Driver Digital Studios has tapped marketing and licensing vet Melanie Summers for the role of chief brand officer, as the company seeks to expand its existing IP portfolio.
In the role, Summers will be responsible for all marketing, licensing and business development for the company’s existing and new IP. She will also lead the Driver team in seeking and evaluating strategic partners to jointly create kids’ properties.
Summers most recently served as managing director at Periscope Consulting, advising brands on business strategy and brand development for clients, including Sesame Workshop and Sensible Object. Prior to that position, she was VP for the Emeril brand at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. She has also held positions at Nickelodeon/Viacom Consumer Products, MTV Networks International and The Jim Henson Company.
Driver’s existing portfolio includes kids’ YouTube shows Dream Mining and Cool School, which has more than 1 million subscribers and 1.1 billion views.
Summers said: “Driver Digital Studios has been a rapidly rising and now proven leader in developing high-quality content and growing an engaged audience on all relevant screens for this generation’s kids and families. I’m excited to take Driver’s excellent brands like Cool School to its next stage of development as a holistic brand, and also seek out new opportunities and the right partners to disrupt the traditional kids’ brand development process and co-develop fun and innovative IP.”
“Melanie Summers’ vast experience and knowledge in building lasting and beloved brands is invaluable as Driver moves towards building our portfolio,” said Scott Weitz, founder and CEO of Driver Digital. “The world of kids entertainment is quickly evolving, and while Driver has the content and audience development expertise, Melanie has the vision and strategy to build a brand for today’s kids and families. Today, families who discover a new great brand via a digital experience expect to immediately find their favorite characters and brands across all touch points. We want our brands to thrill and excite kids on every level.”