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Conference Keynote:  9 am to 10 am - Wednesday, February 17, 2010

[MP3 Recording]   [powerpoint presentation]

Natalie Hornsby
VP of Marketing
Cepia LLC (creators of Zhu Zhu Pets)

How does a brand new toy go from obscurity to phenomenon in half a year? As the Vice President of Marketing at Cepia, the company that makes the toy, 24-year-old Natalie Hornsby has been the driving force behind the marketing and branding of Zhu Zhu Pets. While she, too, is simply stunned by the meteoric rise of the toy, she has worked very hard over the last seven months to raise the visibility of the brand. While she led the campaign to market the toy by using traditional methods, she has also utilized more contemporary methods, like zeroing in on the “mommy-bloggers” online to promote the brand.

While her youth is an asset in coming up with modern methods of branding, such as using the Internet, Natalie Hornsby is no newcomer to the world of toys. Her father, Russell Hornsby, is the CEO of Cepia now but, for most of the years that Natalie was growing up, he ran a toy company called Trendmasters, which generated its own hit toys. Always intrigued by the toy industry she grew up in, Natalie sought to make it her life’s work, too. Soon after graduating Magna Cum Laude from Boston College with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations, she headed to China for several months to learn the toy business from the manufacturing end.







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