gillis says the company is introducing a new business model. ‘We’re forming strategic relationships with large ad agencies to support our programming, so that when we go to broadcasters, we can talk about sharing in some of that cost in the financing,’ says Gillis.

McLaughlin’s experience as EVP of Omnicom’s Entertainment division, where he brokered ad supported deals for Hollywood studio programming rights for US and Canadian broadcasters, will be key in helping the company’s MO take shape. ‘The advertising client does not necessarily have to be embedded in the show. It can be tied to a show that’s adjacent, or to the timeslot, or tied across the whole media buy,’ explains Gillis.

The team will be at MIP meeting with multinational ad agencies in different territories, as well as introducing a slate of new shows in development which include Elliot and Lucy is a preschool property based on a publishing program Simon & Schuster is launching in December, which presold to a major Canadian broadcaster that is under wraps at press time.

From Kidscreen Daily