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Cynopsis Kids honored the year’s best in children’s, tween,  family programming and marketing at the 5th Annual Kids !magination Awards during a breakfast and networking mimosa reception in NYC. Hosted by kids’ musician Laurie Berkner, the event highlighted the most outstanding cross-platform programming and marketing – and the executives behind them – in the highly competitive and dynamic kids media industry.

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2016 Results


Digital Marketing Campaign
Winner: ROBLOX – ROBLOX Cartoon Network Marketing Campaign
To help draw excitement for the new season of CN’s Teen Titans Go!, ROBLOX empowered the show to sponsor a custom version of one of the site’s most popular games and own all media in and around the game for high-impact reach. The takeover resulted in 2.4 million gameplays, four times the benchmark, and 157,000 clicks delivered to the Teen Titans Go! site.

Honorable Mentions:
Nickelodeon – Kids Choice Awards 2015 “You Tell Us”
Nickelodeon – Spot It!

Marketing/Advertising Campaign for a TV Special, Movie or Series
Winner: Nickelodeon – SpongeBob, Lost in Bikini Bottom
For the premiere of “Lost in Bikini Bottom” in summer 2015, NICK created a trailer of “surveillance camera” footage of SpongeBob wandering around unfamiliar parts of his home town that was a departure from previous campaigns while maintaining the show’s signature humor. The campaign was a social media hit, and the episode premiere was too.

Honorable Mentions:
Disney Channel – Descendants
Fremantle Kids & Family – Danger Mouse
Nickelodeon – Game Shakers Launch Campaign
Nickelodeon – Rufus
Sprout – Ruff-Ruff, Tweet and Dave

Pro-Social Campaign
Winner: Nickelodeon in association with Workinman Interactive – Nickelodeon Coding Kickoff
Created to teach kids basic coding concepts, this gamified experience created with provides basic coding principles via the kid-friendly drag-and-drop method. Incorporating Nick shows including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob SquarePants, the campaign clocked 900,000 game sessions in three months.

Honorable Mentions:
Disney Channel / 7ate9 Entertainment – Make Your Mark
Nickelodeon – World Wide Day of Play
Sesame Street and Autism – See Amazing in All Children
Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) – Nickelodeon International Together For Good

Promotional Campaign
Winner: Disney Media – Nintendo “The Bragg Report”
To help Nintendo promote its consoles and games, Disney Media created “The Bragg Report,” a video series blending news and comedy hosted by Disney Channel star and avid gamer Joey Bragg from “Liv and Maddie.” Anchored in the world of Nintendo, campaign spots reached 13 million people across Disney XD and Disney Channel linear and digital apps, Disney Interactive online sites and other social media.

Honorable Mentions:
Disney Media – Kohl’s D-Signed “Descendants”
Nickelodeon – KCS 2015
Nickelodeon International – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Street Art Mural
Sprout – Sprout Brand Refresh

Social Media Campaign
Winner: Steve Rotfeld Productions – #StudentAstronaut Contest
Annual contest in connection with Xploration Outer Space offers one student the opportunity to train like an astronaut and appear on the show. To create G-force buzz, the contest is run entirely through a social media campaign that has entrants going viral for their love of science and space exploration.

Honorable Mentions:
Cartoon Network – Powerpuff Girls
Sesame Street – Sesame Street

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Best Guest Appearance on a Kids Show
Winner: Saban Brands – Sheryl Crow Guest Appearance on Julius Jr.
Nine-time Grammy winner Crow guested during season two, and not only did the voiceover for the character “Sheryl Butterflow” but also recorded an original song, “Nothing To It!,” which aired within her featured episode. To help drive buzz, Saban placed two strategic “behind-the-scenes” videos of Crow, including a interview clip where the singer tells fans why she and her two sons love Julius Jr.

