Michael Ouweleen, Chief Marketing Officer for Adult Swim and co-writer of Harvey Birdman, took to the stage at Collision Conference 2019 with SuperAwesome‘s Dylan Collins to discuss the creative direction and strategic leadership needed to achieve multi-platform success.
Michael, in his long career with Cartoon Network and Boomerang, has been central to the creation of many of the characters and shows that have shaped the childhoods of adults today, including Ben-10 and Steven Universe. Here, he discusses how social networks like TikTok have changed what humour means to kids today, moving away from warm, empathetic storylines to quick, slapstick gags, and how cartoons have evolved to meet these changing tastes.
He reveals some secrets about the genesis of Adult Swim, details the necessity of both innovation and scale when launching a new programming block, and advises new show creators to avoid thinking too much about the platform, and instead to focus on their characters.
Ultimately, he states that Cartoon Network has seen success through being willing to adapt their formats and remix their culture, ensuring that their outputs reflect where and how kids are getting their content and entertainment.
Watch the full interview here.