Marvel serves up supermeals
Marvel Mania Hollywood, a new virtual entertainment superhero-themed restaurant, has opened its doors in Universal City, California. Featuring special effects, video systems and interactive technology, Marvel Mania transports diners into the comic book world of Marvel characters such as Spider-Man, Captain America, The X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Silver Surfer. Throughout the restaurant, museum-style kiosks display Marvel memorabilia, including original sketches and vintage toys. In addition, works from over 200 Marvel artists are displayed. Marvel Mania Hollywood is a joint venture of Universal Studios Hollywood and Marvel Entertainment Group.
Xena goes to the races
An image of the Xena character will emblazon the hood of a race car in the NASCAR Busch series, Grand National Division. For at least five Busch series races in 1998, a Ford Taurus sponsored by Rhodes Furniture retail stores will feature a colorful action shot of Xena, star of USA Networks Studios’ Xena: Warrior Princess. Cross-promotions are planned for selected Rhodes Furniture stores across the U.S., as well as USA Networks and Universal Studios.
Ad agencies bowl for dollars
The second annual Corporate Challenge Bowlathon, in support of Canada’s Kids Help phone, is being organized by ad agency J. Walter Thompson. Seventeen agencies have already signed up for this year’s event. The event raised over CDN$17,000 (approximately US$12,000) last year for the national, toll-free 24-hour counselling service for Canadian children. Professional counselors at Kids Help Phone answer 1,500 calls a day on issues like physical and sexual abuse, suicide, depression, substance abuse and peer pressure.
A sleeper of a promo for Clueless
Viacom Consumer Products has teamed up with Paramount Network Television, UPN and Simon & Schuster’s Archway division to kick off the Ultimate Clueless Slumber Party national promotion in the U.S. The grand-prize winner will receive a trip to Beverly Hills, California, for a makeover and a shopping spree. The sweepstakes is being promoted in 22,000 bookstores across the U.S. and UPN is supporting the promotion with spots that began airing on the network in March. Other partners contributing to the campaign include Mattel Media, Tiger Electronics, Sel-Leb Marketing, Bloomingdale’s, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, Girl’s Life Magazine and the Hotel Nikko and Nick Chavez Salon in Beverly Hills.
DC Comics and Cartoon Network partner for television promo
Cartoon Network and DC Comics are partnering for a North American advertising campaign to encourage kids to visit local comic book stores. The campaign, called ‘Holy Cow! A Free Cartoon Network Comic!!,’ will feature an animated 30-second commercial showcasing characters from the Cartoon Network series Cow & Chicken. The spot is scheduled to air more than 100 times on Cartoon Network in prime day parts. In the ad, the characters of Cow and Chicken encourage viewers to visit local comic bookstores to get a free Cartoon Network comic. DC Comics is producing up to one million copies of the special Cartoon Network comic that features stories starring characters from Cow & Chicken, Scooby-Doo and The Jetsons.
Kids design greeting cards
Hallmark Cards and Crayola are sponsoring a ‘Kids Card Contest’ to challenge children between the ages of five and 14 to create original birthday cards. Twelve kids from four age categories will be selected this month. Winners and their families will be flown to Kansas City, Missouri, home of Hallmark Cards, where they will receive a framed copy of their card, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the company and attend a special reception at Kaleidoscope, a division of Hallmark designed to provide children with hands-on art experiences. The winners’ finished cards will become part of the ‘Expressions From Hallmark’ card lineup, which will be available in discount stores, supermarkets and drugstores this summer.
Elmopalooza gets royal treatment
Sony Wonder and Dairy Queen have teamed up to promote the video and audio release of Elmopalooza, following a prime-time special of the same name that aired on ABC in February. Four different premiums are available throughout April with the purchase of a Dairy Queen Kids Pick-nic kids meal. The promotion is supported with in-store posters and counter displays.
Beanie Babies return to McDonald’s
McDonald’s has announced a new Ty Teenie Beanie Babies Happy Meal promotion for 1998. The Ty Teenie Beanie Babies toys, miniature versions of the popular Beanie Babies, debuted at McDonald’s last year and were the most successful Happy Meal promo in the company’s history. The promotion will offer one of 12 Ty Teenie Beanie Babies with each Happy Meal purchase. McDonald’s hasn’t announced yet when the promotion is taking place.
Nick takes live show to Latin America
Nickelodeon has started its second year on the road in Latin America with its live, interactive tour Nickelodeon En Vivo. The tour will travel to nine cities in five countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, reaching more than 60,000 kids and their families. The show is free of charge to kids and their parents and includes participatory games based on Nick shows like Rugrats, Clarissa Explains It All, The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo and Legends of the Hidden Temple. Nickelodeon plans to produce a Nickelodeon En Vivo special later this year for airing on the cable channel.
Fisher-Price unveils new campaign
Toy maker Fisher-Price has a new ad campaign called ‘It’s A Great Age for Fisher-Price.’ The multimillion-dollar campaign includes print ads in parenting magazines and 16 television spots. The ads target moms and, according to Fisher-Price, are ‘celebratory’ of childhood and the way children really play, as opposed to ads that describe specific product features. The campaign was created by Young & Rubicam in New York and will debut this spring.
Lego sets sail with ocean exhibit
Lego unveiled a new hands-on traveling museum exhibit for kids last month at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Developed jointly by the museum, the Youth Museum Exhibit Collaborative and Lego Systems, the 1,200-square-foot exhibit-Lego Ocean Adventure-is designed to spark children’s curiosity in the ocean and foster their appreciation of marine environments. The exhibit includes life-size Lego sharks, dolphins, sea turtles and fish. Lego Ocean Adventure is scheduled to visit 10 children’s museums in the U.S. and Canada through the year 2000.