Cartoon Network is teasing television viewers with five commercials that are airing on other networks as part of a new image campaign. The ads, which depict a pair of stone-faced, plain-clothes detectives hunting down cartoon characters based on witness descriptions, began airing last month during such prime-time programming as The Simpsons, Seinfeld, The X-Files and Third Rock from the Sun, and will continue until the end of February. ‘Like the best cartoons, we are hoping they will appeal to two demographics [kids and adults],’ says Michael Ouweleen, vice president and creative director for Cartoon Network, explaining the choice of air time.
This is the first time Cartoon Network has gone off-channel with image-based advertising. In the past, any off-channel promotion has been strictly programming-based.
The new campaign has an ‘outrageous, irreverent tone,’ says Craig McAnsh, Cartoon’s senior vice president of marketing. That tone has always been evident on the channel, say McAnsh, and now they are taking the message to other venues.
In another effort, Cartoon Network is launching a worldwide promotion, Quest World Adventure, on February 10. The contest offers viewers of The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest a chance to win a week-long all-expense-paid trip to a tropical island. To enter, viewers must answer specific questions based on the five new episodes of Jonny Quest airing from February 10 to 14.
This marks the first time that all four sister networks Cartoon Network U.S., TNT and Cartoon Network Europe, Cartoon Network Asia and Cartoon Network Latin America have joined forces for an on-air promotion. Ten winners will be selected from the U.S. and two each from Latin America, Europe and Asia.
Cable operators can also participate, but must commit to air at least 200 cross-channel ‘tune in and win’ spots from February 3 to 16.
The contest will also be promoted in print media including Sports Illustrated for Kids, DC Comics and Marvel Comics and in radio spots on KidStar Radio.