- Kraft Heinz brand Jell-O Play announced in a news release the debut of "The Jello-O Wobz," a new animated series on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video. The series was created in partnership with DreamWorksTV and follows the release of a Jell-O Play line of gelatin mold kits aimed to increase children's imagination and free play.
- "The Jell-O Wobz" will feautre six episodes that run roughly four minutes each. The story follows Jell-O characters made from different kitchen objects on adventures, including the main character Bucket, Meg the measuring cup and Walter the nicked surgical glove. The stories focus on real-life situations and teach kids that they should accept their imperfections and that it's okay to make mistakes.
- The first episode is available now, and new episodes will be released on Mondays over the next five weeks. Fans can join the conversation on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @JELLOplay using the hashtags #JelloPlay and #JelloWobz.
Animated shows based on kids' toys or other licensed products are a decades-old marketing tactic, but Jell-O is modernizing the approach by eschewing linear TV in favor of streaming. "The Jell-O Wobz" appears to have been created in part through Jell-O parent company Kraft Heinz' Springboard initiative, and might signal how the packaged foods giant is thinking about its marketing for the future.
Springboard launched in March with the mission of helping Kraft Heinz develop, scale and accelerate the growth of "disruptive" food and beverage startups, but it might also be a way for the company to create more disruptive or forward-thinking marketing strategies, including through branded content like the new series. Opting for online video platforms like YouTube and Amazon Prime Video signals that Jell-O recognizes kids and young teens are now growing up as digital natives who potentially spend more time on mobile devices and over-the-top services than they do watching broadcast and network television.
Jell-O isn't alone in adapting to these consumer trends. Hasbro, which built its brand name through TV shows tied to toy lines like "My Little Pony," opted for YouTube over traditional TV when launching a new product called Hanazuki last year. Victor Lee, the company's SVP of global digital marketing, wrote at the time that: "Today people watch what they want, whenever they want [...] So as brands, we have to be consistently present — and let people binge-watch and engage further if they'd like."
Themes of acceptance and inclusivity in Jell-O's new series hit on another growing trend marketers are adopting in content efforts targeted at children and young teens. Unilever's Dove brand, for example, has over the past several months worked with the Cartoon Network series "Steven Universe" on digital shorts reinforcing young peoples' confidence in their bodies and identities.