10 JUL 2023

Johannes Gropp: "Kids always learn something when interact with StoryZoo"

Founder & CEO StoryZoo explains the success of the edutainment animated series and their interesting partnerships with several institutions in order to add more value to the story.

10 JUL 2023

Johannes Gropp

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"StoryZoo" is an edutainment animated brand launched in 2016, tailored for children from 4-8 years old, where they, in each season, can learn about different topics in a fun and entertaining way through the main characters Toby the Monkey, Pepper the Parrot, and Bax the Bear. "We try to teach the kids things from around the world," said Johannes Gropp, Founder & CEO StoryZoo in an exclusive interview with Señal News.

Every season of "StoryZoo Adventures" is focused on a universal theme that is developed thought the episodes, but to do it, StoryZoo partners up with strong partners that have an interesting story to tell. For instance, in "StoryZoo adventures –ZOO" (13x9') StoryZoo joined one of the biggest zoos in the Benelux in order to feature one animal per episode. "Kids learn in an interactive but also playful way about this one animal where is it coming from, the habit of it, what is it eating," detailed Gropp.

Another good example is "StoryZoo adventures –IN SPACE", a 10 x 11 mins production made it in collaboration with The European Space Agency (ESA). "'StoryZoo adventures –IN SPACE' has exclusively been licensed by Disney because they really like the real-life videos which we mix together with the animations but these episodes are also part of a lot of digital school platforms," he mentioned. "We also have a very good cooperation with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. We produced 'StoryZoo adventures –MUSEUM', 10 episodes on colors, shapes and Art," he added.

Gropp also noted that StoryZoo is currently working a new season, focused on instruments this time. "We produced together with the London Symphony Orchestra 10 new episodes focused on 10 different kind of instruments," said the StoryZoo founder. "Having these strong and reliable partners become the series automatically more trustful, people believe us," he said. "The quality of episodes just kind of reach a higher level because we partner with these institutions," he added.

Following the same strategy, StoryZoo is thinking on new adventures with the kids, so more seasons will come up. "We are thinking on trains and travelling as well as heath food and environment," he anticipated. "I'm actually always looking for partners that have an interesting story to tell which is worldwide relevant," he affirmed.

StoryZoo brand is growing up in digital platforms as well as linear channels. It has presence on nearly every platform in the Benelux, as well as in all four Scandinavian territories in the local language via SF studios, ORF1 in Austria was one of its first partners, the brand is getting very strong now in Africa, but it is still looking for more penetration in Germany, France and Italy. "We are busy with Spain at this very moment," he pointed out.

The global StoryZoo success it's not only due to its distribution strategies, it also thanks to a 360° bet. "We have everything around cardboard toys and books," Johannes Gropp said. "We are currently building branded kids corners," he mentioned. "For example, in one of the biggest kids hospitals in Germany we are going to build a huge branded kids corner, it will be several rooms where kids can interact with games and play while they're actually waiting in the hospital," he explained. Gropp also noted that this kind of corporation work very well because the hospitals know that the "kids can learn something while they interact with the brand".

The Founder & CEO StoryZoo highlighted they produce all the StoryZoo seasons in Europe, in house, with the same animator still because they want to keep the quality as high as possible. The executive also clarified that they are not using AI to produce the series. "It doesn't suit our brand," he said. "If you position yourself as an entertainment brand, you don't want to have computer voices telling a story," he concluded.