* Columbia TriStar Home Video is teaming up with Crave Entertainment to launch the first video collection of episodes from Men in Black: The Series. Customers who purchase both Crave’s new MIB game for Nintendo’s color Game Boy and one or more of the three videos will get a US$5 mail-in rebate. The promotion will be backed by Nintendo Power magazine advertising, bursts on the videos, floor and counter retail displays and an on-line sweepstakes starting up when the videos ship in March. Home video packages of previously-aired episodes of Extreme Ghostbusters and Jumanji: The Series will street the same month.
* About 1,800 Canadian classrooms will be tuning into a Teletoon in-school curriculum program called ‘Creative Sparks’ this month. The Canadian animation station’s four-month program, aimed at grades four to six, includes curriculum ideas for the arts, science & technology and social studies. A writing contest is included, with members of the winning class awarded the opportunity to work with an animation artist to paint their story on a building in their home city.
* The Lego Group is launching a US$15-million campaign to push a new Legoland theme park opening March 20 in Southern California. Teaser ads created by Asher & Partners, Los Angeles are currently airing via cable and spot TV. They will be replaced by sequel ads in March, showing kids planting glowing Lego blocks and watching them bloom. The new 128-acre theme park is designed for kids ages two to 12, and will feature 40 rides as well as entire mini-cities and animals made from about 30 million bricks.
* Philip Morris USA is the first company ever to invest US$100 million to convince people not to buy its product. Three controversial spots from Y&R Advertising, New York tell teens to ‘Think. Don’t smoke,’ with one featuring a confident girl saying, ‘I don’t need to smoke to prove myself. My coolness is not on trial here.’ The campaign has been received suspiciously by several U.S. anti-smoking groups, with The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids stating that if the cigarette company was serious about the issue, it would kill off the Marlboro man.