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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

KiwiCo “Innovators of Awesome” YouTube Series

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KiwiCo is the purposeful play brand for kids, helping children of all ages discover the world around them. Whether delving into science, sensory exploration, games, or geography, each KiwiCo activity is backed by research and engages all five senses, to lay the groundwork for future learning and exploration.

To pique curiosity and cultivate creative confidence in a fun and inspiring way, KiwiCo launched its largest campaign to-date — the “Innovators of Awesome” game show — in October 2023. This captivating, four-part mini game series had three kid contestants channel their inner-innovator and engineer larger-than-life versions of KiwiCo projects —with high stakes. Each contestant vied for a chance to win a $25,000 scholarship and the opportunity to help design a  KiwiCo crate. The ultimate goal of the campaign: to ignite the spark of innovation in young minds and empower every kid to unlock their potential as future innovators.  

Though the campaign was a brand-first, it was in line with the company's mission to celebrate kids' innovative spirit and ensure the journey of discovery never ends. The “Innovators of Awesome”game show took KiwiCo’s enriching hands-on experiences and reintroduced kids to the core traits of an innovator—collaboration, curiosity, determination, and creativity. The interactive challenges were thoughtfully designed to push the young contestants to problem-solve, compete, and work together to invent the future of awesome. 

Strategy and Execution

To bring “Innovators of Awesome” to life, KiwiCo launched a call to its community and invited aspiring young innovators around the country to submit audition videos showcasing the coolest things they’ve ever built. Each video served as a testament to the entrants’ passion for innovation and creation, and after an extensive review process, KiwiCo handpicked three exceptional young innovators from a total of 300+ applicants. The participants hailed from different corners of the country — Atlanta, California, and Pennsylvania —but all shared the same enthusiasm for tinkering and experimenting. With their diverse backgrounds and affinity for innovation, these contestants —ages 11-12 —were poised to tackle the larger-than-life challenges that awaited them. 

Behind the scenes, the production team faced the challenging task of translating KiwiCo’s best-selling crates into giant versions. The team remained steadfast in their commitment to preserving the essence of each project. Despite challenges in sourcing materials, the team constructed fully functional, larger-than-life activities, in just 2 months time, that would set the stage for an unforgettable competition. 

To follow through with the brand’s mission of empowering kids everywhere, KiwiCo brought “Innovators of Awesome” to life through various extensions. First, the team chose to stream the competition on its YouTube to ensure global accessibility without geographical constraints. Additionally, KiwiCo partnered with scientist and award-winning video producer, Dr. Stephanie Castillo, to mentor the contestants. Dr. Castillo’s expertise in science and STEM digital storytelling created a supportive environment, fostered camaraderie among contestants, and inspired teamwork even during competition. 

Additionally, to engage with the millions of viewers that tuned in from home, KiwiCo launched a new crate, the KiwiCo Chain Reaction Workshop – which was the last challenge the “Innovators of Awesome” contestants competed in.  With the KiwiCo Chain Reaction Workshop crate, kids learned how to engineer one-of-a-kind chain reaction machines by combining custom components, moving mechanisms, and found objects from home. Inspired by this crate, the contestants went head-to-head in building giant chain reaction machines.The product design team spent 13 months developing this activity, which required 70 prototypes and 22 hours of kid testing before landing on a design that worked. 

With “Innovators of Awesome,” KiwiCo brought together a community of young individuals poised to shape the future with their boundless curiosity and ingenuity. Through the dynamic interplay of passion, creativity, and steadfast commitment, KiwiCo and its cohort of innovators explored endless possibilities for themselves and the brand—a testament to KiwiCo’s dedication to its mission of empowering the next generation of young innovators.


“Innovators of Awesome” was met with resounding success. It’s the biggest campaign to-date in terms of reach and views. The series has amassed an impressive 1.4 million views since its debut on YouTube – previous content from the brand averages 30K views.  Viewers have collectively spent 53K+ hours engaging with “Innovators of Awesome” episodes and content, reflecting a captivating and “must-watch” experience. 

Additional successes of “Innovators of Awesome” include:


Video for KiwiCo “Innovators of Awesome” YouTube Series

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