Aardman and Digital Outlook Studios are collaborating to co-produce a set of music-loving characters for teens – the JellyBeats (www.JellyBeats.com).

The JellyBeats are a collection of jellyfish, each one representing a different musical genre. They dance, talk and swim in the style of their musical preference.

The characters were created by Peter Peake for Aardman and developed together with Digital Outlook Studios.

Targeted at 14-18 yr olds the first phase will be launched on 12th March and will consist of sixteen different JellyBeat characters.

"We want the audience to get to know the JellyBeats, use them and fall in love - so it makes total sense to start this online, where they can engage with the characters. Once the characters have become part of the everyday and their potential has been established with the audience, we will work together with both on and offline partners to generate revenue and further develop the franchise." Said Jens Bachem, MD of Digital Outlook Studios.

Alongside the planned launch and presence on Bebo, the JellyBeats also have their own website (www.JellyBeats.com). This will feature JellyBeats film shorts, free downloads including icons for messenger, an iTunes live feed to the top five tunes in each JellyBeats genre and a gadget which can be placed into most online social environments.

"The JellyBeats enable self expression so the users can show off their favourite type of music to their friends. You can hear the characters talk, and make them dance illustrating the unique character of each JellyBeat." Said Tim Johnson, Senior Producer, Digital Outlook Studios.

"When we came up with the characters we soon realised that they needed to launch online so teaming up with Digital Outlook has been a very rewarding collaboration for us. I am really looking forward to the JellyBeats launch, if only to understand what a gadget actually is." says Aardman's Head of Broadcast Miles Bullough. Miles is 96.

The main focus of the campaign is on the Bebo launch which will feature a JellyBeats application called ‘What’s Your Beat?’ whereby users can choose their favourite character and feature it on their Bebo page. There will also be a dedicated interactive JellyBeats profile (www.bebo.com/JellyBeats), with discussion boards, polls, photo gallery and colourful skins enabling word of the JellyBeats to move virally across the Bebo network.

Dan’l Hewitt, Director, Business Development at Bebo: "Bebo is a place where culture and content come together and people use media and entertainment as a means of self-expression. Our audiences increasingly expect greater access to their favorite comedy, music and pop-culture programming and want to share their interests. JellyBeats allows our community to show off their tastes in a creative and fun way."

JellyBeats videos will be uploaded to Bebo Video – Bebo’s new Open Media platform – that can be accessed via the JellyBeats profile. Bebo users will be able to comment and upload the videos to their own pages enabling JellyBeats to build a dedicated fan base and utilise the benefits afforded by the social media network. This will also provide good feedback from the JellyBeats fans and inform phase two.

The JellyBeats will adhere to OpenSocial standards.

For Digital Outlook Studios please contact:
Karen Durham-Diggins at kddPR
T: +44 (0) 20 8989 2541
M: +44 (0) 7808 584 624
E: kdd@easynet.co.uk

For Aardman please contact:
Janet Balmforth at Blueprint PR
T: + 44 (0) 20 8868 0511
M: + 44 (0) 7748 185 656
E: janet@blueprintpr.co.uk

Editors Notes:

Aardman, based in Bristol (UK), co-founded and run by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, is a world leader in animation. It produces feature films, television series and television commercials for both the domestic and international market. The studio has won over 400 international awards including 4 Oscars®.
Aardman’s multi-award winning productions are novel, entertaining, brilliantly characterised and full of charm that reflects the unique talent, energy and personal commitment of the very special people who make up the Aardman team. The studio’s work is often imitated and yet the company continues to lead the field producing a rare brand of visually stunning and amusing independent and commercials productions.

Digital Outlook Studios is the production division of Digital Outlook.
Digital Outlook Studios (www.digitaloutlookstudios.com) remit is to develop, produce and distribute character-based intellectual property online, and in success, more broadly across all media including TV, licensing, retail and publishing.

Digital Outlook (www.digital-outlook.com) is an established and award-winning online marketing and creative agency specialising in entertainment and media. Clients include Aardman Animations, Walt Disney Company, Xbox, Chorion, Microsoft and the BBC.

Published on: 12:00AM on 12th March 2008