Veteran marketing executive Emily Castel has joined Colossal Bioscience, the world’s first de-extinction company, as its first chief marketing officer, bringing her global entertainment and consumer brand experience to Colossal where she will lead global efforts to scale the company’s brand, experiences, consumer products, and emerging media properties.
The bioscience and genetics startup achieved “unicorn” status about a year ago with a $150 million Series B fundraise and has made headlines for its plans to de-extinct the woolly mammoth, dodo bird, and Tasmanian tiger.
Castel is the former Legendary CMO and president and chief brand officer of Teton Ridge, an omnichannel entertainment company.
“It is important for Colossal to bring the importance of our scientific achievements and focus on de-extinction and conservation education to consumers in all mediums,” Ben Lamm, Colossal’s Dallas-based CEO and co-founder, said in a statement.
Lamm said Castel is “the global brand leader who is best suited” for the new role, praising her background in entertainment, world consumer marketing expertise, and track record in franchise marketing.
Entertainment marketing expert
Colossal said that Castel is considered to be one of the top marketing and brand minds in Hollywood.
Castel became known when she broke onto the scene with her creative consultancy FIVE33, which included clients Disney, Pixar, Universal and Paramount, orchestrating the global marketing strategies of numerous entertainment properties including the $1 billion Tim Burton’s Alice & Wonderland, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and the most successful Star Trek movie release: JJ Abrams’ 2013 Star Trek.
In 2013, Castel joined Legendary Entertainment as chief marketing officer, after Legendary acquired FIVE33.
While on Legendary’s executive team, Castel oversaw all movie, TV, and entertainment launches including global marketing, licensing and consumer products as well as event activations. She worked with distribution partners Warner Bros and Universal on Legendary-produced IP’s including Pacific Rim, Godzilla, Jurassic World, Warcraft, and Kong: Skull Island.
She led the development of the MonsterVerse franchise mythology, which has grossed $2 billion worldwide.
After leaving Legendary in 2017, Castel launched her UK-based consultancy Castel Creative, where she served as founder and CEO. There, she focused on adding strategic value to brands and IPs, including the Kingsman franchise and Rocketman for Marv Studios, while maintaining an advisory role at Legendary Entertainment.
Eager to ‘engage in Colossal’s pioneering mission’
At Colossal, Castel will lead a growing team of brand and consumer hires including newly appointed EVP of Design Chris Klee, an award-winning design team leader who was formerly chief creative officer of Hypergiant Industries.
“I look forward to building the Colossal brand into the market leader in the space and continuing the inspiring work that the team has been undertaking,” Castel said in a statement. “I’m excited to start the next chapter of my career with the world’s first de-extinction company. It is an opportunity to drive innovation in the sector, using entertainment to inspire global communities to engage in Colossal’s pioneering mission to preserve species and further their existence on earth.”
Since launching in September 2021, Colossal said it has raised $225 million in total funding led by United States Innovative Technology Fund, with participation from At One Ventures, West River Group, Paul Tudor Jones, Breyer Capital, Animal Capital, Bob Nelson, Tim Draper, Victor Vescovo, In-Q-Tel, Builders VC, and Peak6, among others.
Colossal was founded by emerging technology and software entrepreneur Ben Lamm and renowned geneticist and serial biotech entrepreneur George Church, Ph.D.
It creates disruptive technologies for extinct species restoration, critically endangered species protection, and the repopulation of critical ecosystems that support the continuation of life on Earth.
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