glynn-as-an-original-bebodFrom one studio just outside the centre of Bath, the first Bebod (pictured right) was born. Designed by Glynn Hayward, Creative Director at double BAFTA award-winning children’s interactive production company Complete Control, the little digital-cartoon characters were originally a fun way to jazz up their website’s team page.

“We saw hundreds of people requesting Bebods… [we] designed a wedding couple Bebod, a Japanese rock band as Bebods and even someone’s dog”

 

Of course, back then, he knew little of the storm of excitement that would be created by wannabe Bebods across the world – eventually leading to a fan-base of thousands, Bebod stickers on Apple’s iMessage and some very exciting meetings at MIP Junior, the world’s showcase for kids’ programming.

This led to MIP Junior citing Bebods as a stand-out project amongst all the worldwide entries for children’s TV/digital and it won them a placement to Animation Production Day in Germany which is coming up in May 2017.

Check out the awesome Bebod showreel below to see just how far these little digital characters have come:

Web page to worldwide

Excited by their success, we had a chat with Glynn to get the full story on Bebod’s journey into the limelight from their early days on the Complete Control website. “We wanted to portray a fun and illustrative look of the team,” explains Glynn, “as Complete Control is a children’s digital agency that needed to feel fun, so we launched them first on our website.

“It soon became apparent that the design of these little characters struck a chord with people”

 

“It soon became apparent that the design of these little characters struck a chord with people who visited us as everyone said ‘can you make me as one of these little characters as they are so cool/cute etc’.

“We set up social media channels and asked people to send in pictures of themselves and the first 5 pictures each day would be chosen and turned into Bebods.

techspark-sparkies-bebods

SPARKbods: Never missing out on the action,  some of the
TechSPARK and SPARKies awards team had Creative
Control create Bebod versions of themselves too!

 

“The take-up was awesome and we saw hundreds of people requesting Bebods. It was so much fun designing a wedding couple bebod, a Japanese rock band as Bebods and even someone’s dog! We knew we were onto a winner so started to look at a Bebods as a potential new business.”

Bebods for kids

After a year of creating Bebods for mostly adults via social media platforms, Complete Control was ready to shift the focus back to children.

Glynn tells us: “When Bebods were first launched on social media it was great fun creating Bebods of people and the random excitement that this caused, and it proved we now had a ‘brand’ that people embraced.

“We have had children making their own YouTube animation videos and someone is currently making a Bebod themepark in Minecraft”

 

“As we are running a children’s digital agency, it was always the children’s market that we wanted to focus on. So, after 1 year of fun on social media for adults, we have focused our thinking and efforts towards to the children.”

This means there’s now a whole website dedicated to Bebods – with a ‘Bebod maker’, interactive Bebod games, children’s workshops, social media competitions, Bebod GIFs (see below) and more. They also have a whopping 74,000 followers on children’s social and creative platform PopJam.

 

Glynn adds: “The thing that still drives us as a company is the engagement we still see from our audience and the crazy things they send in with their Bebods.

“We have had children making their own YouTube animation videos, someone is currently making a Bebod theme park in Minecraft and  we’ve seen children posting in pictures of their own Bebod-shaped toast for breakfast.”

“We are really proud to be putting Bath on the map in our circles of work”

 

Although already a roaring success, there’s no stopping Bebods. Glynn says: “We are now looking at partners that can see the strong potential and a future in Bebods to to get the brand out to an even bigger audience.”

Bebods in the Bath

We all love Bebods at TechSPARK and are excited that such success is coming from the South West. Glynn agrees: “Having a studio in the South West is simply the best. My day starts with a choice of traffic-free cycle routes into the studio. Then, arriving at a studio location on top of a hill in the country with surrounding views and fresh air is awesome.

“We have everything we need in the South West and we are really proud to be putting Bath on the map in our circles of work.”

Thanks to Glynn for taking the time to share Bebod’s success story with us. You can stay up to date with Complete Control and Bebods by following them on Twitter: @contweetcontrol and @bebods. If you want to create your own Bebod, check out the Bebod Maker.