Litton Entertainment – The Inspectors
Guest star Dale Raoul, whose credits include lead roles in True Blood and Under the Dome, lends an edge to this original coming-of-age series about a teen living with paralysis who’s determined to become a US postal inspector. In the episode “Gone Phising,” Raoul plays Becky, the overenthusiastic winner at an event where regular characters Preston, Noah and Veronica auction themselves to do chores and soon begin to feel taken advantage of by Becky.

Honorable Mentions:
Amaze Film + Television Inc. – The Stanley Dynamic
Cartoon Network – We Bare Bears
Sprout – Rita Moreno in Nina’s World

Best Kids Cooking Show
Winner: Food Network – Chopped Junior
A little salty, a little sweet, the junior edition of the venerable Food Network series features young chefs with big personalities taking over the Chopped kitchen. Host Ted Allen helps showcase their talents making unforgettable meals from mystery ingredients under a ticking clock – all to impress a panel of celebrity judges.

Honorable Mentions:
Food Network – Kids Baking Championship
Fox – MasterChef Juior
PBS – Hey Kids – Let’s Cook!

Best Kids Live-Event Tour
Winner: KIDZ BOP – Make Some Noise Tour
Just like the beat, the Kidz Bop sensation goes on and on. After launching a touring division in 2014, the top-selling brand in children’s music swept the country last year with this interactive show bursting with family-friendly versions of current pop hits and feel-good vibes.

Honorable Mentions:
Disney Junior – Live on Tour: Pirate and Princess Adventure
Nickelodeon – The Fresh Beat Band Greatest Hits Live
PBS Kids/The Fred Rogers Co./Mills Entertainment – Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live

Best Kids Sports-Related Series or Special
Winner: New England Sports Network – NESN Clubhouse
The tag line – “Where kids run the show” – tells only half the story. The other half is the top-notch excellence with which its junior reporters, on-air personalities and current New England-area athletes get the job done. And the complementary website is the icing on the cake.

Honorable Mentions:
ESPN Films/Disney XD – Becoming
Golf Channel – 2015 Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals

Best Kids Tech Activation
Winner: Shaftesbury/Smokebomb in association with the Telus Fund – The Moblees Get Moving App
App that accompanies the popular CBC kids series goes the distance in empowering preschoolers to get up and get moving. Not only does it pack self-contained activities, the app also features audio technology that recognizes when an episode of The Moblees is airing and syncs with the ep in real time.

Honorable Mentions:
StoryToys – My Very Hungry Caterpillar
YouTube – Kurio tablet preloaded with YouTube Kids app

Best use of Music in a Show
Winner: Nickelodeon (Global) – Breadwinners – A Crustmas Story
In this holiday special, the Breadwinners stay up all night waiting for Santa Crust to come, singing “Crustmas carols” and celebrating the holiday spirit through the power of music. Series composer Tommy Sica created four original songs in addition to the score, each of which delivers festive lyrics accompanied by visual humor.

Honorable Mentions:
Saban Brands – Glitter Force
Shaftesbury/Boulevard Productions in association with Ohmland – The Moblees Purple Party Twist

Winner: loyalkaspar – Anna And Argyle – A Digital Tale
Originally conceived as a short film, this story about a girl who ventures from her family’s laundromat in Brooklyn on a quest to find her lost sock evolved into a poignant, whimsical digital storybook for the young and young at heart. Overarching lesson? Perfect pairs don’t always match.

Honorable Mentions:
Big Bad Boo Studios – 1001 Nights Comic Book Series
Cupcake Digital – The Peanuts Movie Official Storybook App

Educational Series/Special
Winner: Litton Entertainment – Lucky Dog
Animal trainer Brandon McMillan rescues hard-to-love, untrained and unadoptable dogs and embarks on the seemingly impossible task of turning the frightened pooches into perfect pets in this big-hearted educational series targeting teens and their families.

Honorable Mentions:
Big Bad Boo Studios – 1001 Nights Educational Songs
Litton Entertainment – Rock the Park
Steve Rotfeld Productions – Xploration Awesome Planet

Educational Series/Special – STEM
Winner: Steve Rotfeld Productions – Xploration Outer Space
Former NASA employee Emily Calandrelli takes kids on an out-of-this-world journey in this series seen in more than 100 million homes. Through stunts including a ride in the “vomit comet” to experiments with space balloons and rockets, the show opens viewers’ imaginations to the endless possibilities of outer space.

