Ramblings from the Salty Pretzels guys

...where we create, write, develop, produce, and direct kids stuff and some great grown up stuff, too

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Turn off the TV for a while. Give children pencils and crayons and stay out of the way.

Nice interview with Clifford's creator, Norman Bridwell here. A guy who knew just what to do with his doggie. Congrats Mr. Bridwell.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Why Schooling Has to Change Told Brilliantly

A brilliant piece on education and schooling (and how we're doing it...wrong?) by the RSA has beautifully meshed the information world and internet art in a talk by Sir Ken Robinson. Take a few minutes and see not only how right I think they are, but how it seems that this is really what the web is for.

The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) has been a cradle of enlightenment thinking and a force for social progress. Our approach is multi-disciplinary, politically independent and combines cutting edge research and policy development with practical action.

Is there something we can do about this? See the video on their site here or just watch below:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kids, Tweens, and Teens Viewing: TV wins

An insightful report at Cynopsis, the home of the great Industry newsletter and website, shares their view of the demographic patterns of kids viewing and they find:

In the first quarter of 2010 kids 2-11 watched 24 hours of TV each week, compared to four minutes of internet video. Teens watched about 23 hours of TV per week, compared to 10 minutes of online video

But that doesn't mean advertisers put all their resources into television.

About 34 million teens aged 12 to 19 have $176 bullion in personal purchasing power...While they often spend that money in actual stores, they are doing their due diligence about the products and services online.

But I doubt it's always (or ever?) to find the cheapest price. To grab them, the networks try different approaches:

Networks too have to think about kids holistically when they're marketing shows to young viewers. Cartoon Network, as an example, invests a lot of marketing resources in gaming because kids 6-11 are heavy online gamers. "Whether addictinggames.com or platforms like that, our approach is to bring gaming to those environments by syndicating games and then promoting tune-in," said Vicky Free, VP of 360 marketing for Turner Broadcasting's Animation for young adults and kids. "We give them something they like first before hitting them with the tune-in message."

Is this so surprising? Does your anecdotal research show the same thing? The small amount of time online certainly surprised us around Salty Pretzels.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Children's television must rely on merchandising

A masterful article at Guardian UK Why Children's Television Must Rely on Merchandising. It's a battle and constant discussion we're always having with suppliers, licensees, studios, and creative folks that's all part of the big picture, "how do you make money in children's television." The shock on people's faces when we were doing Wishbone and told them, "No, PBS doesn't pay to produce the episodes," was constant. It barely paid for the kibble. Take a read. It's a fascinating study. Thanks, Guardian.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Zooburst

Found this very cool, fun site thanks to the folks at read write web. It's called Zooburst, and it lets you create your own 3D pop up book. You can upload your own images or use theirs, and they have a nice design to the ones they have available. Not only does it play as a flash movie, but it also plays as a 3d image through your camcorder...kinda looks like you're holding the book in your hand.

It's in its very early stages, so there is a bit of a learning curve, and a few things - like character dialoge--not working quite yet--but it's real close and very fun. It is accepting new users on a slow roll out basis, but I got it right away. So good luck. It's definitely worth playing around with and definitely has some fun potential for adults...um, I mean kids...

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