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Cupcake Digital Positioning Paper

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In June of 2012, Cupcake Digital came into being. Our big idea: to create digital apps that would not only make kids smile, but make parents happy, too.

At our headquarters in New York City, we put together a great team of professionals from the worlds of technology, family entertainment, publishing, education and brand marketing and got to work.

Our first success was Wubbzy’s Pirate Treasure, based on the Emmy Award-winning Nick Jr. ® series, “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! ®. ” We were off to a great start. It quickly became a top-ranked digital story on iTunes and Amazon. Cupcake Digital has since produced a whole (and growing) series of digital stories and games inspired by Wubbzy and his friends.

Currently, Cupcake Digital is partnering with other major entertainment companies to develop story experiences and game apps based on their brands and properties, such as the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet.

Because we care about kids and understand the concerns of parents, we’re infusing learning moments in all our apps and getting high marks from the people who’ve purchased them.

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Cupcake Digital Positioning Paper

  1. 1.      Cupcake  Digital  Infuses  Educational  Elements  into  its  Childrens  Apps      November,  27,  2012    Since  Apple  began  taking  pre-­‐orders  for  the  first-­‐generation  iPad  in  March  of  2010,  the  landscape  of  tablets  has  not  only  transformed  dramatically,  but  also  given  birth  to  a  new  industry:  deluxe  storybook  apps.    Since  Cupcake  Digital’s  inception,  the  company  has  been  at  the  forefront  of  the  industry  in  the  development  of  exciting,  high  quality  apps  that  meet  the  demands  of:  children,  parents,  caregivers  and  educators.    Our  apps  have  been  consistently  top-­‐ranked  among  children’s  app  ratings  on  Amazon,  iTunes  and  Common  Sense  Media.    Maintaining  a  lead  in  this  highly  competitive  market  requires  ongoing  innovation  and  a  clear  focus  on  exceeding  the  needs  of  the  market.    To  that  end,  we  are  adding  specific  learning  components  to  every  app  we  introduce  to  further  enhance  the  quality  of  our  product  offering  and,  as  a  result,  increase  our  market  share  and  build  brand  loyalty.    The  following  positioning  paper  outlines  our  rationale  in  the  selection  of  educational  elements  based  on  new,  nationwide  educational  standards  and  describes  how  they  will  be  infused  into  our  current  and  future  products.    Objective:    By  collaborating  with  education  consultants  and  aligning  with  the  Common  Core  State  Standards  (CCSS),  Cupcake  Digital  has  taken  important  steps  to  enhance  the  educational  value  of  its  product  offering.    These  standards  are  a  set of  educational  guidelines  that  are  being  adopted  across  the  nation  to  help  teachers  ensure  their  students  have  the  skills  and  knowledge  they  need  to  be  successful  by  providing  clear  goals  for  student  learning  at  each  grade  level.  Parents,  caregivers  and  teachers  can  feel  confident  that  our  apps  help  prepare  preschool  and  elementary  school  children  for  what  will  be  required  of  them.    The  objective  of  this  position  paper  is  to  demonstrate  the  importance  of  infusing  educational  elements  into  our  current  and  future  children’s  apps  and  to  show  how  those  elements  will  be  integrated.      It  is  the  first  in  a  series  that  will  provide  on-­‐going  updates.     Page     1   http://www.cupcakedigital.com
