Genius Brands International Names Denise Kovac Marketing Director and Head of New Direct Response Division

Kovac to Launch Q1 Direct Response Marketing Campaign for Award-Winning Baby Genius(R) DVDs and CDs

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 1, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Genius Brands International, Inc. (OTCQB:GNUS), developer and marketer of entertainment products including the award-winning Baby Genius® line of music and education-based products and characters, today announced the appointment of Denise Kovac as Marketing Director.

A recognized leader in the direct response industry, Kovac joins Genius Brands with more than 25 years of consumer product experience including product development, brand development and award-winning marketing in the $300 billion dollar direct response market.(Source: Electronic Retailing Association)

Throughout her career, Kovac served in top level executive positions at a number of other companies including COO of Your Baby Can, LLC; President of Thane Direct, USA; President of Bay Street Brands; and Vice President of Sales at Fitness Quest / Warner Vision where she also managed sales for Atlantic Records, Electra Records and Rhino Records divisions.

At her own consulting firm, Managed Full Service Marketing, Kovac successfully developed the Hercules Hook and Nicer Dicer brands, and managed Elysee Skin Care for HSN. Other brands that are part of Kovac's career include: Dick Clark's Greatest Hits of the 50's, Grammy's Greatest Moments, Country Grammy's, Buns of Steel, Abs of Steel, Jane Fonda's Step Aerobics, Sheena Easton's 6 Second Abs, Joe Montana's Fit One, Sugar Ray Leonard's Slam Man, California Beauty, and Klear Action, among many others.

Kovac will immediately take the reins of the Company's new Direct Response Division and launch the first direct response marketing campaign for our Baby Genius® DVDs and CDs. The worldwide campaign will launch in the U.S. in Q1 2012 with the airing of one and two-minute television commercials on national cable channels and broadcast television stations throughout the country. The campaign will coincide with the launch of a new Baby Genius® website created to facilitate quick fulfillment of orders generated by the TV spots for a broad collection of Baby Genius® DVDs, CDs, books and toys.

"This U.S. television campaign marks the beginning of our ambitious global marketing initiative under the direction of Denise Kovac. Denise is an award-winning direct response industry executive and we are very pleased to welcome her on board as marketing director to establish our direct response division. She has an amazing track record of building sales for products catering to young children and their families. We believe she can help us achieve similar results through our television campaigns," stated Genius Brands Chairman and CEO, Klaus Moeller.

"Direct response marketing is a proven method for not only reaching parents who demand high quality, value priced products for their young children but also for providing a foundation for an effective, long term relationship with parents as consumers," stated Kovac. "As a global brand with a solid reputation for meeting these demands, Baby Genius® is a perfect fit for a DR campaign that reaches the many parents who have grown to trust Baby Genius® and is certain to resonate with parents who are introduced to the brand on television."

The next step in the campaign is to reach Spanish-speaking parents and children with offers for both Spanish and English-language Baby Genius® DVDs and CDs. The television commercials will be translated into Spanish and Genius Brands is currently seeking strategic partners to assist in this effort and beyond as Baby Genius® products are translated into even more languages.

In addition to supporting sales of DVDs and CDs, the entire campaign will build awareness for the Baby Genius® brand in anticipation of the fall 2012 launch of a new line of Baby Genius® musical and early learning toys from JAKKS Pacific's (Nasdaq:JAKK) Tollytots® division.

Kovac boasts some of the industry's top awards including: Marketer of the Year by Response Magazine; Best Short Form Advertisement and Best Long Form Advertisement by Electronic Retailer's Association, two years in a row.

About Genius Brands

Genius Brands International, Inc. is the developer and marketer of entertainment products including the award-winning Baby Genius® line of music and education-based products and characters. The Company is developing and marketing a growing line of Genius branded products that entertain and educate the whole family. Baby Genius® awards include: Mom's Choice Award, The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, The Toy Insider Best Toddler Toys, Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products, NAPPA Honors Award, iParenting Excellent Product Award, Creative Child Preferred Choice Award, Latino DVD Awards, iParenting Media Award, Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence, Kids First! Quality Children's Media Endorsement, Parents Magazine 2002 "Video of the Year," and Best "Under 3" QSR Program 2004/2005 from Restaurant Magazine. Baby Genius® products are available at most major retailers and have international exposure in over 40 countries. For brand information please visit For Company information please visit

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Forward-looking statements

This release contains forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of Genius Brands International Inc. All statements that address operating performance that the Company expects will occur in the future, including statements relating to operating results for fiscal 2011 and beyond, revenue growth, future profitability or statements expressing general optimism about future operating results, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current views and we cannot assure that anticipated results will be achieved. These statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including, among other things, uncertainties relating to the Company's success in judging consumer preferences, financing the Company's operations, entering into strategic partnerships, engaging management, seasonal and period-to-period fluctuations in sales, failure to increase market share or sales, inability to service outstanding debt obligations, dependence on a limited number of customers, increased production costs or delays in production of new products, intense competition within the industry, inability to protect intellectual property in the international market for our products, changes in market condition and other risks and uncertainties indicated from time to time in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available via the SEC's website at Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and are encouraged to consider the risk factors that could affect actual results. The Company disclaims any intent to update forward-looking statements.

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Source: Genius Brands International, Inc.