Olivier Dumont on Hasbro’s “Franchise-First” Strategy


Speaking at the TV Kids Summer Festival, Olivier Dumont showcased how Hasbro is expanding its priority brands into entertainment franchises.

Dumont, president of Hasbro Entertainment, participated in a keynote conversation with TV Kids’ Anna Carugati, which you can view here.

“At Hasbro Entertainment, we leverage Hasbro’s leading collection of iconic brands to develop and produce premium film, television, animation and digital content for audiences of all ages,” Dumont said. “We unify Hasbro’s robust production expertise under one umbrella, Hasbro Entertainment. We’re focused on creating multiplatform adaptations of the company’s priority brands, including such beloved worlds as Dungeons & Dragons, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Nerf, Play-Doh, Magic: The Gathering, Peppa Pig and My Little Pony, as well as developing original brands, which have the potential to turn into global brands, igniting the full Hasbro lines of businesses, including toys, licensed consumer products and digital gaming.”

Hasbro is “focused on a franchise-first strategy,” he said. “Through this franchise-first lens, Hasbro Entertainment is working as interconnected as ever with all the divisions of Hasbro to deliver full franchise programs across our entire portfolio. Entertainment is a key piece of the puzzle and core to Hasbro’s strategy and mission to create the world’s best brand experiences and bring them to multigenerational audiences.”

Carugati asked Dumont about the keys to launching new entertainment content in a fragmented landscape. “You need to surround the consumers with different pieces of content that reinforce the ethos of your franchise messaging. This includes core long-form content, whether film or television, supplemented by digital content created specifically for YouTube and social media platforms. And finally, of course, digital gaming content on Roblox or Fortnite. This is a much more extensive undertaking than the way to reach kids before, which would have been linear entertainment. That means that you need to place your bets very carefully. This is where research and insights become critical. So, Hasbro has significantly increased its content research budget to ensure that the concepts we output meet the consumer wants and needs.”

Dumont then talked about the process of reimagining toy brands as entertainment IPs. “It’s essential to preserve the core elements that define the brand’s identity while updating and adding new elements to resonate with today’s audience,” he said.

Dumont joined Hasbro following its acquisition of Entertainment One Family Brands, where he had been instrumental in building Peppa Pig into one of the world’s biggest preschool properties. That beloved show marks its 20th anniversary this year. “What started in 2004 for us as a British preschool television series has grown into a global powerhouse franchise with more than ten seasons of entertainment available in 180 territories worldwide. It all comes down to Peppa’s universal appeal of relatability. Each storyline is carefully crafted and constructed to showcase real-world first experiences that young kids face every day. It’s all very much from their point of view. That’s the critical piece that makes Peppa so successful.”

On the advantages of IP with built-in awareness, Dumont noted: “Buyers can leverage this existing fan base to mitigate the risk of low viewership or audience engagement, and parents and children tend to go toward content featuring characters or themes they already know and love. That increases the likelihood of success. In a world of content saturation, where discoverability has become such a huge issue for any new brand, known brands are not only recognized by the consumer, which is a huge leg up, but they also evoke a sense of trust and credibility among consumers. On a VOD platform, whether free or paid, kids and caretakers are more likely to click on a character they recognize when seeking out content. Parents are more inclined to invest in content featuring reputable and recognizable characters, as they perceive them as safe and high-quality entertainment options for their children. Preexisting brands offer cross-promotion and synergy opportunities if they are still live brands as opposed to complete reboots. Established brands often have a rich universe of characters, stories and intellectual property that can be leveraged for cross-promotion and synergy across multiple channels, including retail and location-based entertainment. So, buyers can capitalize on this synergy to create cohesive marketing campaigns, product launches and promotional events that amplify the brand’s presence and appeal to a broader audience. That being said, it’s important to remember that, particularly in preschool content, brands like Peppa Pig or, most recently, hits such as Bluey or Gabby’s Dollhouse are totally new, original shows. This is why we are developing originals in addition to adaptations and reboots of our existing brands. The only criteria that truly guide us in our decision-making are whether the content can be turned into a true brand and if it can live in the consumer products and toy spaces in particular. Very few concepts have this ability, so it’s a very challenging task, but our creative teams work closely with all sides of the Hasbro organization, and they have a keen eye for what might tick all of these brand-building boxes.”

On the road ahead for the kids’ content sector, Dumont said, “I’m hoping that SVOD platforms who have cut their programming spend considerably over the past few years when it comes to kids’ content will start to reinvest gradually, so that the pendulum which has swung very far both ways will stabilize somewhere in the middle at a level.”