Honorable Mentions:
BIG & Digital – Space Next
FUSION, A Disney/ABC and Univision joint venture – Relatively Speaking
Litton Entertainment – The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation
Steve Rotfeld Productions – Xploration Earth 2050
WNET New York Public Media – Cyberchase

Educational Series/Special Parent/Teacher Curriculum
Winner: WNET New York Public Media – Cyberchase: Step It Up!
In its 10th season, the math-centric series seen on PBS Kids partnered with ChildObesity180 at Tufts University to develop this program that inspires kids and educators to find opportunities to work more steps into their day through simple exercises and engaging math-based activities. Over the course of five weeks, kids in 12 underserved communities added up to 400 more steps per day. Support materials for educators included standards-aligned lesson plans for grades 3-5.

Honorable Mentions: 
Amazon – Tumble Leaf
National Geographic Channel – Brain Games
Nickelodeon – Wallykazam!
PBS Kids – Peg + Cat

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Interstitial Series
Winner: Nickelodeon in association with Hyperactive Content – Chase Champion
Bringing together all the capabilities of Nick’s digital platforms, Chase Champion
is a live-action comedy series about an ordinary kid who gets extraordinary video game powers, from battle suits to pet dragons. Each short-form chapter launched on Nickelodeon’s website featured a serialized storyline to keep viewers coming back for more.

Honorable Mentions:
Disney Yellowshoes / 7ate9 Entertainment – Disney Firsts
National Geographic Kids – 50 Birds, 50 States
National Geographic Kids – Moment of…

Kids 2-11 Series
Winner: Mattel Creations/HIT Entertainment – Bob The Builder
He’s baaack! The rebooted series features the same emotional warmth, inspiration and humor surrounding Bob and his team of machines, now with a contemporary look. Cleverly interspersed STEM curriculum elements and an expanded world for the characters to explore add substance and style.

Honorable Mentions:
Discovery Family Channel & Hasbro Studios – My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic “Crusaders of the Lost Mark”
HIT Entertainment – Fireman Sam
Maker Studios – Maker Studios – Wonder Quest S1
Nickelodeon (Global) – Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, & Dawn, “No Ifs, Ands, or But-ers”
Nickelodeon in association with Schneider’s Bakery Inc. – Henry Danger, “Time Jerker”
Radical Sheep Productions Inc. – FANGBONE!
Saban Brands – Saban’s Power Rangers Dino Charge
ZAG’s Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir

Kids 2-11 Special/TV Movie
Winner: Nickelodeon in association with Principato Young Entertainment – The Massively Mixed Up Middle School Mystery
Who set the rats free from the science lab? Why does the cafeteria food taste so funky? Pressing middle school mysteries get cracked by the Junior Eye Detective Agency in this original movie that originally was conceived as a digital series and came to life as a movie with all episodes strung together.

Honorable Mentions:
Discovery Family Channel & Hasbro Studios – My Little Pony: Equestria Girls “Friendship Games”
HIT Entertainment – Thomas & Friends
Little Mammoth Media – The BIG Freeze
Nickelodeon (Global) – Half-Shell Heroes, “Blast to the Past”
Nickelodeon (Global) – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, “Annihilation Earth!: Part 1 & Part 2”
Tongal and American Girl – And the Tiara Goes To… | A Julie Albright Movie

Mobile App – K6-11
Winner: Cartoon Network – Cartoon Network App
Not merely an extension of CN television brands, the highly customizable app features programmed, scheduled content optimized for mobile devices. Kids can tune in to catch a live series, opt for VOD viewing, or select favorites a la carte. There’s plenty of app-only content, too – making this offering an across-the-board winner.

