Interaktive digital cookbook

iPad app for Kung Fu Panda 2 Interactive Cookbook

Israeli creative company is behind an interactive digital cookbook coming out with the release of Kung Fu Panda 2.

From cereal boxes to toy store shelves, content creators for TV and film are always looking to extend marketing and advertising to kids with the aim of making extra bucks on creative licensing deals. 

 

Company CEO and founder Gili Abramovich

 

In a new arrangement with animation giant DreamWorks (www.dreamworksanimation.com), a team of 16 creatives and computer programmers from Israel’s Castle Builders (http://www.castle-builders.net) has put together an interactive cookbook to accompany the release of the studio’s latest motion picture, Kung Fu Panda 2 (www.kungfupanda.com).

Done for free, using a revenue-sharing model, this development comes in the wake of Castle Builders’ enviable success at No. 1 on the Apple Apps download site, as its most recent book for the children’s series LazyTown (www.lazytown.com) bypassed the popular Angry Birds game (http://www.rovio.com/index.php?page=angry-birds).

Now, Castle Builders hopes to enter the download hall of fame again. Its core software technology, BooClips (www.booclips.com), allows for a rich online multimedia experience for children reading e-books. The interactive cookbook based on Kung Fu Panda 2, says company CEO and founder Gili Abramovich, “will definitely draw a great deal of attention, given its innovative and never-before-seen features, and superb production of cooking videos.”

Other companies promoting the movie include Mattel, McDonalds and Hallmark.


Company CEO and founder Gili Abramovich

Captivating children leads to more reading

Unlike the other Israeli e-book publisher Touchoo (http://www.israel21c.org/201105179051/culture/bringing-childrens-literature-to-little-digital-fingers), which offers a do-it-yourself platform for content holders to create their own applications without a lot of upfront costs, Castle Builders custom-makes creative solutions for its customers.

LazyTown BooClips comes with embedded video clips from the wildly popular children’s series, along with all the new functionality one would expect on a touch-screen e-book, and even more — like sign-language videos and an option for children to record their voice as they practice reading the text. This is wrapped around exciting colors and animation meant to transform even the least enthusiastic couch potato or video game addict into a kid who likes to read.

For those who do not own an iPad, the BooClips application is available for PCs and Macs, too. Downloads cost about $5.

The self-funded Castle Builders is comprised of designers, artists, animators and computer programmers. “It’s our book with their content — a joint effort,” says Abramovich, who has an MBA on top of an undergraduate degree in English literature and political science.

The company was founded in 2006, well before iPad, iPhone and Android apps made interactivity in a touch-screen possible the way it is today. “It’s something that came through my mind a few years ago, and the first [concept] I took and tried to implement all the way,” says Abramovich.

Castle Builders absorbs all the customization costs, including marketing, design and development, so that its customers pay nothing but share the rewards. The catch is, the company won’t take on just any project – it waits for the right one to come along.

“I felt that this is where everything will go, a mutation of where we first started. If we didn’t start so long ago, then we wouldn’t be able to seize the moment right now. We are in a perfect position to help,” says Abramovich.

It takes about two months of skilled work to embed raw content such as music, movie clips and the written word seamlessly into a story that captivates, amuses — and teaches a child, at the end of the day, how to read.