Montreal-based Ciné-Groupe is going interactive after Christmas with the launch of its English-language version of the Adventure Trails Web site (www.trails4kids.com). The animation prodco is combining subscription-only educational interactivity with site-based goodies in one of the first developments out of the new media arm of the company. Ciné-Groupe Interactive was formed in May after Ciné-Groupe acquired Montreal-based Web site and edu-software developer Les Productions Pandore last year. A French-language version of the site (www.sentiers.com) has been up and running since mid-September. David Solomon, director of sales and marketing at Ciné-Groupe Interactive says it got 1,200 hits in its first 24 hours.
Targeting the four to six set, the site incorporates seven original characters that navigate kids through seven different adventure learning trails. Kids can choose to wander along the math, health, science, art and communication paths by selecting options from a crystal ball at the home page. For about US$17, a subscription to the site for one year includes a real puppet based on the on-line characters, a CD for each adventure trail, a membership card and coloring books. The company promoted the French-language site through trade publications, multimedia, and a promotional CD that was sent to area schools. Similar plans are in place for the English-language site. Ciné-Groupe Interactive is also investigating licensing deals in France for the French-language site, as well as licensing deals for all printed materials and merchandise. No licensing agreements were finalized at press time, although the company is in negotiations with parties in Scandinavia, Benelux and the U.K. Solomon says Ciné-Groupe also plans to brand the Web characters. KB