aNb Media News, April 12, 2013

DreamWorks Acquires Trolls; Hires American Girl’s Dennis to Lead the Brand

DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., has acquired the IP for the Troll franchise from the Dam Family and Dam Things of Denmark. In support of the brand, DreamWorks Animation has named American Girl veteran Shawn Dennis as head of brand development to cultivate this franchise globally.

DreamWorks Animation is now the exclusive worldwide licensor of the merchandise rights for the classic Troll Dolls with the sole exception of Scandinavia, the birthplace of the Trolls, where Dam Things will remain the licensor. The acquisition was facilitated by CDM Company.

“Trolls is a brand with over 50 years of deep heritage and we are thrilled to bring this iconic, multi-generational property to DreamWorks Animation,” said COO Ann Daly. “We have big plans for this franchise and Shawn Dennis is uniquely suited to lead this charge. She helped grow the American Girl brand into a household name and by bringing this expertise to Trolls she will introduce these characters to legions of new fans around the world.”

Dennis joined DreamWorks Animation to oversee its Trolls franchise in addition to other businesses within the company’s portfolio. She most recently served as senior vice-president of marketing, product development, and publishing at American Girl.

Previous posts include Dell, The National Football League, MasterCard International, and Universal Studios.

The Troll doll phenomenon was born in 1959 when Danish fisherman and woodcutter Thomas Dam carved a doll for his daughter based on the legendary Scandinavian troll.

Skylanders in McDonald’s Happy Meal Promo

Skylanders Giants Happy Meals arrive today at McDonald’s restaurants as Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc., launches the company’s first-ever partnership with McDonald’s. In North America, the inaugural Skylanders Giants Happy Meal program will run from April 12–May 2, while supplies last, and will rollout in other select countries later this year.

Participating McDonald’s restaurants across the United States and Canada will offer customers who purchase a Happy Meal one of nine unique toys from Skylanders Giants, each with their own play feature, as well as a coupon for $10 off the Skylanders Giants starter pack. The Happy Meal program features characters such as Spyro, Gill Grunt, Drobot, Chop Chop, Ignitor, Jet-Vac, Tree Rex, Crusher, and Kaos.

Activision says that McDonald’s will support the three-week promotion with a fully integrated marketing campaign that includes branded television advertising, in-restaurant merchandising, custom packaging, and an online web and social media presence.