Bringing characters to life through a prototype voice experience for Amazon Alexa.

The client

CBeebies is a popular children's television channel operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It offers a variety of educational and entertaining programming designed for preschool children with a focus on promoting learning, creativity, and imaginative play.

The challenge

Discover how new technologies can be used to challenge, entertain, and educate young children.

The solution

A fully functioning Alexa skill that defines best practice for entertainment skills, setting up BBC to develop their ongoing strategy.


Education and learning

Media and entertainment

Innovation consultancy

Created for Amazon Alexa, the CBeebies experience was one of the first children’s entertainment skills to be developed by a major brand.

We worked closely with a multi-disciplinary team within the BBC, to consult on scripting and flows. This ensured that the branded content was optimised for an interactive voice skill and offered young children a great experience.

Defining best practice

With few existing entertainment skills to benchmark our work against, we explored the psychology and structure of children’s entertainment shows to develop ideas to maintain engagement and interest throughout each experience.

Looking to the future

We upskilled BBC content writers on best practice writing for voice interaction models and developed the navigation model to allow the BBC to add more shows and play types over time.

We also recommended and developed a roadmap with the project team for the skill to connect to other media formats, including Cbeebies radio and magazine. This would give children and their caregivers a more cohesive brand experience, and allow collectables such as badges earned within the skill to be displayed or used on web and mobile.


The BBC tested our prototype skill with real families to great results.

Parents loved the imaginative play the skill encouraged in their children, as well the reduction in the amount of screen time their children had. Parents also felt the skill encouraged better speech and pronunciation . Children also loved the skill, with high rates of engagement and retention recorded across all families taking part in the trial.

The prototype phase is now complete, and the skill has been accepted by the BBC into their roster of considerations in developing their ongoing digital engagement strategy.

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