Set in a prehistoric era full of the juiciest and crunchiest creatures ever to rule the planet, Studio 100 Media’s Vegesaurs follows the adventures of the young Tricarrotops Ginger. Ginger lives in the colorful Vegesaur Valley, a little garden of Eden bathed in sunlight with nutrient-rich soil, lush vegetation and even temperatures, and has adventures with three baby pea-rexes: Wasabi, Split and Minty.
“One of the creators of the show, Gary Eck, was in a supermarket a few years ago and saw a young child sitting in a shopping trolley playing with a banana and some broccoli,” explains Martin Krieger, CEO of Studio 100 Media. “He was making monster growls and roars, so clearly in the child’s imagination, the banana and broccoli were huge creatures locked in battle. Gary was fascinated and wondered what these ‘monsterly’ fruit and vegetables might look like. Perhaps they were a mash-up of fruit, vegetables and dinosaurs. Vegesaurs maybe? He phoned his creative partner Nick O’Sullivan, and shortly afterward, the initial concept of Vegesaurs was born.”
Producer Cheeky Little Media then developed Vegesaurs into “a rich and colorful world filled with extraordinary creatures that combine the visual characteristics of a fruit or a vegetable with a dinosaur,” Krieger says. “It’s an absurdly silly idea, but it’s presented as a credible world for young kids to immerse in, complete with a narrator in the style of a wildlife documentary.”
By channeling young kids’ universal love of dinosaurs, the show offers something “completely fresh and new,” says Krieger. “It’s an entertainment show, but it also provides the opportunity to spark kids’ interest in fruit and vegetables in a unique and compelling way, which we hope may promote healthier eating and greater engagement with the natural world.”
The series premiered on ABC Australia in May 2022 to much success. It immediately jumped into the top three shows commissioned by the broadcaster and was ranked among the top five popular Australian children’s programs in general. On ABC’s iview streaming platform, it hit the number two slot for the most-watched kids’ shows. There was a similar reception in the U.K., where the series launched in February 2023 on CBeebies and BBC iPlayer and immediately jumped into the top ten titles.
“Vegesaurs has found a strong footing and an enthusiastic fan base on every channel where it has been aired or streamed,” Krieger says. “Season two, which premiered on ABC Australia this May, is on track to exceed last year’s audience engagements. The series and its concept were received exceptionally well among early license partners such as BrandLoyalty, which believed in the brand’s great potential right from the start. The same applies for Macmillan Children’s Books, our global publishing partner, which launched the first titles of its book program in mid-2023.” Spurred on by these successes, production of a third season is already in motion.
The producer’s ambition for season two, according to Krieger, was to create 20 more episodes featuring the beloved Ginger, introduce even more species of Vegesaurs and make use of the tools available in the Unreal Engine to enable the Vegesaurs world to feel even more expansive and appealing. “The messaging will continue to concentrate on the key attributes of the show that make it stand out: encouraging children to enjoy healthy fruit and vegetables via unique and funny characters,” he adds. “On top of that, the stories are aiming to give kids the opportunity to learn social skills such as respecting diversity, teamwork and helping friends to find their confidence.”
For the new season, the producers concentrated on the visual comedy that the characters naturally generate between themselves. They also lean into relatable themes for upper preschoolers, such as mealtimes, getting to sleep, sharing, friendship, nurturing and play.
A robust L&M program is in the works, to be strategically rolled out, especially in key markets where Studio 100 Media initially introduced retail loyalty programs developed and implemented by BrandLoyalty, such as with Lidl in Spain and Austria.
To bolster its presence and engagement, Studio 100 Media has taken a multiplatform approach. “We have successfully launched dedicated YouTube channels, featuring regular updates with episodes, clips and shorts in various languages,” says Krieger. “Additionally, our brand enjoys an active presence on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook, with a continuous stream of fresh content keeping these channels vibrant and engaging.”
“We’ve also amplified our brand through tentpole campaigns, forming strategic partnerships with local entities in each key market,” adds Krieger. “In cases where a broadcasting partner is yet to be appointed, we have implemented tailored digital strategies to ensure that the brand continues to gain presence.”
He adds, “Our commitment to keeping all the channels buzzing with dynamic content is exemplified by the production of season three. Set to be unveiled in the summer of 2024, this season promises 20 new entertaining episodes that will undoubtedly captivate our audience and fortify our brand’s presence.”
The overarching vision at Studio 100 Media is to “elevate our European content portfolio to new heights, and this ambition is prominently guided by our Munich-based team,” Krieger says. “Within this strategic framework, we are dedicated to expanding our portfolio of feature films and series. This expansion is also spearheaded by our animation subsidiary, Studio Isar Animation, which operates from Munich and collaborates closely with esteemed international partners.”
He adds that the foremost goal is to diversify and enrich the company’s content portfolio by exploring new genres and harnessing innovative animation techniques. “This commitment reflects our dedication to staying at the forefront of the global entertainment industry and delivering captivating content experiences to audiences worldwide,” says Krieger.
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