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Puppets show kids that going to the dentist is fun!

Watch Video: Ricky's First Visit

This project started with a simple idea – if a child knows what to expect during their first dental visit, they won’t be as timid. If the child is more relaxed, the dentist’s job is much easier. So we got to work adding a live-action video to our popular Kids Zone product that dentists can lease for their website.

Our first step was to research successful childrens’ television shows to see which concepts work and which ones flop. I think our staff watched more episodes of Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues in one day than the average two-year-old watches in a month.

Next, we created our video’s two main characters: Dr. Molar and Ricky the Rabbit. We modelled these characters after the success of our first kids’ cartoon. We took the concept a step further this time around, and brought these character to life by making them into puppets.

Two sewing-savvy Optio employees actually constructed them by hand, and even did “personal shopping” to find them outfits and accessories. We thought it important to give each puppet its own personality, and traits that would make them memorable to children. Ricky is a little shy, yet inquisitive. Dr. Molar is goofy, clumsy and knowledgeable.

Then we created a custom studio. The back room of our office was transformed into a whimsical dentist’s office. Our videographer painted the walls to look like a dental practice, decorated with some greenery, and built a dentist’s chair.

Finally, it was time to find the right actors to play Dr. Molar and Ricky the Rabbit. Our account manger held auditions and found two local actors who wowed us with their talent.

During the filming process, working at Optio Publishing felt like working at Toys ’R' Us. Our puppet buddies started to feel like part of the team, and watching the actors breathe life into them was so much fun! There were even a few mad dashes through the city searching for hilariously random items — like puppet-sized dental tools. Um, not easy to find!

We’re so proud of our finished video — the first of many productions starring Ricky the Rabbit and Dr. Molar. Stay tuned, because more videos will be added to our Kids Zone product soon!

Brent Parr
Brent Parr
Brent is the CEO and co-founder of Optio Publishing. Most days he can be found deep in conversation with customers or partners about the best ways to market their business. Brent loves outdoor activities such as skiing, ultimate frisbee and camping.
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