Nickelodeon in association with Red Interactive – Sky Whale – a Game Shakers App
Nick extended its Game Shakers brand by launching the games the girls make on the series in the real world. Sky Whale, created in the first episode, features a flying narwhal who loves to eat donuts and has gotten tens of millions of play sessions since launch last August thanks to its engaging components and some serious cross-platform marketing tactics.

Honorable Mentions:
Amazon Games Studios/Frontier Developmet – Tales From Deep Space

Mobile App – Preschool
Winner: Sesame Workshop & Tiggly – Sesame Street Alphabet Kitchen
Preschoolers learn letter shapes, names, and sounds and build new vocabulary skills in a cookie-making hands-on experience alongside Elmo and Cookie Monster. Combining concrete visuals and interactive elements, users can blend letter combinations to “bake” more than 90 three- and four-letter words. Delicious.

Honorable Mentions: 
Budge Studios – Miss Hollywood Showtime
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Curious World
Nickelodeon in association with Chewy Software – Blaze and the Monster Machines Dinosaur Rescue
Nickelodeon in association with Plug-In Media – Paw Patrol: Pups Take Flight
PBS KIDS – Daniel Tiger’s Stop & Go Potty
Sprout – Sprout Playground
YoBoHo New Media Pvt Ltd. – Nursery Rhyme Activities

Mobile App (Educational)
Winner: JibJab Bros. Studios – StoryBots – Learning Books, Videos and Games Starring Your Child!
With 200-plus educational books, videos and games, Storybots employs technology that places each child at the center of his or her own experience via their photos. All content features lessons designed by teachers and child development experts, brought to life by performers, musicians, artists and animators.

Honorable Mentions:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Curious World
Nickelodeon in association with Chewy Software – Blaze and the Monster Machines Dinosaur Rescue
Nickelodeon in association with Plug-In Media – Paw Patrol: Pups Take Flight
YoBoHo New Media Pvt Ltd. – Fun with ABC 123
YoBoHo New Media Pvt Ltd. – Preschool Party

Mobile App (Entertainment)
Winner: Budge Studios – Miss Hollywood Showtime
This mobile-first brand embodies friendship, creativity and triumph over adversity as a squad of rescue pets turn their run-down shelter into a beautiful home. App players lend a hand, by helping the furry friends participate in talent-show games and win prizes that will turn the shelter from glum to glam. With more than 2.3 million downloads to date, this show will indeed go on!

Honorable Mentions:
A+E Networks – HISTORY’s® Planet H
Cartoon Network – Cartoon Network App
Nickelodeon in association with Chewy Software – Blaze and the Monster Machines Dinosaur Rescue
Nickelodeon in association with Plug-In Media – Paw Patrol: Pups Take Flight
Sprout – Outstanding Interactive Media-Ruff Ruff, Tweet, and Dave
YoBoHo New Media Pvt Ltd. – Halloween Party

New Preschool Series
Winner: Sprout – Nina’s World
The centerpiece of Sprout’s brand refresh when it debuted last fall, Nina’s World embodies the spirit of discovery as a 6-year-old Latina girl and her abuelita, voiced by Rita Moreno, explore the world by investigating their own multicultural neighborhood.

Honorable Mentions:
American Greetings Entertainment – Care Bears & Cousins Netflix Original Series
Netflix – Puffin Rock
Shaftesbury/Boulevard Productions in association with Ohmland – The Moblees
Sprout – Ruff-Ruff, Tweet and Dave

New Series for 6-11
Winner: Nickelodeon (Global) – Bella and the Bulldogs, “Newbie Q.B.”
Who says middle school girls can’t play on the football team? Certainly not this feisty series, which celebrates individuality, integrity and perseverance as the school’s unconventional star quarterback and her friends navigate their way through adolescent ups and downs.

Netflix – Project Mc²
Produced by AwesomenessTV and MGA Entertainment, this series focuses on science, technology, engineering, art and math through the adventures of four tween girls with serious science skills, who work together in a spy organization.

