Disney Underscores Kids & Family Market Rule at MipJunior

When it comes to kids and family, Disney still rules. Anybody doubting that just had to catch Disney Branded Television’s presentation of company’s buying needs, given by Rick Clodfelter at Saturday’s MipJunior.

100 or so execs sat listening to him. Far more delegates packed out the little standing space at the JW Marriott’s Salon Suquet in Cannes. Very few execs left, dismayed they couldn’t get a seat. Many looked like they were hanging on Clodfelter’s every word. 

At the session, 30 Minutes with Disney Branded Television, the executive director, content acquisitions & partnerships had a lot to pack into a much shorter window than last year when there was no physical event. “Last year, MipJunior lasted four months,” he said. “Because we did it all on Zoom.”

He made sure it was worth the standing effort, giving MipJunior delegates multiple tips for collaborating with the long-standing studio.

Content the studio is looking for includes multi-cam sitcoms, holiday and fourth quarter programming, he said. 

Disney magic isn’t always as simple as waving a wand, he explained. 

“Look at ‘Bluey’. There isn’t a wand. It’s the magic in the story telling. It’s the aha moment. It’s the emotions of the story telling,” he argued.

However, Clodfelter provided enough insights so that some delegates might have their own ‘aha’ moment when pitching the studio.

“When people pitch us content they say: ‘We want to be on this-or-this platform. It’s not how we work. Wherever those brands live on our platforms is where that content will live,” he explained.

“We have monthly meetings about everything we have been pitched. Those opportunities are presented to the team. Pre-school. Live action. TV animation teams. I want to make sure we are out there finding content that’s really complementary to what we are doing on the original side,” he added. 

Tracking projects in development is one key tool in success. “I love seeing things from an early stage,” he said. “Tracking content. It’s really exciting to see a piece of content develop. We catalogue and log so much content.”

Content acquisition is also problem-solving for him. 

“Acquisitions. It’s a tool and it solves problems. I love solving problems for people,” he said. “I saw a project recently and thought this can solve two to three problems.”

He added: “I look at: What problems can this solve? These are the hurdles. How can you help me present this to get it across the line? We have to pitch it up harder than you pitch it to us. We want to make sure we have all the tools and information we need.”

There’s no one size fits all approach. “Our models change for every piece of content that comes across our desk,” he said.

And Disney, like any company, loves good ideas. 

“We are open to all pitches. Come with an idea that fits a need. Reach out. If it triggers interest we will take that pitch. If I see hurdles, I will communicate it back immediately, and say this doesn’t work for us for these reasons. A ‘no’ is as good as a ‘yes’ because then they can move on and find another distributor.”

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