Redibra: A Milestone Anniversary

Redibra is a boutique licensing agency celebrating 60 years of business.

Amanda Cioletti, Vice President, Content and Strategy

May 1, 2024

7 Min Read
 Elcan Diesendruck with Walt Disney, or just Walt, as the story goes, Redibra
Elcan Diesendruck with Walt Disney, or just Walt, as the story goesRedibra

At a Glance

  • A Touch of Disney Magic
  • Launching Independently
  • Looking to the Future 

Sixty Years is a milestone for anything, let alone a family-run, global business. For licensing agency Redibra, 2024 is serving as a reminder that quality relationships, client-centric focus and perseverance pay off in droves as it celebrates six decades. License Global sat down with current owner and partner, David Diesendruck, and founder, Elcan Diesendruck, to talk about the special culture that Redibra has fostered and its plans for the future. 

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A Touch of Disney Magic

 You can’t mention Redibra without knowing the agency’s back story, which has its own touch of magic. Quite literally, the name Redibra originates from its very first prominent client, The Walt Disney Company.

“I gave [the agency] the name ‘Redibra’ for the sake of clarifying its purpose – Representing Disney in Brazil,” says Elcan Diesendruck.

According to legend, by a “fortunate twist of fate,” in 1963, Walt Disney Productions was in the market for representation for its properties in Brazil – up to that point there had only been legal representation focused on protecting Disney brands. A young Elcan Diesendruck was working in the early licensing space, having held roles at Brinquedos Estrela, the largest Brazilian toy company at the time, where he had gained valuable experience in the children’s market. And thus, a match was made. 

By 1968, Elcan was off to Burbank, Calif., to meet with Disney executives, including Walt Disney himself, who notoriously (and charmingly) insisted on being addressed as simply, Walt, says Elcan Diesendruck.

In 1994, Disney opened its own office in Brazil, installing Elcan Diesendruck as president, while son David Diesendruck was simultaneously also finding himself embarking on his own Disney career alongside wife, Daniela, just the year prior. Inspired by his father’s career journey, David too set out to pursue licensing

“I remember from my childhood that when my father arrived home, he was most of the time smiling and happy,” says David Diesendruck. “I always felt that my father really loved what he did … and that it must be something very fun.”

In these years, many iconic products were created and brought to market, most notably Disney Babies, for which Elcan Diesendruck recounts with pride.

Launching Independently

By 1998, the Diesendruck family, this time with David and wife Daniela at the helm, was ready to go out on their own, this time as an independent licensing agency back in Brazil.

 “Our proposal was to offer careful curation of our portfolio and work with a select group of intellectual properties, differentiated and complementary, for a wide range of consumers,” says David Diesendruck. “We sought – and continue to seek – strategic partnerships rather than transactional ones. It’s a vision that remains quite distinctive in the market to this day.” 

Today, Redibra is now a Top Global Licensing Agent, per License Global’s latest report, ranking at No. 21 with a reported $662 million in retail sales of licensed consumer products for its current clients. 

“Our current licensing and brand extension roster includes Coca-Cola, which is one of our oldest clients and most iconic,” says David Diesendruck. “Then, we also work with Nintendo, General Motors, Netflix, Bravado (a part of Universal Music Group), Spin Master and Artestar. Locally, we work with Lottie Dottie Chicken, which is a blue chicken that is a very, very successful preschool brand in Brazil and with the largest Brazilian YouTuber, Luccas Neto.” 

In March, Redibra was tapped as the exclusive licensing agency for Spin Master’s series, “Unicorn Academy,” which is a Netflix original.

For Coca-Cola, Diesendruck notes a lot of exciting activity in Brazilian markets for the brand that calls the country its No. 2 market globally. One of the reasons the Coca-Cola licensing programs is so unique in the region is its lifestyle fashion positioning, says David Disendruck. 

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But ultimately, the most important thing to the current iteration of Redibra is to deliver the highest amount of service to its clients and consumers, and this is why operating as a boutique agency remains important. 

“If you look at our portfolio compared to any other agency, we have about 10 licensors on average, and we have 26 people in the company,” says David Diesendruck. “The ratio of people to brand is one of the highest in the industry on the agency side – we have brand assurance people, in-house designers, a retail person, marketing, paralegal services, nine on sales and on commercial. We’re really keeping to deliver an outstanding amount of service. And the boutique approach allows us to do that.” 

Looking to the Future 

“Success has not made us complacent; on the contrary,” says David Diesendruck. “We are clear about our pioneering position and maintain the creative and innovative DNA, adapting to changes in consumer behavior to offer new solutions and business models.” 

Indeed, Redibra has embarked on its latest iterations, which serve the evolving customer as markets – and tastes – shift.

In addition to servicing blue chip brand clients, Redibra has several initiatives that keep it on the cutting edge. One of these is RLab, a mentoring program for local talents that helps develop content with brand extension in mind. A second program is REdu, an online course filled with market case studies. It has also recently launched RBeat, a service that enables brands to strategically evaluate their brand extension potential into categories, whether through licensing or collaborations. 

When speaking to RBeat, David Diesendruck says, “RBeat is a suite of brand extension activation tools and a proprietary methodology that we put together that reflects the ‘heartbeat’ of brand fans.” 

Collaborations are another area where Redibra sees much potential for brands and consumers, but the business side is a bit murkier. How does a company monetize collaborations effectively? That’s where RBeat comes in.

 “It is extremely hard to get the consumer attention and engage them, while at the same time get their heart beating and create an emotional connection,” says David Diesendruck. “We believe that collaborations through products and experiences are a great tool to make that happen. I believe that collabs are going to become more sophisticated. We see in the marketing community – at least in Brazil – a lot of collaborations that don’t always make sense … and that they are based more on relationships than strategies. I feel that there is space for companies like us who understand the process.” 

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Redibra is also bullish about new category extension opportunities, particularly in location-based experiences globally, but especially in Brazil. “In Brazil, our climate is very favorable,” says David Diesendruck. “We have some tourist destinations that are getting more and more sophisticated regarding attractions … and we’re seeing big investments from foreign companies … and they want to bring better attractions and better experiences because, of course, the Brazilian customer is getting more sophisticated and a bit more demanding. That is where I see a really big opportunity for the future in giving our expertise, knowing how demanding [location-based experiences] are in terms of execution and how careful you have to be with brand management.” 

And ultimately, more licensing support is what David Diesendruck sees for the future of Redibra. More and better. 

“I see our future within vision,” he says. “How can we monetize IPs while offering memorable experiences to the IP fans, but at the same time addressing this new world that we are living? I always say that when we wake up in the morning, it’s not about selling another license, it’s about how are we going to bring a smile to our fans, to our brand fans. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what we like to do, we love to do.”

This story was taken from the May 2024 issue of License Global. Read the full issue here.

About the Author(s)

Amanda Cioletti

Vice President, Content and Strategy, Informa Markets Global Licensing Group

Amanda Cioletti is the Vice President, Content and Strategy, for Informa Markets' licensing group.

Cioletti has more than two decades of experience in the business of news and publishing, and 13+ years in the licensed consumer products/B2B content space, having spent a bulk of her career nurturing the License Global and Global Licensing Group at Informa brands.

When not writing, reading or researching the many verticals that encompass the wonderful world of licensing, Cioletti spends her time with her family and friends in the wilds of Colorado.

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