Warner Bros. Television Group Launches Comprehensive Studio Animation Destination Reimagining Kids’ WB! As A Multiplatform Brand
(April 28, 2008 – New York) – The Warner Bros. Television Group (WBTVG) continues its multi-destination digital entertainment strategy with the launch of KidsWB.com, a premium, ad-supported destination built around youth-oriented, immersive entertainment which unites the Studio’s libraries of animated characters and programming, including Warner Bros. Animation, Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera and DC Comics. The announcement was made by Bruce Rosenblum, President, Warner Bros. Television Group. “The launch of KidsWB is an opportunity for a cross-company initiative to reinvigorate and re-imagine our legendary characters and the way our businesses can work together,” said Rosenblum. “A compelling consumer destination that complements our existing television business, it will be an invaluable resource in developing properties and a strong addition to our digital strategy.” The Kids’ WB! broadcast network for children launched in 1995 and rapidly grew to become the number one programming block for kids aged 6–11. Today’s unveiling of the new KidsWB.com (formerly announced as T-Works) signals the brand’s extension into the digital marketplace. Designed for children aged 6–12, KidsWB.com marks the first time that characters from across Warner Bros.’ unmatched collection of animation libraries have been assembled in a single online destination. KidsWB.com will give kids the ability to interact with these iconic characters in a new way, offering tools for them to personalize and customize their own online experience in a unique fashion. At launch, the site includes a wide array of free entertainment features and content at both the main KidsWB.com destination and at two dedicated areas inside KidsWB.com: the DC HeroZone and KidsWBJr., focusing on pre-kindergarten users. KidsWB.com features will include the following: • Games: More than 100 animation-themed games, including puzzle and card games, action, adventure, sports and arcade titles • Video: Thousands of videos from all the libraries of the vast Warner Bros. Animation collection • Prizes and rewards: One-of-a-kind weekly giveaways with prizes that only Warner Bros. can provide, such as real-world opportunities to interact with world-famous entertainment icons • Original programming: Original, made-for-digital animated video from some of the industry’s most acclaimed creators, including new series “Plastic Man” and “The Wizard of Oz,” released under the Studio 2.0 banner • Monthly themes: Every month brings a new adventure, beginning with “Mash Up May,” which will enable kids to mix and match characters from all of Warner Bros.’ animation libraries through all facets of the site, including games, video, and downloadable content Once inside KidsWB.com, users can explore the DC HeroZone, a thrilling destination for all DC Super Hero fans, complete with secret files, videos, games and exclusive downloads featuring the World’s Greatest Super Heroes from the DC Universe including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and a vast array of favorites. For the pre-kindergarten set, KidsWB.com will also contain KidsWBJr., a walled garden of age-appropriate content and activities for kids aged 2–5 and their parents. KidsWBJr. will also feature video, games, activities and digital downloads. Mattel, a close and longtime partner of Warner Bros., will have the rights to launch advertising and promotional partnerships for the DC HeroZone, which will feature a gallery showcase of their DC product. Mattel’s involvement with the new site will incorporate a number of fun and interactive ways to further engage kids on the site while also integrating deep online brand features, offline cross-promotions and other marketing-related support. “When we were first made aware of Warner Bros.’ plans for its new KidsWB.com destination and DC HeroZone area, we immediately knew we had to be a part of it and jumped on-board with additional ideas to help maximize the site and its offerings,” said Doug Wadleigh, Vice President of Action Play Marketing, Mattel Brands. “DC HeroZone serves as a fantastic vehicle for introducing kids to the world of DC super heroes, while also supporting our lineup of DC Super Hero action figures, vehicles, role play items and more, and provides a great opportunity that is a natural fit into our overall marketing mix.” KidsWB.com also launches with McDonald’s as an advertising and promotional partner. Plans for the next phase of KidsWB.com development include the fully immersive virtual worlds DC HeroZone and Warner Zone. • The DC HeroZone will combine the best of DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation to create a rich storytelling experience with interactivity and game play that allows kids to go deep into the world of DC Super Heros and uncover secret files, gadgets, locations and more. • Warner Zone will serve as a toon universe featuring rich interactivity between users. Kids design highly customized and personalized avatars from the Studio’s animated library and then connect with one another to explore many different worlds and environments. An inaugural distribution partner for KidsWB.com is Comcast, which will offer programming on multiple advertiser-supported platforms, including its online entertainment destination, Fancast.com, for free streaming and its video-on-demand service for no additional cost. Titles available include “The Flintstones,” “The Jetsons,” Looney Tunes cartoons, “Batman: The Animated Series,” “Smurfs,” “Superfriends,” “Space Ghost” and “Josie and the Pussycats,” among others. (Additionally, WBTVG announced today that Comcast and Fancast.com will also serve as an inaugural distribution partner for programming from the newly announced destination TheWB.com, which includes hundreds of titles from current and original series, as well as those from the Warner Bros. collection.) “Comcast will have access to more than 1,000 TV episodes from the Warner Bros. library that it will make available for free streaming on Fancast.com and on video-on-demand. For the first time, consumers will have the ability to watch Warner Bros.’ hit series, kids’ shows and classic TV programs wherever and whenever they want to watch them,” said Matt Bond, Executive Vice President, Content Acquisition for Comcast. “Adding Warner Bros.’ brand and vast catalog of television entertainment across platforms is part of Comcast’s Project Infinity, our vision to make exponentially more content available to consumers online and on TV.” “KidsWB.com delivers on the promise of interactive animated entertainment,” said Sam Ades, Vice President, Digital Animation, Warner Bros. Television Group. “We are showing up with the right content, at the right time, on the right platform, and with an incredible user experience that will attract and engage today’s savvy youth audience.” AOL will feature a KidsWB.com branded channel. The broadband channel will stream hundreds of episodes of animated programming from across the Warner Bros. Animation, DC Comics, Looney Tunes, and Hanna-Barbera collections. Created by Warner Bros. Animation, KidsWB.com is WBTVG’s next venture into targeted digital programming, following in the footsteps of TMZ.com, the leading entertainment news destination on the Internet and number one new syndicated television show; and MomLogic.com, a web destination for moms at all ages and stages. The KidsWB.com design, development and operations teams are based in Burbank, Calif. The advertising inventory for KidsWB.com is handled by WBTVG’s Digital Media Sales team. As an industry leader in programming for children, Warner Bros. Animation and KidsWB.com adhere to strict standards with regard to online safety for kids. The KidsWB.com destination and all its features will fully comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). About Warner Bros. Animation Warner Bros. Animation (WBA) has been producing award-winning original animation since 1930, when it released its first cartoon, “Sinkin’ in the Bathtub.” Since then, WBA’s characters have set the standard for innovative, quality animation. Producing for network and cable television, online, home entertainment and feature films both domestically and internationally, WBA is highly respected for its creative and technical excellence, as well as maintaining the studio’s rich cartoon heritage. WBA also oversees the creative use of, and production of animated programming based on, classic animated characters from the Hanna-Barbera and DC Comics libraries. WBA is one of the most honored animation studios in history, garnering a grand total of six Academy Awards®, 36 Emmy® Awards, the George Foster Peabody Award, an Environmental Media Award, a Parents’ Choice Award, a Humanitas Award, five Prism Awards and 20 Annie Awards. About DC Comics DC Comics, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world and home to such iconic characters as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Sandman. These DC Super Heroes and others have starred in comic books, movies, television series (both animated and live-action) and cyberspace, thrilling audiences of all ages for generations. DC Comics’ Web site is located at www.dccomics.com.
# # #