Scaredy Squirrel braves social media

He's scared of beaches, germs and killer bees, but apparently, social media is A-OK for Canada-based Corus Entertainment's Scaredy Squirrel.
October 15, 2010

He’s scared of beaches, germs and killer bees, but apparently, social media is A-OK for Canada-based Corus Entertainment’s Scaredy Squirrel.

The star of the children’s book series, published by Corus subsid Kids Can Press, now has an official home on Facebook with a new fan page – previously, there were only fan-created pages – and a series of four ‘book trailers’ on YouTube to promote it. The trailers feature a classic Scaredy scene, such a crowded beach (of which he is terribly afraid), and asks viewers to tell him on Facebook if they are ‘scaredy’ of it too.

The goal of Scaredy’s new social media strategy is to show appreciation of fans’ support of the series, and give them a place to share their own Scaredy experiences, Lisa Lyons, president of KCP, says.

‘We want fans to help us celebrate Scaredy Squirrel milestones, whether it’s reaching over one million copies sold, receiving a starred review or book award nomination, reaching 500 Facebook fans or when we launch the next nutty adventure in the Scaredy Squirrel series!’ she says, dropping a hint that February will see a new Scaredy book on shelves. ‘And, of course, it’s a place to share what you are scaredy of!’

The target demo for the Scaredy page is teachers, librarians and parents, says Lyons, noting that the minimum age for Facebook membership is 13. But, she says, the series has a lot of adult fans thanks to its cute content and universal themes (everyone is scared of something!). Scaredy’s Facebook fan profile, with 323 fans currently ‘liking’ the page, is 88% female, 55% Canadian, 41% American and 75% of fans are between 35 and 55.

The online book trailers are a first for Kids Can Press, Lyons says, and the company is hoping to get the videos into offline environments as well.

‘We are very excited about sharing content, including trailers for the kiosks. We are part of a media company so this is in our DNA. We have shared the first two book trailers with [Canadian book retailer] Indigo and they were highly receptive and liked the short, under 20-second viewing time for the kiosk environment.’

Both online ventures are primarily being promoted via social media channels, KCP’s Scaredy email list, and seeding through children’s book bloggers and mommy bloggers.

The Scaredy social media strategy was developed in-house by KCP and the videos were developed by Toronto, Canada-based Round Table Advertising.

From Media in Canada

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