In late 2012, Hasbro registered trademark for the name “Equestria Girls” at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The franchise was briefly mentioned in the media earlier in February and March 2013. In an interview in the February/March 2013 issue of the Kidscreen magazine, Hasbro’s senior vice president of international distribution and development, Finn Arnesen, called My Little Pony a “top-priority” brand for the company; the film was described as “a new companion series” that would “[send] the pony heroes on a mission to a new world where they take on human form”. Equestria Girls was announced in May 2013 with a film and other media strategy, and it was included in Hasbro’s licensing program for My Little Pony announced in June 2013, which began at the 2013 Licensing International Expo along with the company’s other properties. The spin-off was to be a part of the 30th anniversary of the My Little Pony brand.