It is the dream of every animation content creator, to create a character that’s popular, recognized and adored by the masses. Creating and owning an animation brand opens up innumerable revenue opportunities and for the rare few that achieve this distinction, the sky is the limit.
Hong Kong based Jidou Limited is experiencing the joys of creating Jidou, a cute adorable character that’s very popular in Hong Kong.
The origin of the character Jidou is steeped in technology and innovation. It began its life as an audio visual attraction embedded in Interactive Vending Machines. Owing to its popularity, the character was next adapted by its creators for a series of Mobisodes. Most recently Jidou is the star of flash animated TV series Jidou Games which has begun airing on Hong Kong Cable Channel 12 a couple of weeks ago.
Speaking to Animation Xpress.com, the versatile CEO of Jidou Limited Alexander Wong who is also an Author and a practicing Architect shared, “Jidou started out as a Vending Business and we felt we needed to humanize our vending machines with a cartoon character, so we created Jidou. Of course, in the very beginning, we did not know that our character would grow to be what we are now. Gradually, we realized we had a strong enough following from the kids and their parents and so we ventured into Animation for a major 3G Mobile Network first, which was launched during the Olympic Games in Athens 2004. The Mobile clips are very similar if not exactly identical to the TV episodes, just segmented into 4 four-minute clips per episode.
“The TV show Jidougames follows the adventures of the adorable Jidou and his friends Jude, Jazz and Dr. Jeff as they journey around the world to participate in almost every sporting event imaginable. Each episode follows the alphabet – A for Archery in Athens, B for Boxing in Bangkok, C for Cycling in Cairo, D for Discus in Delhiâ€¦ and so on. Created for kids 6-12, it is full-action-adventure with an exciting sports theme – all depicted in the hottest genre in kids entertainment: sports anime”
The sports anime brand has also begun to do well on the Licensing & Merchandising circuit; an indication was the HK Licensing Show 2006 where the character was the toast of quite a few Brands.
Some of the categories in which L&M deals have been struck for Jidou include watches, toys, bags, mobile, games, publications, mall events, premiums, etc.
“Licensing is always a hard business when your property comes from Hong Kong. We are still developing this industry and it takes time. However, the opportunities are there and the Hong Kong Government is helping us through the Trade Development Council. We are confident that more opportunities will arise” shared Wong.
For any series that does well on the home turf, the next logical step is to look for International opportunity. Jidou has participated at International markets such as Hong Kong Filmart, Hong Kong Licensing Show, Hong Kong Ani-Com and will be participating in MIPCOM, Frankfurt Book Fair, Innovation and Design Expo (HK) this year alone. “Through these platforms and through an international network of our agents, we hope to bring Jidou to the rest of the world in the not too distant future, particularly, Asia, the Middle East and Europe” pointed out Wong.
“With Sports being a universal language, the property is really created for the World to see. So, Jidousports is pretty much developed from day one with this in mind. Kids all over the world will be able to relate to Jidou and his friends and the traveling around the globe is so interesting as well. Needless to say, this intrinsic value & characteristic in our brand will help us to grow in different parts of the world. Right after MIPCOM this year, we will be in a position to decide how best we could bring Jidou to all the different markets of the world” he added.
On being asked about how much aware was he about the development of Indian animation, Wong replied, “I think India is a really exciting place for animation right now, with the highly developed IT infrastructure already existing and talents on top, India will be a major force in computer animation and may even surpass Korea or Japan in the next decade. We also have an episode of Jidougames that takes place in India, Delhi in fact, called “Episode D: Discus in Delhi”!”
“We really would love to introduce Jidousports to all the kids in India and beyond. We are currently in negotiations with many different TV and Mobile networks that cover the Indian Subcontinent and we can’t wait what’s going to happen next for Jidou within Asia” he concluded.