WildBrain Spark to manage growth of pre-school brand Shimajiro for English-speaking market

WildBrain Spark – the digital media division of WildBrain – has been appointed by Benesse Corporation to manage the English-language channel and content for its popular edu-tainment pre-school brand, Shimajiro on YouTube.

Shimajiro is an educational character and learning buddy famous across Asia. Under the new partnership, WildBrain Spark will look to grow the presence of the brand’s English-language content with a focus on the UK, US and the wider English-speaking global market.

Benesse Corporation has been creating educational and publishing content for the past 30 years, with the aim of making early childhood learning fun for kids and easier for their parents and guardians. The content explores Shimajiro’s life as a pre-schooler and the lessons he needs to learn on a daily basis.

As with any toddler, Shimajiro needs to acquire social skills such as empathy for others, playing in groups and helping around the house. However, the series also focuses on teaching physical skills such as brushing your teeth and washing your hands. There is a mixture of both live-action and animation in the show, creating a balance between learning with Shimajiro and also learning real life issues.

Rachel Taylor, commercial director at WildBrain Spark, said: “As we continue growing our connections with brand owners all around the world, we’re very much looking forward to working closely with the Japan-based Benesse Corporation to grow their Shimajiro brand in key international markets.

“Shimajiro’s success in educating young viewers in a fun and accessible way makes it a perfect fit for the WildBrain Spark network and we look forward to bringing the English-language content to new preschool audiences.”

Daisuke Tebayashi, director of global business development division at Benesse Corporation, said: “Shimajiro has delighted kids and parents in Asia for years. We are excited to be launching him to the global English market. The last few months have shown all parents around the world the importance of learning at home, and this is something we are experts at.

“With its history of brand building, WildBrain Spark is the ideal match for our digital-first strategy, and we are excited to be making this move into new markets.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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