The Qld Department of Education’s Early Years Innovation Unit fosters innovation to address market failure and persistent disadvantage in early childhood education. They identified from the data that Queensland’s hearing impaired children were consistently underperforming in early literacy and numeracy, which in turn was affecting outcomes across their schooling. They reasoned that targeted teaching resources would help solve this problem.
Taking a growth lens, we reframed the brief to ask ‘what’s the opportunity here?’. Scanning more widely and exploring possible futures with Education Qld surfaced an exciting strategy.
There was a distinct gap in the Australian market for inclusive children’s content. If we pitched our product to a broader audience and attracted a distribution partner, we could vastly extend our reach at no extra cost. And we could make a powerful statement for social inclusion without compromising on educational integrity.
It looked like a path to 10x impact. We decided to create Australia’s first children’s television series performed entirely in sign language.
A GrowthOps team of writers and visual creatives, experience designers, and content producers sprinted to develop a bare bones prototype we could use to validate and test our ideas. Co-design workshops with experienced deaf educators informed the process. We focus grouped this pilot with hearing impaired children in the target age range, and used the feedback to refine the show concept.
Less than six months later, Sally & Possum debuted Australia wide on ABCKids’ broadcast and digital platforms. Audience ratings soared and the response from parents and educators was immediate and overwhelming. The Qld Government quickly commissioned a succession of further seasons, reinvesting license fees from the ABC. Each time we iterated using a disciplined test and learn cycle.
by spinning off companion mobile apps, a live show, and other extensions. Each new layer added value to our audience and nodes to our ecosystem.
Sally & Possum is a unique piece of content reaching important communities. It’s fantastic to have it as part of our diverse offering for Aussie kids.
Manager Acquisitions, Children’s TV Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Sally & Possum season 1 achieved a 38.6% audience share for 0-12 viewers, or nearly 100,000 broadcast viewers per episode, and quickly became an early childhood staple in homes and classrooms across Australia. It won a coveted e20 Award for innovation in education shortly after. Six seasons and nearly 100 episodes have been produced to date.
The live show featured at the Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival and has toured to regional Queensland, Sydney and Melbourne. Multiple international broadcasters and streaming services have expressed interest in developing a localised version of Sally & Possum to address a similar gap in their markets.
Attracting and retaining new customers / Generating more revenue and profit / Driving behaviour change
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