As the digital world becomes more entwined with daily life, classic brands and properties have to adapt to this new medium to keep pace with the demands of the market. Scholastic has had remarkable success with the transition, creating successful versions of its key children’s brands (such as Clifford the Big Red Dog and I Spy) for digital platforms, including the iPad and the Nintendo Wii. Caroline Fraser, director of Scholastic Interactive, talks to Royaltie$ about making the leap into the digital world.
Paul Narula: What makes Scholastic’s classic brands suited to a digital platform?
Caroline Fraser: We believe that kids respond to our brands in any environment, digital or traditional, for the same reasons: engaging characters, compelling storylines, brilliant artwork, and an overall execution that reflects how kids think and learn. If we continue to focus on these elements when creating brands, we can then move those brands easily onto any digital platform.
P.N.: What are the most important elements of a classic brand to hold on to when translating to a modern format?
C.F.: The key to success is to maintain the core of each brand when translating it. For example, we’ve produced best-selling I Spy interactive products on many platforms because we’ve been able to maintain the beautiful and photorealistic art style from the books. When we moved Clifford onto digital platforms such as the iPhone or iPad, we have preserved the same play patterns and feelings that made Clifford popular in print or on TV.
P.N.: What are the greatest challenges when adapting classics to a modern platform?
C.F.: The biggest challenge is to find ways to take advantage of the unique attributes of each platform. For example, I Spy on the DS is a different experience from I Spy on the Wii or the iPad. If you move the same exact design and functionality to each platform, without making any accommodations to it, you will not succeed on those new platforms.
P.N.: What is Scholastic’s future plan for the digital category?
C.F.: Scholastic has a long history of creating great content that kids love. Our plan is to put Scholastic’s brands onto every interactive platform that kids use, including game consoles, mobile devices, and digital game destinations. Because technology evolves so rapidly, kids engage with content on varied and new platforms all the time. Scholastic will always be where the kids are, and provide them with content on relevant platforms and technology.