Report – Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Posted on: Wednesday 06 July 2022 10:12pm by Yosr Saber

Takeaways

  • There is a need to engage children more with content about environmental conservation.
  • Detective mysteries are on-trend now with a need for a new comedic detective TV show.
  • Mental health issues in children are on the rise and using media to address those issues can be very impactful with more reach being achieved.
  • CMC this year is all about ‘whats next’ and what is needed next are more diverse, inclusive, funny, entertaining, and warm shows.

TV Presenter and Entertainer Joanna Adeyinka-Burford, together with TV Presenter, Entertainer and Podcaster, Nigel Clarke were joined by a panel of US judges via Zoom that included: Adina Pitt from Warner Bros. Discovery, Eryk Casemiro from Nickelodeon, and Rick Clodfelter from Disney.

The panel were presented with four five-minute pitches by Lisa Hryniewicz of Koko Rose Media; freelance author Paula Harrison; Emma Taylor and Alex Walker of Brickwall films; and Helena Mitchell of Chronically Creative.

Lisa Hryniewicz pitched Deer Little Forest, a pre-school eco-comedy show about four friends who learn to use the power of curiosity to learn about the natural world around them and themselves, learning special skills along the way, such as how to assess and overcome fears, navigate friendships and how to taking on challenges. The stars of the show include Barley-Crumb the Badger, Rowan the introspective fox, Lockhart the loud and goofy red female deer, and Bodhi Bear, the friend’s connection to the universe and other worlds. Each episode starts with a nature-related question and an internal issue that a character is struggling with. This property has hand-made art as its basis and has lots of potential for extensions into publishing and cross-promotion with forestry groups, environmental groups, Natural History Museum, and art groups as well.

The judges applauded the artwork and the innate diversity embedded within the story. They recommended the story lean into conservation issues with the environment rather than taking the adventures someplace else; they recommended balancing girl characters with the boy characters; and recommended that the story leans into the emotional side of the relationship of the characters and how they are connected.

Paula Harrison pitched Spook and Sleuth, a live-action-comedy detective show for ages 5-8.  It’s all about two children, Lexi and Theo, who get pulled into being detectives by an annoying ghost called Marmaduke Rose, who is obsessed with solving mysteries. Adults can’t see the ghost, only children can. Lexi and Theo are very different characters, and throughout the series, they get introduced to more ghouls and monsters and start to enjoy the secret world of the ghosts. Inspiration for the show has been drawn from shows like Scooby-Doo and Rentaghost and the need now for a new comedy-detective show.

The judges all agreed that mystery and detective stories are on-trend now with the resolution at the end of the story being very satisfying for kids. They emphasized the importance of instilling comedic aspects into the show, as well as ensuring the development of the characters to ensure they connect with children.

Emma Taylor and Alex Walker pitched Embers the Dragon for pre-schoolers that follows Ember and his friends as they embark on adventures while learning about emotions. Featuring an all-star cast of voices, Embers the Dragon is a groundbreaking series helping to develop young children’s emotional literacy. The locations and settings are what children would find in normal life but also fantastical elements such as dragons, volcanos and the magical kaiki trees, which help children visualise and understand their emotions and feelings.   This show aims to help them do that by using clinically backed techniques.  They focus on the modelling of facial expressions and mannerisms across multiple emotional states and across personality types to make the characters relatable to children. The stories that they create are all very much rooted in real childhood experiences.

The judges found the idea charming and a very noble topic to take on but advised that the approach taken be a lighthearted one.  The connectivity between all the characters is important here for the audience to empathize with what they are going through whilst ensuring entertainment.

Finally, Helena Mitchell pitched Fellow Farm, a 2D pre-school animation with each episode running at 7 minutes. The show aims to empower self-confidence with a humorous heartfelt and educational tone. The characters of the show include Susie the sheep, Quackers the duck, Claire the Cow and Pronto the Pig. There is also the silent companion of the butterfly that represents our inner confidence. Set on a rustic, British farm with an unconventional yet loving family vibe. Each of these characters has a hidden disability, but it’s those disabilities that give them their superpowers, encouraging inclusiveness and social acceptance and reducing that stigma around children’s mental health issues. It aims to make children feel loved for who they are in a funny and entertaining way.

The judges loved the intention behind the show but were concerned that it might be a cognitive overload for the target and recommended simplifying the story and the episodes.  They recommended highlighting the core relationships between the characters making them supersede the disabilities, because it is the connection to the friendships that stays with children.

When it came to voting for their chosen winner, the audience voted for Embers the Dragon, whereas the judges voted for Deer Little Forest. Which means that Embers the Dragon receives one free ticket for CMC 20213, and Deer Little Forest” wins a package of support including brand consultancy, research and PR support.

Congratulations to our winners!

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Yosr Saber

About the author

Yosr Saber

Kings College London, Postgraduate Student

My name is Yosr Saber. I am originally from Cairo, Egypt but have been living in London with my husband and two children since January 2014.  I graduated from the American University in Cairo back in the year 2000 and worked for over 9 years in advertising both at Ogilvy&… Read more