Russian animated characters ‘Tima and Toma’ in a large catering chain in China
Riki Group in partnership with Youku Kids (part of Alibaba Group) announced a large-scale collaboration of the animated series ‘Tima and Toma’ (Riki Group) with the Xibei restaurant chain. More than 400 outlets of the catering giant in 58 cities of all Chinese provinces participate in the campaign. Already on the day of the launch, special children’s lunches were sold out in less than an hour.
It is noteworthy that for Xibei Catering Group this is a new and unique experience of such cooperation over 35 years of existence. It was ‘Tima and Toma’ that became the first project chosen for a large joint action.
The partnership with the Tima and Toma brand involves the design of restaurants in the style of the series, a special children’s menu, branded products, goods and games with the characters of the series, as well as children’s holidays and events.
‘We are very pleased that Tim and Tom became the first Russian animation project for preschoolers in the Alibaba Group portfolio. The successful launch was an impulse on the way to strategic cooperation, including production and promotion in China. This year, the partner made the main bet on brand development, marketing and expansion of the license program. Recently, the project was presented in China as part of the CICAF exhibition. And on July 20, we will start our own booth at a new event for us – China International Animation Copyright Fair in Guangdong. In addition, the well-known ‘Fixies’ in China, as well as the TV series ‘DinoCity’ and ‘Beardy Bodo’ will be presented here. We sincerely hope that by 2024, new projects will already be available in China,’ commented Yulia Nemchina, CEO of Riki Group.
The main characters of the series – Tima hippo and Toma baby elephant are well known to Chinese kids. Already on the first day of the promotion – a special menu with a toy from the series was launched in 22 restaurants in Shenzhen – 1000 lunches were sold out in less than an hour.
The collaboration with the catering network is part of a large promotional campaign of the project in China. At the beginning of the year, the series expanded its presence on 40 platforms and channels, and Youku Kids announced the launch of offline activities. A charity event was held in support of children with autism, creative holidays in schools and art galleries. Drawings created by children with the characters of the TV series ‘Tima and Toma’ were collected in exhibitions of works that were placed in major shopping centers of the country.
A well–known Chinese blogger, Austin Li Jiaqi, who has a huge influence on the market, presented Tima and Toma yogurt from the Yili dairy product line to his giant audience as part of one of his streams, selling over 60,000 packages during the show.
Being the main digital platform in China that broadcasts foreign co-production projects, Youku Kids invests and develops the Tima and Toma brand. The comprehensive participation of Youku Kids in the development of the plot, production, broadcasting and promotion has made the project ‘Tima and Toma’ closer and more understandable to the Chinese audience. In just a few years, the total number of views of the series about the hippo and the elephant exceeded 6 billion. The series has become a hit among other animation projects for preschoolers in China, it is loved by children and parents. Last year, ‘Tima and Toma’ received a special award from Youku Kids Cordial Friendship.
‘Tima and Toma’ is a project of the Riki Group of companies, produced by the Petersburg computer animation studio. The series is aimed at preschoolers – dreamers, for whom the world is full of adventures. The characters of the series are so believable that young viewers easily recognize themselves in them. Faced with situations and emotions that all children go through, the heroes of the series help viewers discover the world and distinguish good from bad.
Since 2018, the series has been produced in partnership with the largest video hosting company Youku Kids (the Chinese equivalent of YouTube, part of Alibaba holding). Today, within the framework of the strategic partnership, a production plan until 2025 has been agreed. In addition, since this year, Alibaba Group has been expanding the presence of the project due to the growth of distribution channels and large-scale promotional campaigns, including children’s events, the installation of pneumatic figures in shopping centers of the country, cooperation with large restaurant chains.
Over the past year, the project has been launched on the Sky Italy platform, the Spanish-language Semillitas TV channel in the USA, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Central America, on the PakaPaka TV channel in Argentina, IFC in Slovakia. In addition, the project has extended cooperation with France TV and the Italian DeA Junior – the largest European TV channels, where “Tim and Tom” regularly appear in the top views.