The Dodo is the #1 most-engaged with media brand in the world, owning the animal category across platforms. We’re a halo brand for everyone who loves animals -- from people who are obsessed with their pets all the way to committed animal advocates. We create fun, authentic, and meaningful content that not only entertains, but makes people feel connected to animals and empowered to help where it’s needed. We cater to a social, mobile-first audience and each piece of content is optimized to feel native to the platform.
Kids and families have always been a big part of The Dodo’s engaged audience — so in 2019 we launched “Dodo Kids,” extending the warmest and most irresistible Dodo stories to the littlest animal lovers. Our plan was to combine new kid-first formats with The Dodo’s unique emotional animal storytelling to make new content tuned to the growing minds and hearts of kids.
On YouTube, preschoolers have plenty of options for “curricular,” toy-driven, or kid-vlogging videos. We knew that “Dodo Kids” could fill a content gap on the platform with heartfelt live action stories starring real animals.
Our creative strategy was to follow the roadmap for Dodo storytelling and to trust that even young kids would respond and feel a deep connection to our animals on screen. But, we also knew we had to adapt to meet the interests, tastes, and developmental needs of preschoolers.
Using the existing library of non-fiction Dodo videos as source material, we adapted stories with themes relatable and interesting to young kids — themes like family, love, heroism, recovery, and growing up.
We built these stories into several recurring series, each with its own format and kid-first style of storytelling.
Best Animal Friends: Episodes tell the stories of real animals who are obsessed with their best animal friend. Narrated by Kids TV host Carly Ciarrochi (Big Fun Crafty Show, Snug’s House) the series introduces kids to animal duos like little Khula the Rhino and his best friend/protector Imbuzi the Goat, and Avni the one-armed baby monkey who spends every day with Billo, a very patient cat. Best Animal Friends is all about showing kids how a best bud just makes life better, and how animal friendships can remind you of your own special relationships.
Rescued!: Hosted by Roman McConn, an actual 8 year-old animal rescuer, Rescued! videos are about dramatic rescues, heartwarming stories of recovery, and generous acts of love and kindness toward animals. These real stories are presented in the style of a “react” or “let’s play” video, with our host narrating the action as he sees it and offering his own commentary as an expert animal rescuer. It’s a unique format that blends scripted narration, unscripted kid-reactions, and dramatic and inspiring animal stories into a style that’s tuned to a young audience on YouTube.
Dodo Sing Dodo Dance: Starring the dogs, cats, cows, and other standout animals from The Dodo, Dodo Sing Dodo Dance videos are musical renditions of classic Dodo stories. Kids can groove along to ‘Butterfly Guy,’ — the story of a butterfly who landed on a guy, or ‘The Naked Guinea Pig Song,’ about a couple of guinea pigs who also happen to be naked. Dodo Sing Dodo Dance is designed to share some of the most remarkable Dodo animals while getting kids dancing and moving over and over again.
All Better: This is a loving series that gives kids the experience of taking care of a little animal. With narration in the first person that directly addresses the animal (‘It’s ok baby starlight, we’re going to help your tummy!) kids get to feel actively involved in the story of how an animal goes from ‘hurt’ to ‘all better.’
We publish these franchises regularly on “Dodo Kids,” alongside one-off videos that test new formats and ways of telling stories to our young audience.
“Dodo Kids” launched in Summer 2019 and had over 1M views in its first month (platform analytics, July 2019).
Just 6 months later, the numbers climbed to 10M monthly views for January and 20M minutes of watch time (platform analytics, January 2020).
“Dodo Kids” is now the #1 Most-Viewed Kids Animal Channel on Social (Tubular Labs) and was just nominated by industry peers for a Kidscreen award for “Best YouTube Channel.”
Our audience is growing particularly rapidly on the YouTube Kids platform, which now accounts for over half of our monthly views.
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