About a year ago, Toronto-based studio Fresh TV (6Teen, Total Drama Island) brought its latest animated series, Stoked!, to the MIPTV market. This spring, it’s touting a cool social media campaign based on one of the show’s popular characters, Fin McCloud, as well as a colorful blog about the shop’s activities and hot new shows.
Since Teletoon kicked off the premiere of new episodes of Stoked! on March 4, the time was right for one of the show’s most popular characters (Fin McCloud) to start tweeting about her life as a surfing teen who is working at a summer luxury resort on a scenic island in British Columbia
‘Fin has quickly been cemented as a fan favorite character for Stoked!,’ says Tom McGillis, Fresh TV’s exec producer and show co-creator. ‘She has a very strong, distinctive voice which translates well into tweets, and she’s the sort of person you’d really like to hang out with in real life. We are totally excited to start bringing our characters off the page and into the real world.’
McGillis says it’s a little early to claim success, but the early response has been excellent. ‘Both fans and industry professionals seem very interested in how these promotions are going to develop over time,’ he notes. ‘There’s a definite sense that this is something new and exciting.’
Fresh TV has also launched a studio blog (refreshblog.com), which keeps fan up to date about the busy shop’s many shows and activities. They will also introduce a second character Twitter account in the coming weeks to keep the Stoked! buzz fresh in the virtual world. In addition to their animation projects, McGillis and company are also working on a live-action movie called My Babysitter’s a Vampire!
McGillis says there’s a growing number of viewers watching shows online and elsewhere, but it’s still tough to get an accurate read on what the big picture is for animation in the multi-platform universe. ‘That said, there are plenty of fans who would rather see an episode right away as it airs, rather than wait,’ he adds.
A propos of recent studies done that show that we’re all raising a generation of tech addicts who have a hard time concentrating on one single task, McGillis notes that it comes down to making sure kids know how to moderate themselves and find a real balance. ‘We’re defininitely looking at a generation of multi-taskers!’ he says ‘A grade school student probably doesn’t need access to an iPhone or Blackberry during class, but during their free time, being able to interact with other kids all over the world is sort of a wonderful thing! Parents need to establish and enforce limits, just like with any other activity.’
As Fresh TV continues to looking at new ways to attract and communicate with its core audience, fans can look for Stoked!-related Twitter feeds and exclusive art on the studio’s blog, as well as links on Facebook and a deviantART fan art group. ‘It really feels like every new element we add opens up two more avenues,’ says McGillis. ‘It’s a new frontier, and we’re proud to be exploring it!’
Visit the Fresh TV blog at refreshblog.com and read Fin’s Tweets at twitter.com/finrefresh.