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Marketing Brand Strategy The Judges’ Club

The Drum meets Hasbro marketer Jessica Murphy

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By Dani Gibson | Senior Writer

February 17, 2023 | 7 min read

Hasbro’s Jessica Murphy is a judge for The Drum Awards for Marketing Americas. Here, we chat with her about the changing landscape of entertainment marketing.

Jessica Murphy

Jessica Murphy, SVP, entertainment brand marketing Americas and Pacific, Entertainment One

Murphy is the senior vice president of entertainment brand marketing Americas and Pacific at Entertainment One, Hasbro. She works with family brand titles including Peppa Pig and My Little Pony. Her background is in entertainment, having worked with the Michael Allen Group (now The Mag Experience) and Nickelodeon.

We had a chat with Murphy to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations, and how streaming is changing traditional TV marketing.

TV marketing has changed in recent years. With the rise of streaming, people are left to discover their own shows. How do you create a buzz for new shows and keep it with long-running series?

When you’re working with platform partners, you really want success out of the gate for a series, because if you have success out of the gate, the platform partner will continue to promote it with you. We still do heavy up at launch time for that reason, from an earned media and a paid media perspective. And then we huddle with our partners to understand performance, how our tactics influenced that performance, and then how much sustained work we need to do for the content before the next new batch or the next new series of episodes drops.

It also causes us to look at our brands in slightly different ways. Our brands that used to be only on linear, typically got a lot more overall support, in promotions, commercial time, and promotional inventory on that linear partners’ platforms. Streaming promotes their shows in different ways. And most of the time, it’s not as much as you would get from a linear partner. So the role of brand marketing, overall, to sustain engagement with the brand has become more important as we diversify our platforms.

If you could fix one problem within entertainment marketing, what would it be?

Reporting. Streamers hold their data very close. For people who are on the brand side, it’s incredibly hard to know how your brand is really faring on the streaming platforms. Especially relative to your competition. The transparency of Nielsen has not gone over to streaming and we feel challenged there.

What’s been your favorite campaign to work on?

Relaunching My Little Pony. I came to Entertainment One just as that movie was about to launch and so much great work had already been done behind it. I jumped on board just in time to support it from a North American brand perspective because it had a movie marketing team at E1 behind it. I picked up the baton from the movie and ensured success for the ongoing series on Netflix.

Also Peppa Pig. I’ve seen how that has grown over the years from the Nickelodeon side of the business. Peppa is a rating driver at Nickelodeon. It just wasn’t a Nickelodeon-owned IP, but we always had our eye on the consumer products business. We always saw Peppa as this fierce competitor. Now to work on this brand that will be 20 years old in 2024, and continues to be iconic, is such a privilege and amazing.

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What has been your proudest career moment?

When I moved into consumer products at Nickelodeon, I inherited a team and built it out. It was the best team I’d ever worked with. And now I feel the exact same way here at Hasbro. I’ve hired and retained some of the best talents out there and I’m so proud of them and everything that they do. And I consider that the most important part of my job.

Why is it important to celebrate excellence?

You learn very quickly in marketing that you are only as good as what you’re currently working on, or what you just did. And these successes need to be celebrated for morale. It’s a crucial time to be celebrating excellence because of where we are in the economy, job losses and budgets being cut. The fact that people come together to create this great work absolutely needs to be celebrated and we really do look at it as a career marker.

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

The trade presses. I eat that stuff up. I love seeing what other people are doing and staying on top of what other work is happening out there creatively. It's the creativity that will always inspire me. The media and the data are fascinating and necessary but it always comes second to creative for me.

The Drum Awards for Marketing Americas is open for entry. The deadline for entries is March 23.

Marketing Brand Strategy The Judges’ Club

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