Joe Lawson – SVP, Entertainment Content and US Brand Development at Rovio Entertainment joins us to talk about Angry Birds – BirLd Cup the exclusive new series on YouTube and YouTube Kids app. We also find out who Joe thinks would be the best Angry Birds soccer player.
BSCKids: How did the idea for Angry Birds – BirLd Cup come about?
Joe Lawson (Rovio Entertainment): We know that this summer, the world would become obsessed with soccer as they do every four years when the best teams in the world get together, and we wanted to develop a soccer-themed series for our Angry Birds YouTube Channel that could celebrate that excitement and obsession. Given Angry Birds’ relationship with Everton Football Club as their primary sleeve sponsors, we thought it would be great to partner with them to create the series, and as we are all fans of soccer too!
BSCKids: How did you decide which professional soccer player you would approach?
Joe Lawson (Rovio Entertainment): All the players on Everton are great! But we could only select four to film with who would be available on the days we were shooting. We worked closely with our partners at Everton Football Club who helped select players that who were not only popular with local fans, but that had a good presence online and in social media and who would have fun with the kids. We were super excited and lucky to work with Wayne Rooney, Cenk Tosun, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Tom Davies.
BSCKids: How did you decide on the content of the videos?
Joe Lawson (Rovio Entertainment): Our first goal was to make the show funny and fun for the entire family to watch together. It was also important that it would feel very loose and not take ourselves too seriously to be consistent with the Angry Birds brand. We also wanted to have a light educational angle, where kids could learn some cool soccer tricks and some fun facts about the sport and the players. We also knew we wanted to include some original Angry Birds animation, like the Bad Piggies keeping score, for added comic relief.
BSCKids: Who is the best animated Angry Birds soccer player and why?
Joe Lawson (Rovio Entertainment): If we were picking teams, we’d probably choose Chuck first because of his extraordinary speed. Who could keep up with him as he zips across the pitch? Though we think Terence would probably make a pretty good goalie.
BSCKids: What has been the funniest thing that has happened while filming?
Joe Lawson (Rovio Entertainment): The funniest thing about filming definitely has to be the camaraderie that developed between the players and the kids. You can see it in the reactions that the kids and players have throughout the series. They’re all having so much fun together and cracking each other up through all the challenges. There were many hilarious moments, it’s hard to pick just one!
Also now though July 16th, YouTube Kids will be showing fun playlists highlighting some awesome soccer moments. These will include the Official World Cup Highlights playlists, which showcases highlights from the local, official broadcaster with FIFA rights in each region, along with the Official FIFA Goals playlist, which includes 30 second clips of every goal during the World Cup available.