We’ll ask kids, ‘Where would the character Pet [the twins’ one-eyed furball] adventure to?’ ” says Joi Podgorny, Star Farm’s director of online community, who facilitates the advisory board meetings. “And the kids will say, ‘Pet goes on an adventure to outer space and lands on Pluto,’ and that kind of thing, and our writers turn their suggestions into a story.”
Kids advisers are notified when content they’ve personally contributed will be onscreen, and a pop-up icon calls out the kid’s first name and city each time the episode airs. The half-hour episodes will air in the United Kingdom and Australia in addition to the U.S.
The KAB’s initial meeting took place early in 2005, when Star Farm tapped family- and friend-referred kids for a feedback session. CEO Trish Lindsay wanted to engage face-to-face with the Chicago community, and to get kids to talk about what they liked, “to help us navigate through what marketing to kids means,” Podgorny says.“
At that first meeting, we realized that it was such a cool experience for them to be in a studio where cartoons and books are made,” she says. “We got to show them storyboards of what was going on with Edgar and Ellen’s animation, and got great feedback from them.”
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