Animal Care site baits sponsors

An online animated series to court sponsors? Why not, says Larry the Chicken.

Animal Care, a new web series featuring a neurotic goat, an uptight boa constrictor and a toking chicken is courting sponsors.

Targeting the coveted male 18-to-34 demo, the animated series on centres around rescued critters living on an animal sanctuary, supported by ‘not-so-bright’ sponsors who have responded to an ‘urgent appeal’ in an infomercial, making them part of the storyline of the show.

Each sponsor supports an individual animal and gets a photo and a letter about the animal they’re sponsoring. (The human administrators at the sanctuary write letters on behalf of the animals.) The owner is a less-than-scrupulous businessman, so if an animal loses its sponsor, it winds up on his table for dinner.

In addition to the three main characters, new characters and friends will be introduced in subsequent eps over the next few months, with some who will stay on the sanctuary, and others who won’t.

The site is currently open to brand interaction via Animal Care-themed games, using the show characters.

The pilot ep, ‘Telepathic Pet Communication,’ reached over 9,000 dark comedy fans since the site went live in May. The ep has also been promoted via 24 video sharing sites, including Yahoo!, YouTube, Google Video, MSN/Sympatico and MySpace, where there have been over 6,400 views since they were uploaded in early November.

‘We know the online community has a great sense of humour and would find this series entertaining,’ creator/indie producer Ryan Paul Keller of Toronto tells MiC, who plans to expand the site with interactive elements, including ‘outtakes’ and interviews with the ‘actors’. Keller also hopes to get the series on TV. ‘The plot lines and character arcs would be created such that a viewer could watch either the televised episodes or the online shorts as self-contained series in themselves, or watch both,’ he says. ‘Each type would serve to reinforce the other.’