Honorable Mentions:
Amaze Film + Television Inc. – The Stanley Dynamic
Nickelodeon in association with Schneider’s Bakery Inc. – Game Shakers, “Sky Whale”
Nickelodeon in association with Stone & Company Entertainment – Paradise Run
Outfit7, Limited (Cyprus) – Talking Tom and Friends: The Animated Series

Online Game
Winner: Nickelodeon in association with Workinman Interactive – Sanjay & Craig: The Lost Frycade
It’s life imitating art, or something like that. Based on an episode where Sanjay & Craig discover an arcade game in the Frycade, this game features the same wacky monsters from the gaming cabinet in the show and captures the classic 32 bit-esque arcade style. It scored 800,000-plus game sessions in 2015, more than 180,000 in its first week.

Honorable Mentions:
Grumpyface Studios/Cartoon Network – Steven Universe: Attack the Light
Kratt Brothers Co./9 Story Media – Wild Kratts: Creature Mobile
Nickelodeon in association with ZehnerGroup – Game Shakers: Dirty Blob
Nickelodeon International – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Comic Book Combat

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Online Interactive Experience
Winner: Nickelodeon International – SpongeBob SquarePants: The Ultimate Bikini Bottom Buddy Search
A centerpiece of Nick International’s yearlong “Everything is Funnier with Friends” SpongeBob campaign, this experience was engaging with a capital E. Each day, kids had eight new characters to find – 40 in total – using a new progressively more challenging mechanic. Deeper engagement came via a ‘challenge mode’ that extended past after the first five days.

Honorable Mentions:
Cartoon Network – Imagination Studios
Discovery Education – The Discovery Education Techbook™ Series
Nickelodeon in association with Seven2 Interactive – Spot It
Nickelodeon in association with Workinman Interactive – SpongeBob SquarePants: Live From Bikini Bottom

OTT Series
Winner: Big Bad Boo Studios – Lili & Lola Preschool Series
Bilingual VOD site proved the perfect platform for this researched, smartly promoted series that shines a light on Persian and other cultures. Centered on two young sisters whose family lives in a small apartment in a big city, the show celebrates diversity while also offering literacy and a social/emotional lessons.

Honorable Mentions:
Driver Digital Studios and Mattel Creations – Thomas Creator Collective
Saban Brands – Glitter Force

Preschool Series/Special
Winner: Sprout – Sunny Side Up
The only live daily morning show for preschoolers and their families, Sunny Side Up excels at reflecting the world of young children, celebrating milestones and helping them prepare for the day ahead. It also boasts the only poultry-inspired host – the loveable Chica, along with her human friends.

Honorable Mentions:
Discovery Family Channel & Hasbro Studios – Transformers Rescue Bots “The New Recruits”
Nickelodeon – Blaze and the Monster Machines “Race to the Top of the World”
Nickelodeon – Shimmer and Shine “Backyard Ballet”
Silvergate Media, Frederick Warne & Co and Nick Jr. – Peter Rabbit
The Jim Henson Company/Sparky Animation – Dinosaur Train: Trains, Submarines and Zeppelins

Song for a TV Series/Special/Movie
Winner: Saban Brands – Popples Theme Song
The Netflix original series’ theme song sets a fittingly joyful, high-energy tone. In rock star fashion, Saban Brands revealed the song through an exclusive first-look video with Entertainment Weekly online, reaching 19 million media impressions with additional pickup, that also featured the opening title sequence introducing fans to Popplopolis.

Honorable Mentions:
Discovery Family Channel & Hasbro Studios – My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic “The Magic Inside”
Nickelodeon (Global) – Breadwinners – A Crustmas Story, “We Wish You A Merry Crustmas”

Tablet-Based App
Winner: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Curious World
HMH partnered with Emmy-winning producers to create six original series of shorts with a range of styles, games and story lines including celebrating the magic of stories, using recyclable materials to make superhero costumes, and learning about health and wellness – all wrapped in a child-friendly interface.

