Brown Bag Films (A)

By Charles O'Reilly, Lorraine Reid
2018 | Case No. E656A | Length 6 pgs.

Brown Bag Films produced programming for Disney, Amazon, BBC, and Nickelodeon, reaching an audience of more than 100 million pre-school children around the world. This case examines the development of Brown Bag Films, which began in 1994 as a partnership between two art school students in Ireland who had a passion for making animated children’s films—but no business plan, and only a few thousand pounds of borrowed funds. Early successes like an Oscar nomination meant name recognition, but the company had a decidedly non-linear track before it became known for producing popular animated series. The company pivoted a number of times, yet still saw itself as a start-up, a technology venture that was also a creative venture, at the cutting edge of 3D animation. Topics discussed include strategic thinking, mission alignment, management training, and corporate culture.

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Learning Objective

Students will discuss and explore the various pivot points Brown Bag Films faced, the rationale for reinventing itself several times over, the learning curve for its cofounders, and the strategic choices the company made to remain true to the initial vision of the cofounders.
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