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Rebecca Trigg

Learning & Communication




Creating magical content

On New Year's Eve 2016, a British TV channel

that provides programming for pre-school

children broadcast their nightly bedtime story:

a short tale narrated by a presenter or invited

guest, designed to send our little darlings off

to sleep...

Only this one broke viewing figure records by

a considerable margin. Why? Because this

man was reading it.

What has Tom Hardy appearing on CBeebies

got to do with creating engaging content?

More than you might think.

To influence people or change their behaviour

- you need to treat them as human beings -

first and foremost. Because content is not just

copy on a page; content is also about tone,

delivery, presentation and context. The way

we say something has as much value as what

we're saying.

In our industry, it's not always possible to

make content more engaging by simply

changing the words.

We have to think creatively, be experimental

and more human. That's when content can

become magical.

Which brings us back to Tom. The decisionmakers at CBeebies knew exactly what they

were doing when they enlisted the easy-onthe-eye bad boy to deliver their content. It

also coincides with three principles that are

well worth adhering to: know your audience,

tell a good story and most importantly, be


1.Know your audience

To get your audience to engage you need to

find the right way to connect. In order to do

this, you need a little more knowledge: what

makes these people tick, what catches their

interest, and - lest we forget - who they

actually are.

CBeebies may programme for toddlers, but

it's their parents and carers who sit with them

and wield the remote control. A cursory

glance over social media reveals that Tom

Hardy is a very popular figure among mums

(and some dads).

Tom Hardy, photo:



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