Exclusive: Making an impact – Toy World spoke to Diaframma’s Alice Morrison

Toy World spoke to Alice Morrison to get a sense of what the marketing landscape will look like for toy companies going forward. 

Alice Morrison Diaframma

With Christmas looming and three months of challenging trading conditions behind us, Alice Morrison, international sales director at the kids and family marketing agency Diaframma, tells us how toy companies are approaching the second half of 2020.

“Now more than ever, companies are really thinking about where best to place their marketing budget, and which types of platforms will provide the maximum ROI,” comments Alice. “We have seen a variety of responses; some budgets have been tightened or reassigned and some launches have been delayed, while some of our partners haven’t altered their plans at all. The situation is stabilising daily, and the levels of certainty and positivity are growing. Diaframma always strives to produce campaigns that are strong and impactful, and I believe our track record demonstrates that this is always achieved. Given the times we are in, this definitely contributes to selling products even more than before.”

During lockdown, television viewership inevitably increased, as well as children’s exposure to a variety of devices. As such, Alice touches upon the lessons learned about kids and family advertising during this unprecedented period.

“The production of a variety of content that caters for this change has been a turning point for us. That said, lockdown has also shown that many families have been looking for more activity-based projects to keep kids active not only physically, but also mentally.”

Evidently demand for accessible content has not halted over recent months. As such, Diaframma re-opened its studios in the thick of lockdown on 4th May, adapting the shoots to suit government regulations.

“We are very happy with the way things have been going.” adds Alice, “Currently, we’re working with family members only on set, but as regulations loosen, we are adapting and widening the casting possibilities. Each week we hit new levels, which leads us to believe we’ll be back to normal sooner rather than later.”

As uncertainty regarding toy fairs and trade events cointinues, advertising may have to cover more ground this year as a result. Alice tells us more: “Regardless of what happens with future trade shows, there will always be a need for advertising. Products are sold through consumer awareness, for which advertising is key. As we’ve seen throughout this lockdown period, it is more important than ever to be able to convey a product’s story and uniqueness as budgets throughout households worldwide are tightened, and parents are more conscious of spend.”

Read the full interview with Alice in the July issue of Toy World, here.

Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed! returns for season two

The animated show from Beano Studios returns to CBBC on 13th July 2020.

Beano Dennis and Gnasher

The second series of the Beano Studios hit animated TV show Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed! is set to premiere on CBBC on Monday 13th July 2020. The series will air weekdays at 7.10am, and be repeated at 3.25pm, with each episode available on iPlayer directly after broadcast.

Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed! season two is comprised of 52 x 11 minute episodes following the unpredictable and exciting adventures of Dennis and his friends in Beanotown.

Episode one, titled Beat the Bus, sees new teacher Miss Mistry taking Class Three on an outing to the Flumes ‘o’ Doom water theme park, and Walter pulls out all the stops to make Dennis late for the bus.

Dennis, voiced by Freddie Fox, and his group of mates Rubi, JJ, Pieface and his pet potato Paul, will be joined by new characters for season two, including Miss Mistry.

Last year, Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed! season one received nominations at Kidscreen, the British Animation awards and was nominated for an International Emmy. At launch it was the highest-rated animated show on CBBC for 6-12 year olds and one of the top 10 shows for kids across all channels.

Tim Searle, head of animation at Beano Studios, commented: “Dennis and friends burst back onto our screens this summer, with loads more mayhem and mischief to look forward to in Beanotown. We’ve had a blast making the shows and hope that this new series will bring tons of laughs, inspire imaginations and encourage the everyday rebellion that’s been at the heart of Beano for over 80 years.”

Fans can find brand-new Dennis and Gnasher: Unleased! games and quizzes at beano.com/dennisandgnasher. To celebrate the series return, Beano has launched a ‘family and friends’ discount forsubscribers to the Beano comic.

Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed! season two, episode one ‘Beat the Bus’ will air on Monday 13th July 2020 at 7.10am on CBBC.