  2. 2.  Background    A  quick  look  around  us  –  in  homes,  on  the  street,  in  restaurants  and  on  airplanes  –  demonstrates  the  vast  proliferation  of  tablets  and  smart  phones.  For  many  young  children  today,  interaction  with  mobile  “apps”  will  be  their  first  introduction  to  entertainment  and  learning.      Parents  choose  to  use  apps  in  different  ways  and  for  different  purposes:  to  occupy  a  child  at  the  dinner  table;  to  read  a  bedtime  story  together;  to  play  games  that  expand  their  knowledge  and  advance  their  fine  motor  skills;  to  engage,  entertain  and  just  have  fun.      At  Cupcake  Digital,  we  believe  that  however  apps  are  used,  we  can  harness  this  new  medium  to  deliver  rewarding  experiences  on  a  spectrum  of  levels  for  young  children.    Cupcake  Digital’s  Mission    Cupcake  Digital  stands  at  the  forefront  of  a  new  medium:    mobile  apps  for  kids.    We  take  this  responsibility  seriously  and  will  explain  our  mission  and  our  methodology  as  a  company  in  this  document.    We  are  first  and  foremost  in  the  business  of  kids’  entertainment.  Our  apps  are  designed  to  provide  fun  and  help  bring  children  and  caregivers  together.      As  a  thoughtful  and  caring  company,  we  also  see  an  opportunity  to  deliver  not  only  a  fun  and  entertaining  experience  to  children,  but  also  an  enriching  and  educational  one.    We  think  broadly  about  developing  our  products  with  multiple  opportunities  for  learning    -­‐-­‐  providing  a  playful  introduction  to  the  worlds  of  reading  and  knowledge,  imagination  and  creativity,  early  critical  thinking  and  building  of  mathematics  skills.        The  power  of  play  is  limitless.  It  is  the  intention  of  Cupcake  Digital  to  use  it  wisely  and  responsibly  for  the  benefit  of  young  children  and  their  development.    While  having  fun  with  an  app,  a  child  can  also  become  better  prepared  for  success  when  he  or  she  reaches  kindergarten,  or  greater  success  if  he  or  she  is  already  in  school.      Our  Approach    We  infuse  learning  moments  into  the  very  fabric  of  our  apps.    From  the  inception  of  our  company,  we  have  engaged  educational  consultants  to  work  with  us  on     Page     2   http://www.cupcakedigital.com
  3. 3.  age-­‐appropriate  activities  that  spark  the  imagination  and  foster  development  of    pre-­‐school/early  elementary  level  basics.      We  test  our  learning  propositions  and  continue  to  refine  and  improve  them  based  on  the  feedback  we  get.  (And,  in  the  case  of  existing  apps,  to  update  and  enhance  them  on  an  ongoing  basis.)    We  are  a  company  of  parents,  and  caregivers  with  a  commitment  to  delivering  positive  app  experiences  to  our  own  children.      We  care  deeply  about  how  children  interact  with  our  apps  and  how  they  benefit  from  them.    We  make  a  collective  effort  toward  continuous  improvement  of  our  products  and  are  investing  in  Common  Core  principles  to  maximize  that  benefit.    By  partnering  with  professionals  in  the  fields  of  education  and  children’s  entertainment,  as  well  as  developmental  experts  and  specialists  in  CCSS,  we  are  developing  fun  activities  in  each  of  our  apps  that  prompt  educational  engagement  and  help  teach  skills  and  build  knowledge.      Some  examples  of  Common  Core  activities  involve  tracing  letters,  adding  numbers  of  objects,  identifying  colors  and  shapes,  learning  letter  and  word  sounds,  or  other  age-­‐appropriate  learning  experiences.        In  the  process  of  transcreating  existing  media  properties  -­‐  such  as  the  Emmy  award  winning  Nick  Jr.  “Wow!  Wow!  Wubbzy!”  animated  series  -­‐  into  deluxe  story  experiences,  we  will  integrate  activities  that  are  consistent  with  CCSS  into  games  and  additional  sections  outside  of  the  narrative.    In  the  case  of  apps  based  on  Discovery  Network’s  Animal  Planet,  we  will  infuse  each  app  with  Common  Core  Standards  in  a  way  that  promises  to  delight  young  children.      “A  further  benefit  of  these  apps,  “  says  Cristina  Kaviani  Johnson,  M.A.,  Curriculum  Consultant,  “is  that  parents  and  caregivers  will  recognize  the  value  of  these  activities  and  the  various  opportunities  to  tailor  them  to  their  own  children’s  needs  and  interests.”      Every  app  includes  a  “Just  the  Book”  mode  that  allows  caregivers  to  turn  off  the  digital  activities  (games,  sounds,  videos,  etc.)  and  focus  a  child’s  attention  purely  on  the  words  and  story.  This  mode  is  particularly  effective  for  a  child  who  is  learning  to   Page     3   http://www.cupcakedigital.com
