Slingshotting Onto TV

America’s favorite smartphone game is becoming a cartoon series:

“[Angry Birds] Toons” will release a new two minute and 45 second episode each week for 52 weeks. Broadcast episodes will run first on Saturday mornings and then go live in the app and on video on demand on Sunday. Angry Birds fans can also find the series on Samsung smart televisions and Roku set-top boxes. All of the ads will be 15 second pre-roll videos. “We know on mobile people consume content in snackable bites, so this is enough time to tell a story and still be accessible to users,” [Michele Tobin, Rovio’s head of brand partnerships and advertising in the US] said.

Kit Eaton notes the advantages of Rovio’s innovative app-inclusive distribution strategy:

This effectively gives the cartoon a distribution network of 1.7 billion “screens,” which equates to the number of times (in total) the Angry Birds apps have been downloaded. … This innovation is claimed to be creating one of the biggest TV “networks” ever.

I won’t watch, even though I’m still powering through Angry Birds Star Wars. The great trick of it is to engage you actively, not passively. The wit of the characters is best left alone as visual parts of the game you fill in. But maybe I’ve become some kind of purist addict. I turn the sound off as well. Angry Birds is a kind of therapy for multi-taskers. There is just one task: get three stars. Mentally, it’s like going to the gym and is part of my own self-medication as a long-distance-blogger.

Plus, for some reason, you want to do it more than you want to meditate for twenty minutes. And fifty minutes later, you wonder where your afternoon went.