Finding the right path
So we put ourselves in front of the primary target audience – 3 to 8 year-olds – and sat back and learned, and learned, and learned.
We discovered that given the right stimulus, they could lose themselves in a fantasy world. Interestingly, we found children to be much more capable playing on digital devices than even their parents knew. Most of all, we learned that even young children could be pretty autonomous, and capable of occupying themselves for ten minutes or more, absorbed in stimulating activity.
Creating an immersive world
To answer the children’s wishes, we created a beautifully immersive world called ‘The Deep Dark Wood’. Here, children were free to explore, play, and do anything they wanted. Filling the screen, and rich with child-friendly games and activities, here our aim of giving children plenty to do, plenty to read, plenty to learn, plenty to enjoy was brought to vivid life.
Beautifully illustrated by our friends at Aardman Animation, this mobile-first online experience also featured stories and singalongs with author Julia Donaldson.
Answering the secondary audience
Of course, whereas children are looking for fun, the adult’s agenda is slightly different. This meant including teaching materials, opportunities to buy Gruffalo books, toys and merchandise, and clear signals for activities that would be sure to keep kids busy and happy.
Without disrupting the immersive world, the children are busily enjoying, we included a host of downloadable activity sheets, pictures to colour and stories to read. And because we always aimed to promote deeper engagement, we made certain that a two-way path made it easy and fun to enter competitions, win prizes, share photos, and upload content.