  4. 4.  read  and  allows  parents  and  caregivers  to  share  the  simple  pleasure  of  just  reading  a  book  together  quietly.    At  the  end  of  each  app,  caregivers  will  also  find  a  section  called  “Grown-­‐Up’s  Corner.”    It  provides  questions  and  conversation  starters  related  to  the  story  to  share  with  a  child  to  help  develop  listening  and  comprehension  skills.        A  Common  Core  Corner  will  review  and  reinforce  skills  learned  in  each  app;  provide  additional activity  suggestions  to  engage  in  with  a  child  to  practice  the  learning  ideas  put  forth  in  the  app;  and  lay  out  each  learning  zone  to  help  parents  understand  the  various  Common  Core  standards  the  app  is  addressing.  It  will  also  provide  tips  on  how  to  prepare  a  child  for  his  or  her  first  school  year(s)  and  makes  getting  ready  for  the  new  kindergarten  standards  simple  and  FUN.    A  Vocabulary  Builder  section  accompanies  each  app  to  reinforce  new  words  a  child  has  learned.    “Cupcake  Digital  produces  apps  that  will  be  infused  with  a  variety  of  learning  experiences  from  the  Common  Core  Standards  curricula,  without  ever  losing  sight  of  our  desire  to  enchant  and  inspire  children  along  the  way,”  says  Susan  Miller,  children’s  industry  veteran  and  President  of  Cupcake  Digital.    “Our  apps  give  parents  a  good  feeling  about  how  their  children  are  using  mobile  technology.    They  combine  play  with  learning  to  deliver  an  enriching  and  entertaining  experience  parents  can  tailor  to  a  child’s  needs,”  states  Neil  Friedman,  Cupcake  Digital  Board  Member,  former  Mattel  Brands’  President,  and  former  President  of  US  Operations  for  Toys  ‘R’  Us.    It  is  not  our  intention  to  “teach”  children  in  all  elements  of  the  CCSS,  but  to  lay  the  groundwork  for  some  of  the  key  building  blocks  through  familiar,  beloved  entertainment  characters,  brands  and  properties.    As  we  develop  new  apps,  we  will  continue  to  seek  exciting  ways  to  enhance  the  experience  for  children  and  give  them  a  learning  advantage.           Page     4   http://www.cupcakedigital.com
  5. 5.    While  we  understand  the  power  of  apps  to  entertain  and  teach,  we  are  also  aware  that  technology  is  a  tool  that  needs  to  be  used  wisely.    Equally  important  to  a  child’s  development  is  face-­‐to-­‐face  communication.  In  both  the  Grown  Ups  Corner  and  the  Common  Core  Corner,  our  apps  suggest  fun  activities  designed  to  engage  children  "off-­‐screen"  in  thoughtful  discussions,  as  well  as  pencil-­‐  or  crayon-­‐to-­‐paper  skill-­‐building  exercises.    Please  visit  www.cupcakedigital.com  for  future  updates.      About  Cupcake  Digital  Inc.  Cupcake  Digital,  Inc.  was  established  in  June  2012  with  the  intent  of  transforming  children’s  entertainment  properties  into  deluxe  story  experiences  infused  with  educational  moments.        Its  first  venture  into  digital  applications  was  based  on  the  Emmy  Award-­‐winning  television  series  “Wow!  Wow!  Wubbzy!”    The  app  immediately  rose  to  #  1  and  #  3  among  childrens  book  apps  on  Amazon  and  iTunes  respectively.    Since  then,  every  subsequent  children’s  story  app  created  by  Cupcake  Digital  has  achieved  a  top  10  rating  on  Amazon.    Headquartered  in  NYC,  Cupcake  Digital  was  founded  by  proven  professionals  in  the  fields  of  technology,  family  entertainment,  publishing  and  brand  marketing.    In  October  of  2012,  Cupcake  Digital  received  its  first  round  of  private  funding  and  has  since  gone  on  to  partner  with  additional  major  childrens  entertainment  properties.    For  more  information  about  Cupcake  Digital  Inc.,  please  contact  Carmen  Hernandez  at  pr@cupcakedigital.com  or  visit  www.cupcakedigital.com.                                   Page     5   http://www.cupcakedigital.com