Ed Catto

Retropreneur •  Senior Strategist
Brand Builder •  Marketing Innovator

Ed loves building brands and helping them find their true potential. With 20+ years total spanning the agency/consulting side, solid, classic CPG grounding and an entrepreneurial stint, Ed possesses a unique, proven blend of marketing, strategy, and business leadership skills.  Throughout his career, Ed has always steered his activities to the “fun stuff” – including kids marketing and entertainment, in both the B2C and B2B arenas.

Ed is also co-founder and partner at Bonfire Agency, LLC,  a firm dedicated to helping brands navigate the geek-infested waters that comprise a universe of passionate pop culture consumers, creators, publishers, retailers, distributors, organizers and advocates – in ways that embrace, not exploit, these passions.

Part of being a brand builder is finding new life for old brands.  As a self-styled “retropreneur”, Ed brings back old toy and entertainment brands for today’s audiences. Most recently, Ed’s shepherded the rebirth of Captain Action, the original super-hero action figure in comics, collectibles and even a national toy line launching in fall of 2011 at major retailers such as Toys R Us.

As a change leader at Reed Elsevier’s Expo Division, Ed introduced strategic marketing to a traditionally sales-focused organization. Leveraging his passion for “conversational” marketing and entertainment, Ed was especially focused on entertainment marketing for the New York Comic Con (focusing on comics, movies and genre) and helped launched the New York Anime Festival. As part of this assignment, Ed developed, managed and spearheaded the re-structuring of the Marketing Department as a matrixed organization.

At advertising/promotion firms Ogilvy’s 141 Worldwide, EastWest Creative, and CSC Weston Group, Ed led teams in developing strategies and creative programming for a myriad of clients, including Kraft/Nabisco, Warner Bros. Home Video and Time Warner’s DC Comics. Ed was instrumental in business development planning, executing and closing. Over the past two years, Ed has built brands for both not-for-profits and mid-size organizations through Do Good Marketing.

In an entrepreneurial role, VP Marketing at Bigstar Entertainment, Ed focused the fledgling dot.com company by developing creative marketing campaigns (featured in the NYTimes and WSJ). Bigstar, collaborating with Warner Bros, Universal and Sony, was featured as one of the best new startups of 1999.  Today, Ed can’t look at a Netflix envelope without gritting his teeth and growling.

He developed his foundation of classical marketing in product management at Nabisco (Oreo, Chips Ahoy!) and Lever Brothers (Snuggle, Lever 2000). In addition to new product introductions, developing traditional advertising and collaborating with the sales teams, Ed managed several promotional programs with partners such as Disney, Marvel Comics and Fox Entertainment.

Ed was graduated by Cornell University with a BA in Economics, and is active in alumni affairs. As President of Pi Kappa Alpha’s Alumni Corporation, Ed is leading a complete overhaul of the 100 year-old fraternity organization. He earned his MBA from the Kenan Flagler School at the University of North Carolina, and has served as chair of the school’s New York chapter.

Ed and his wife Kathe live in Ridgewood, NJ with their 4 children. He is probably too actively involved with community affairs, including the Jamboree Educational Scholarship Foundation and the Dads’ Night Fundraising Group.  Ed continues to work very hard to whittle down the pile books on his nightstand.
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