Jennifer Crisanti’s initial interest in finding office space in Leaside 20 years ago was so she could walk to work and because it was handy to the TTC for the company’s employees. Splashworks, the digital marketing and content development company that she and two other partners own, has continued to grow, and Leaside has taken on an even more important role in the company’s development than just being a convenient location.
Splashworks originally located at 150 Laird but later moved to an adjacent building at 146 Laird and into a 1,500 sq. ft. office where Crisanti, Samir Elmasry and Rob Collinet have been busy creating online and mobile games for young girls for such gaming industry giants as Nickelodeon, American Girl, Mattel and Hasbro.
During their years in business they developed a series of celebrity-themed games for the Game Show Network. With the introduction of Apple’s iPhone, Splashworks started developing mobile games and apps. One of its most successful, Camp Lakebottom: Protect The Flag, has had more than one million downloads, many of them from Latin America. For the last 10 years the company has launched more than 47 games for American Girl featuring its popular historical and contemporary characters.
“We were the first company to develop mobile apps for American Girl (AG), guiding them through the process and even setting up their app store,” Crisanti says proudly. “This experience not only has allowed us to become familiar with AG’s characters, stories and values, it has given us a deep familiarity with their target audience of girls aged six to 12.”
Splashwork’s knowledge of the young girls’ market was extremely beneficial in helping it recently create its own line of multicultural dolls for girls called Hearts for Hearts Girls. “We stand out as one of the few digital companies with an expertise in that space,” Crisanti says. “We believe we can set a new standard for digital content and lead the way in creating more meaningful experiences for young girls in tomorrow’s apps.”
Crisanti believes the company’s relationship and synergy with Leaside brings a special value and sensibility to the new brand. The company recruits children and parents from the area to participate in test marketing and focus groups for its products and programs.
“Not only is Leaside a great place to have a business because of its convenience, great food establishments and other amenities, it’s also a real family community, which is what our work is all about – enhancing digital experiences for young girls,” Crisanti says. “Being in Leaside brings a sensibility to our brand that is different because parents and kids from the local schools and area are having an input into what we do and bring to market. The more we can integrate with the community, the more effectively we can do what we do and bring value to our customers.”