Nashville-based kids media platform GoNoodle is launching a new puppet series in a bid to expand into content for third-party broadcasters and platforms for the first time.
Squatchy Talk (seven x three minutes) follows a friendly sasquatch who makes a vlog with his friends to promote movement and safety in the pandemic. Aimed at six to nines, the first video in the series will be released on GoNoodle’s platform this week. New episodes will roll out in the coming months, timed around back-to-school and the holiday season.
The goal is to entice broadcasters to greenlight a long-form version of the series, says Samantha Fleming, chief content and creative officer for GoNoodle.
GoNoodle is a platform that hosts movement-based videos and activities for kids, and its primary focus has been on creating live-action videos on behalf of clients to encourage exercise. It’s been experimenting with its own original—and more narrative-driven—shows to build an appeal with broadcasters, says Fleming. Her belief is that buyers are more likely to pick up a series of episodes with some timely themes than a few one-off videos.
Putting out a few episodes to start gives GoNoodle a chance to see how Squatchy Talk resonates with kids. It also gives GoNoodle a proof of concept to show broadcasters and streamers, says Fleming.
Despite its expertise in live action, the production team opted to create a puppet-led series to give the show a more animated feel—without having to shell out the money required of animation, says Fleming. The company had been toying with the idea of making a puppet show since 2019, but when the pandemic wiped out live-action production, GoNoodle realized it needed a simple and cost-effective way to create new videos that would engage kids. So, it accelerated the puppet plans.
Even after the pandemic ends, the series’ vlog format will remain relevant and familiar to kids who have spent hours on virtual calls, says Fleming.
“We have a presence in schools, which have been showing our videos, but now with kids online all the time we have to build content that they want to see at home,” says Fleming. “This new format lets us talk about nature, mindfulness and movement at a time when families really need to see all of that.”