Honorable Mentions:
Big Bad Boo Studios – Lili & Lola Persian Alphabet Game
Fingerprint – Samsung Kids

TV Series Based on Books
Winner: Silvergate Media, Frederick Warne & Co and Nick Jr. – Peter Rabbit
Emmy-winning series reimagines Beatrix Potter’s classic tale for today’s preschool audience. Stunningly rendered using the most current production techniques, the episodes nonetheless maintain the old-school ethos of encouraging curiosity, love of nature and camaraderie.

Honorable Mentions:
Amazon – Lost in Oz
Litton Entertainment – Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Hidden Heroes
Silvergate Media/Brown Bag Films – Octonauts
Sprout – Zou

Tweens 9-14 Series
Winner: Blackfella Films and Werner Film Productions – Ready For This
Drama series set in Sydney, Australia, follows six teens – all elite within their own field – who have come to live at Arcadia House in pursuit of their dreams. Each episode the ensemble cast envelops viewers in a story line that highlights universal coming-of-age experiences, and solutions.

Honorable Mentions:
Hasbro Studios – Transformers: Robots in Disguise
Natural 9 Entertainment / Litton Entertainment – The Wildlife Docs

Use of Video Promotion
Winner: Nickelodeon (Global) – Nickelodeon (Global) – Let’s Play: Soccer Stars
Nick created an engaging video using its own intellectual property that asks the age-old question: “What if our Nick IP actually played the Nick games?” Tactics included implementing real gameplay, picture in picture commentary and scene lifts in the same vein as traditional gamer videos. Let’s Play notched 250,000 views on YouTube and is the highest-viewed gamer video on the Nickelodeon YT channel.

Honorable Mentions:
DreamWorks – Dragons: Defenders Of Berk
Nickelodeon (Global) – NickGamer: Power Packed
PBS Kids – Odd Squad

Video Game
Winner: Cartoon Network – Flipped Out
To tee up its new Powerpuff Girls series, CN produced a game enabling fans to interact with the brand in a way unique to mobile devices. Grumpyface Studios created two games in one, depending on whether the user chose landscape or portrait mode. Flipped Out reached No. 1 in the iTunes Kids category, and was top 10 in the Family category on Google Play.

Honorable Mentions:
Nickelodeon in association with LuckyHammers – Nickelodeon Basketball Stars
Nickelodeon in association with Seven2 Interactive – Sanjay & Craig: Butterslide

Winner: Hasbro Studios – My Little Pony: Equestria Girls
What better way to keep fans engaged year-round than this deeply interactive site featuring digital flipbooks for each character, games and a photo booth where users can see themselves as Equestria Girls. The website garnered 29 million views of the 2015 My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games content.

Honorable Mentions:
Hasbro Studios – My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Nickelodeon – Halloween Dance Machine
Sprout – Sprout Online

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Executives and Showrunners
Winner: Nickelodeon in association with Stone & Company Entertainment – Scott Stone & Marcus Fox, Paradise Run
Collaborators since 2011, the ever-prolific Stone and Fox most recently co-conspired on Paradise Run, where they and their crew of 70 bring to life a creative and exciting atmosphere where no holds are barred in telling the best stories possible. The two have individual credits aplenty, to boot. Stone’s previous work includes “Legends of the Hidden Temple” and “Brainsurge”; Fox produced “The Osbournes” and the“Anna Nicole Show,” among others.

Honorable Mentions:
Cartoon Network – Rebecca Sugar
Disney Junior – Chris Nee
Litton Entertainment – Jim Lichtenstein, The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation
Steve Rotfeld Productions – Steve Rotfeld

Online Studio
Winner: DreamWorksTV
Since launch in June 2014, DreamWorks TV has acquired more than 1.4 million subscribers and averages 50 million views per month. The magic? The studio develops compelling digital content that resonates with kids, showcases its own IP in a fresh way, offers original shows, and pulls from proven existing winners including sketch comedies, videogame tutorials and top YouTube music artists.

Honorable Mentions: 
Budge Studios
Driver Digital – CoolSchool YouTube Channel
Driver Digital – DrewPendous!

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