-With AR Flashcards, becoming a major IP company in India
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You Need Character is a well-known company. Search results show that they have entered the Indian market, they acquired funding, and is led by CEO Min-su Song who is from Iconix who is known for Pororo. However, all the articles have different contents. They are an animation company who created Cricket Pang, as well as a VR technology company, a creator of AR products, and a content provider to the Indian audience.
It seems a bit lacking to describe You Need Character Co. as merely an animation company. We met with CEO Min-su Song to hear from him what You Need Character Co. really is.
CEO Song said, “You Need Character did begin as an animation company. We made an animation called Cricket Pang geared towards children 8 and under.” The poster showed unique characteristics. It featured animal characters, not unlike other animations, but they were holding wooden bats in their hands. He explained, “As you can tell from the title, the bats they are holding are cricket bats. There are 5 characters, Pang the elephant, Shasha the bunny, Ricky the bird, Oliver the bear, and Cash the squirrel.”
“Pang the elephant is the main character. The reason why they are holding cricket bats is, I had a chance to go to India to participate in a local contents event. As I was trying to think of contents that would be popular in India, I thought of cricket and elephants.” In fact, cricket is the most popular sport in India and elephants are very much favored in India. With these cultural familiarity, Cricket Pang immediately drew many Indian buyers’ attention.
CEO Song said, “Contents cannot just have pretty designs. They have to be beneficial to children. As Cricket Pang is for children 12 and under, we had to consider the educational and emotional aspects. India is now reaching the point where the Millennials and Gen Z population is becoming the parents of children 12 and under. Classy image, familiar cultural content, and educational aspect, there was no reason to not like it.”
That is how they came to apply the AR technology. As the demand for the contents increased, the demand for different ways to enjoy the contents also increased. That trend is true especially in the education market. In collaboration with Gyeonggi Content Agency, they are expanding into the education contents market using character IPs, such as creating AR flashcards for English vocabulary featuring Cricket Pang characters.
In short, You Need Character is not merely an animation company. They are an IP creation company, with a strength in combining customer friendly technologies like AR and VR to develop well thought-out storytelling contents. CEO Min-su Song said, “Good IP can be used in limitless capacity. As new technologies and media forms are developed, we will be able to reach children with Cricket Pang in many different ways.”
After a long preparation period, Cricket Pang animation will be launching on TV and OTT channels around the world, starting with India early next year. We look forward to the future success of the Cricket Pang animation and education contents.