eko, the leader in choice-driven entertainment, today released "KidHQ," an interactive, branded video experience for the holiday season and beyond. KidHQ welcomes kids to a multi-floor digital headquarters with branded experiences from Walmart (Walmart Toy Lab), and Mattel (The Barbie Dream Floor) with more brands and floors to be announced. The BuzzFeed-produced "KidHQ" is now available at https://kidhq.com for kids to experience the evolution of toy unboxing and offer parents valuable insights on what their kids really want.
At KidHQ, kids are given the chance to become "toy testers" and help find out which of this season's hottest toys are the most fun to play with. Using eko's patented, live-action video technology, they use the "Funtroller" to explore and play. Kids can also embark on a magical adventure using the "Funovator" to explore "floors," meet Santa, interact with live-action and animated characters, help to build a vlog with Barbie and more. Accessible from a phone, tablet or computer, viewers click or tap prompts that appear on the screen to choose what happens and where to go next. eko's technology provides uninterrupted interactive video the entire time, so choices are seamless and feel like a wish come true to kids and adults alike. Designed as a safe, open and COPPA-compliant experience for kids, KidHQ proves why eko's technology is the new way for brands to connect with audiences online.
At the end of the experience, kids can share their "Toy Report," a wish list that helps parents discover what their kids want for the holidays. In a special "Grown Up Only" floor in KidHQ, the Toy Report becomes a seamless click-to-shop experience for parents powered by eko's relationship with Walmart.
"Being a retailer isn't simply about selling items anymore – it's about creating an experience for our customers," Anne Marie Kehoe, Walmart's vice president of toys explained. "The Walmart Toy Lab is a way for us to create a digital experience for kids to really see our Top Rated toys in action as we enter the holiday season."
"Increasingly, we are looking to give kids new ways to create an imaginative world around their beloved Mattel brands and characters," said Janet Hsu, Chief Franchise Officer, Mattel. "The 'Barbie DreamFloor at KidHQ' does just that, putting kids in the driver's seat so that they can create their own Barbie interactive experiences."
"KidHQ is filling a gap left behind by shuttered toy stores and old-school catalogs, and in the process is reinventing how brands connect with people," said Ivy Sheibar, CBO of eko. "I have young children and know first hand that kids have grown accustomed to interacting and playing with technology. KidHQ fulfills these expectations by inviting kids to choose what happens next throughout the experience rather than passively consuming content. At eko, we believe it's the future for entertainment and brands alike."
KidHQ is presented as an eko original, produced by BuzzFeed, the world's leading independent digital media company and directed by Ira Rosenweig. Together, eko and BuzzFeed have also made an interactive version of the Tasty recipe brand, along with interactive quiz videos and other choice-driven content.
"Building off eko's success and our on-going partnership, BuzzFeed is thrilled to be involved and help bring KidHQ to life," said Ben Kaufman, CMO of BuzzFeed. "The interactive content reinvents fun and play while also creating a new template for commerce and advertising."
The Walmart Toy Lab, created by Walmart and eko, is part of the KidHQ experience this year. After announcing a joint venture last year, eko and Walmart are partnering on a slate of interactive fiction and non-fiction series.
eko is a pioneering interactive entertainment company that lets audiences shape stories as they unfold. eko's technology allows viewers to affect, control, and influence interactive entertainment like never before. The company provides a platform for interactive stories and partners with media companies, independent creators and top brands to create deeply engaging experiences for audiences. Stories are distributed through Helloeko.com, affiliate partners, and social networks; available on desktop, mobile, and connected devices. The company has over 15 patents for its technology, including its proprietary player and authoring tools. eko Studio, the company's suite of authoring tools, is also offered for free to a community of creators who craft their own interactive experiences using eko's platform.
For more information, visit www.helloeko.com.
BuzzFeed is the world's leading tech-powered media company, with a cross-platform news and entertainment network that reaches hundreds of millions of people globally. The company produces articles, lists, quizzes, videos, original series; lifestyle content through brands including Tasty, the world's largest social food network; original reporting and investigative journalism through BuzzFeed News; strategic partnerships, licensing and product development through BuzzFeed Marketing; and original productions across broadcast, cable, SVOD, film and digital platforms for BuzzFeed Studios
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, over 275 million customers and members visit our more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2019 revenue of $514.4 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.
Mattel is a leading global children's entertainment company that specializes in design and production of quality toys and consumer products. We create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play. We engage consumers through our portfolio of iconic franchises, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, American Girl®, Fisher-Price®, Thomas & Friends® and MEGA®, as well as other popular brands that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include film and television content, gaming, music and live events. We operate in 40 locations and sell products in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world's leading retail and technology companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in exploring the wonder of childhood and empowering kids to reach their full potential. Visit us online at www.mattel.com.