Charles Courcier, SVP Digital Production and Distribution at Xilam Animation explains the series’ concept, marketing strategy and targetting.
Unifrance: Where’s Chicky? Good question, but first, who’s Chicky?
Charles Courcier: Chicky is an adorable little yellow chick – he’s endearing, brave, resilient, naïve, and open to embracing new experiences without any prejudice. In each one-minute episode, we see Chicky discover new objects and environments through visual gags and hilarious situations. In the second and third seasons, Chicky is joined by his friend Bekky, who is proactive and likes to lead the action, as well as his mischievous little brother, Poyo.
Unifrance: Where does this worldwide phenomenon come from?
Charles Courcier: Where’s Chicky first hatched in 2014 when the CGI specialist studio, Cube Creative, produced season one for Gulli in France. When Xilam acquired Cube Creative in 2019, we welcomed Where’s Chicky? into our portfolio and saw its tremendous potential, particularly in the digital space, so we committed to creating a second and third season.
Unifrance: Where is it broadcast?
Charles Courcier: To this day, YouTube remains the place where the series is most watched and loved. Given its digital success, we’ve extended its presence in this space, and seasons one and two are now available on over 15 platforms internationally, including Amazon Prime Video, Tubi TV, Kidoodle.TV, Joyn and Roku Channel.
Fans can also watch Where’s Chicky on FAST channels, such as Pluto TV and Rakuten TV, as well as on linear channels, including France Télévisions, YLE (Finland), NRK (Norway) and VRT (Flemish Belgium), Tencent (China).
Unifrance: What’s the format for each distribution stream?
Charles Courcier: On YouTube, Where’s Chicky? is available in all the formats you’d hope for – from standalone single episode to mixed compilations. For our streaming platform partners, we’ve created packs of seven or 16–20 episodes, which are grouped together by a certain topic or theme such as music, sports or vehicles. On linear channels, due to its short-form format Where’s Chicky? is often used as an interstitial between shows or is broadcast in packs of four episodes.
Unifrance: How do you explain its success?
Charles Courcier: A huge part of the global success of Where’s Chicky? is down to its non-dialog format, which means it can travel all over the world very easily. There’s just a single and completely made-up word used by our characters: “Kaki”. The design also has vast international appeal thanks to its simplicity and bright color palette.
While the target audience is three-to-five-year-olds, we also see the series having great appeal for the whole family. The setup of each episode is also really intriguing for viewers as they initially see Chicky discovering new objects or environments by touching, testing, and exploring – it’s not until the very end that it’s revealed where Chicky actually is!
Underpinning all this is our effective and engaging digital and social media strategy, which means Chicky is actually very easy to find, no matter where you are in the world or which device you are using. TikTok is a key awareness driver for the series and Chicky is proving hugely popular on the platform as we’ve now reached 1 million subscribers and recently entered the platform’s top five accounts for licensed kids’ brands.
Unifrance: Where can you find Chicky?
Charles Courcier: Everywhere! Chicky really is discoverable all around the world and in many places – on digital platforms, YouTube, linear TV and across social media. This small but powerful little chick has established a vast worldwide community and now has fans all over the globe, but is particularly popular in North and Latin America. We’re also building a merchandise program for Chicky, so you’ll soon be able to find him on shelves too!
Unifrance: What about season three?
Charles Courcier: Production on season three is underway and it will be hitting screens from this December. It promises plenty of exciting international adventures as Chicky, Bekky and Poyo travel the world to discover iconic landmarks and monuments.