With Comic-Con’s origin deeply entrenched in the world of capes and caves and Kryptonite, Sprout network is attending the San Diego conference for the first time for the launch of its martial arts-style kids superhero show Kody Kapow.
“I think it speaks to the character of Comic-Con,” said Jennifer Giddens, senior vice president of marketing and digital, Sprout.
As one of the few events at the conference designed with families and kids in mind, the activation in Petco Park will feature martial arts and immersive experiences “that allow each child to discover his or her inner superhero.”
The series from NBCUniversal’s destination for preschool programming features 9-year-old Kody Kapow, who learns he’s next in line to become Village Defender while visiting his family’s village in China. He’s got his hands full with the evil Mogo Monkey No Go and sidekicks, and must combat the chaos around town with the help of his grandfather Master Li, his super spy cousin Mei, and ‘fraidy-cat tiger Goji, voiced by Jason Alexander. They use their secret weapon, Sapphire Dragon, to “kapower” up into martial arts-style superheroes.
On the heels of the July 15 premiere, Sprout is kicking off Comic-Con with the Kody Kapow: Kapower Up Training Camp in Petco Park. The event will feature a warrior course with sloped vaults, a net crawl, a bag slide, monkey bars and a warped wall, and end with a heroic jump into a foam pit which will be filmed in slow-motion to share across social media. Activities also include a video game where kids can test their focus and skills, a martial-arts expert who will hold 5-to-7-minute lessons, and costumed characters from the series available for photo ops.
The activation is designed to immerse kids in the show’s world by allowing them to see, touch and participate in the action.
“They can really go on a journey, and get a sense of what the show is all about, and what we want them to take away from the series,” Giddens said.
Kody doesn’t have x-ray vision or the ability to climb walls, but his superpower lies in his inner strength, which is the message Sprout is sending to toddlers and adults alike.
After Comic-Con, Sprout is taking the Kapower Up Training Camp on the road, with stops in Seattle, Atlanta and in the New York or New Jersey area.
“Comic-Con is great, but we know not everyone can go,” Giddens said. A country-wide tour also gives Sprout insight into what resonates with kids in different markets.
Kody Kapow is part of Sprout’s efforts to ramp up its original programming, which also includes the 2019 debut of two new animated shows: Powerbirds, about two pet parakeets who live secret superhero lives and saves their neighborhood (and the world) one good deed at a time, and stop-motion comedy Norm, where Norman is Mother Nature’s son and the handyman of the forest who fixes highly eccentric animals with a touch of magic and a can-do attitude.
Giddens said Sprout is excited attend Comic-Con for the first time with Kody Kapow, and plans to return next year.
“We hope to come away with some happy consumers,” Giddens said, “and ways we can come back even stronger.”