Many pop-culturally aware girls are young enough to consider Justin Bieber an adult. They’re being targeted by Sweety High, a lifestyle community and social game designed to enable safe self-expression based primarily on original content, participation, and what the site calls “wish fulfillment opportunities.”
Members acquire virtual currency by engaging with the site, typically by completing video, photo and written missions on all kinds of age-appropriate creative topics and endeavors. They also can collect “Hearts,” which propel the girls upward through more than 40 levels in the game, unlocking exclusive Sweety High programming, contests and opportunities as they ascend.
The opportunities are collectively known as “Be a Star.” Currently running is “Make Your Way to the Runway,” in which one girl will be chosen to meet fashion industry mentors, design an outfit to be produced by Bebop Clothing, and be featured in the Sweety High original fashion series Glam Squad.
Two of the opportunities that were part of the beta include being in an official music video for Australian pop heartthrob Cody Simpson, and dancing with cast members from Fox’s hit show So You Think You Can Dance. There also are regular competitions with prizes like signed posters, merchandise, and a backstage meeting with actor/musician/etc. Drake Bell (of Nickelodeon’s Drake & Josh and iCarly) on his concert tour.
Naturally, the fan meeting with Bell was captured for the site’s original pop culture news series Sweet Beat TV, which is hosted by Scarlett, who got the gig through a “Be a Star” challenge. Other original content includes Food Star, which turns Sweety High members into cooking show celebrities among their peers.
Planned upcoming programs include Prom, a reality show about preparing for the big night, and Gadget Girl, which lets members try to solve a mystery simultaneously as it’s being unraveled by the main character.
Sweety High was co-founded by chief executive officer Frank Simonetti and chief creative officer Veronica Zelle for girls aged 8 to 16, so it is COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) compliant and visible only to registered members. It also integrates technology to thwart cyber bullying and oversharing of personal information.
Simonetti is a writer/producer who has created film and TV projects for Warner Brothers, Fox Studios, Maverick, and Appian Way among others. Prior to becoming a filmmaker, he worked in fine art and graphic design on campaigns for clients that included Calvin Klein, New Line Cinema and DKNY. Zelle has developed and produced videos and commercials for clients and artists including Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Nike, Coke and Toyota. Most recently, she sold a television show about youth culture to HBO.