Raphaelle Mathieu, senior VP of sales, acquisitions and new media at Cyber Group Studios, talks to TV Kids about the company’s focus on delivering content that addresses the current needs of children.
Cyber Group Studios has made it a mission to create links and connections for kids and family on one hand and with its clients on the other. It is particularly focused on delivering content that addresses the current needs of children—who have been dealing with a difficult 18 months.
“We truly believe that in this very special period, kids have special needs,” says Raphaelle Mathieu, senior VP of sales, acquisitions and new media. “After some very stressful moments, kids will be in need to laugh even more. Therefore, comedy is more than ever key in what we will propose.”
She also identifies as important themes self-confidence and self-acceptance. “Kids have been very isolated on one hand and, on the other, they were communicating so much more massively via all social networks that sometimes can be really harsh,” Mathieu says. “Promoting self-confidence and self-acceptance seems to us more important than ever.”
As Covid-19 has led to an increase in co-viewing and more together time, the company is putting a premium on shows that promote family relationships in a positive and proactive way. “We are trying to work on shows that either parents and kids can watch together or in which the message is, it’s cool to do stuff with your family,” says Mathieu.
“The bottom line we must never forget is that we are talking to kids, and in that spirit, we have a responsibility,” she adds.
Delivering on this, there’s a second season in production for Taffy, a cartoon comedy that “kids and parents can enjoy together in completely natural co-viewing,” according to Mathieu.
Cyber Group Studios is launching 50/50 Heroes, which she describes as a “bold and hilarious comedy series where half-siblings will have to find a way to work together to have their superpowers functioning.”
Squared Zebra marks the second show from the new label Cyber Soyuz Junior. “In this brand-new series for preschoolers, our aim is to make kids understand that it is not only OK to be different, but that it is super cool, and each one of us should be proud of who he/she is.”
Gigantosaurus deals in themes about daring and growing up, which are “more than ever in the heart of what we believe is key for our youngest,” says Mathieu.
Droners, meanwhile, is about empowerment, fighting for what you believe and ecology.
At Cartoon Forum, Cyber Group presented the brand-new project The McFire Family, which tells the story of a family of firefighters. “We really wanted a show where parents, kids and grandparents would live adventures together and learn from each other,” Mathieu says. “We also wanted a series that would not be about superheroes but about real heroes. And we wanted a series that is very gender-inclusive.”
Akin to the connections it forms with audiences through its shows, Cyber Group Studios believes in forging strong partnerships that push all involved to innovate and adapt. “During these Covid times, like all our colleagues, we had to rethink our way of working internally and with our clients,” explains Mathieu. “It has been a true challenge. I am proud to say that the teams were incredibly motivated and have worked so hard to make things work—sometimes night and day. And now we found that it can be efficient to have part of the daily work done remotely from home. With our clients that we have not seen for real for more than 18 months, we had to strengthen contacts even more with calls and Zooms and to create new presentations and digital material to promote our content, and it is only the beginning. The good thing is that distributors’ and producers’ jobs are basically to adapt and to find innovative and sometimes surprising solutions to do so.”
Looking ahead, Mathieu sees even more innovation on the horizon—along with more developments, more travel and international growth.