Playmobil’s kids’s series “Super 4” has proven its popularity on linear TV in the UK, Italy, and Latin America across various channels (specific to those areas). Soon, the adventure series starring Playmobil figurines (well, in CGI animated form) will come to the US. This time, instead of showing up on broadcast TV, it will debut on Netflix in April 2015.
Sarah Blair-Miller, who works in marketing for Playmobil USA, caught up with VideoInk to tell us about the decision to put “Super 4” on Netflix and give a little more info on the toy company’s digital video strategy.
“Super 4” was doing well on TV in other territories. Why choose to move it to Netflix in the US?
This isn’t a move so much as an expansion. The “Super 4” series has proven to be extremely successful in Europe, and we’re thrilled to have the series debut as the first Playmobil-inspired entertainment property in the US. Netflix has proven itself to be a strong broadcast provider in the industry, and the flexibility that it offers its viewers made it a perfect partner for the “Super 4” series. Parents are constantly on the go and want content for their children to be available when needed. Netflix makes that flexibility possible, allowing families to stream their favorite Playmobil-inspired series whenever they feel the urge or their schedule allows, whether it be at six in the morning or six at night.
What was the inspiration behind “Super 4”? Was the idea to make an animated video version of Playmobil at all inspired by “The Lego Movie” (or did Playmobil’s series come out before that in other countries)?
The “Super 4” series was developed by Morgen Studios and Method Animation. Together, they came to Playmobil with the idea and passion to develop content based entirely upon the brand’s figures and themes. Naturally, we were both excited and flattered to have been the inspiration for such an exciting kids’ series. This also represents the first time that the Playmobil worlds have come to life and interacted with one another, similar to a child’s play experience where anything is possible — knights can encounter dinosaurs, and fairies and pirates can visit a futuristic tech world.
Playmobil already has a YouTube channel, where people can watch the “Super 4” trailer. Why not just put the whole series there?
We have tried to diversify the platforms featuring the “Super 4” content (i.e. the trailer preview on YouTube, the series on Netflix) to reach as many potential viewers as possible. Those who may not have found out about the show via Netflix may see the trailer on YouTube and then look to access the full series. Meanwhile, we also know that there are many families who solely search for content on Netflix, as they are known for their family-friendly portfolio, and in doing so, will discover “Super 4” as new and exciting content for their children.
Did making content for YouTube at all contribute to the idea for a longer-form animated series?
The creation of video content often featured on YouTube and this series were completely separate. Playmobil’s variety of video content is in support of its existing product line, creating an added dimension to the different products by bringing the toys to life in short, animated stories. With regards to “Super 4,” the series was created independently by Morgen Studios and Method Animation, using Playmobil themes and products as the sole inspiration for the content, something Playmobil was very honored by.