44 Gatti, the original title of the TV show known to the world as 44 Cats, is one of the most cherished and rewatched cartoons by Italian kids today. Born from the collaboration between Rainbow studios and Rai Ragazzi and tapping into the musical excellence of Italian children's Piccolo Coro dell’Antoniano, 44 Gatti brings the adventures and songs of the Buffycats band to life.
With their mix of cuteness, music, friendship, and generosity, the four cats can definitely keep some eyes (and ears) glued to them. We’re talking about a million subscribers on the YouTube global channel and almost 500 million views on the Italian official YouTube channel.
It’s no surprise that when Rainbow asked us to support them explore a new platform for their Buffycats, we were excited and happy to work with such a beloved product. Excitement came along with a challenge: we were expected to satisfy a huge audience of superfans that know these four cats like the back of their hand. And just as we realized that, the excitement was officially sparked ✨
Seeing an opportunity in the Alexa platform, where kid-friendly skills are some of the most popular apps, Rainbow got in touch with Vocalime to be guided in creating a fun and engaging experience for 44 Gatti’s fans.
The Alexa Skill we were going to craft was expected to meet three essential requests:
● be aligned with the 44 Gatti brand’s values and themes
● provide fun and engagement for the target audience
● be able to keep the users coming back for more
With these goals in mind, we could set out to fully immerse ourselves in the musical world of 44 Gatti, brainstorming ideas with Rainbow, and then follow the project through from start to deployment.
Satisfying an audience of young superfans is no easy task, especially when the object of devotion, aka the Buffycats, are so unique and well characterized. Working together with Rainbow, we were able to tap into what the strongest pull strings of the TV series were and to realize that music would have to be central to the experience we were creating.
These are the steps we took to get there:
● Research, diving into the brand and its values, but also other Alexa Kids Skills success cases
● Voice Design Sprint, a discovery and idea generation workshop with members of the Vocalime and Rainbow teams
● Fine-tuning and selection of the best idea, according to the three criteria we had set as starting goals
● Prototyping and testing on the Voiceflow platform
● Development of the Alexa Skill
● Beta-testing with 44 Gatti superfans
Relying on the amazing musical catalog of songs that the Buffycats band plays on the show, the 44 Gatti Alexa Skill allows users, both young and old, to test their knowledge of the popular Antoniano choir songs.
With over 40 total snippets of songs from the show, some of which in the instrumental version, the game consists in guessing as many correct song titles as possible. To allow both beginners and advanced users to participate in the fun, there are two different levels to play, while the guessing gets gradually harder throughout each individual session.
With music and audio being so central to 44 Gatti and in the Skill, special attention was paid to the sound design. Incorporating feedback sounds as well as dialogues spoken directly by the characters contributed to the immersive and coherent outcome of the game experience.
Registering thousands of sessions already in the first few weeks from launch, the 44 Gatti Skill struck a chord - literally - in the Alexa store.
Other than 44 Gatti’s positive response from its audience, our major satisfaction came from the words of our partners at Rainbow.
"Working with Vocalime has been a great experience. It was our first voice project, and it was important to find a partner able to steer us in the right direction. I really appreciated their flexibility and how they've always taken the time to explain to us how things worked on Alexa."
Serena Bussotti – Head of Digital Media @ Rainbow
“Deep knowledge, transparent communication, and respected deadlines. 5 out of 5 stars!”
Chiara Bertucci – Senior Brand Manager @ Rainbow
The 44 Gatti Skill also became a part of Amazon Kids for Alexa, the program that allows younger audiences to engage with Amazon’s selected educational and entertaining content. As Alexa recognizes kids’ voice, it will automatically play the Skills that are part of the program and operate according to the parental control settings enabled by the adult owners of the device.
Most importantly, though:
The Buffycats’ superfans were satisfied and excited to be able to engage with the songs from the series in a more fun and interactive way.
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And if you’re still hungry for knowledge, follow us on LinkedIn for weekly updates on the world of conversational AI, or check out our other case studies on the Lavazza Gaming Partner Alexa Skill, in partnership with Fnatic, and Wheely, the chat and IVR assistant for car repair shops.