As Nickelodeon’s ‘Year of CatDog’ winds down, Nick marketing is turning its attention to Nick Jr. preschool hit Blue’s Clues.
The promos kick off with a Subway Restaurant QSR tie-in set on pushing 22-minute prime-time special Blue’s Big Pajama Party. Four Blue’s premiums will be available with Kids Pak meals from October 4 through November 14, with the special airing on October 10. The premiums include a soft fabric Blue with attached pajamas, a sleepy-eyed Pail and Shovel duo, a Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper with eyes that can close, and a fabric Slippery Soap character, again with pajamas.
In-store materials, national U.S. TV advertising and local TV will support.
Later this year, Nick will continue to celebrate Blue with a new live touring show. Modeled after the successful Rugrats tour, the Blue’s Clues show will play in similar venues, such as the Radio City Music Hall, with the tour lasting through 2000. Unnamed promotional partners will tie in.
Blue will also be flying high in balloon form over the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade before sharing the spotlight with pink pooch sidekick Magenta for a spring ‘Magenta Marathon’ on-air promo featuring a week of Magenta-centric episodes, along with a second QSR promotion.
Finally, Nick is planning ‘a major Blue’s Clues entertainment event’ for third and fourth quarter 2000, featuring yet another QSR promotion along with TV and print advertising. No partners or details have been announced yet.
In the meantime, Nickelodeon VP of promotions marketing Pam Kaufman says promotions-wise, the Rugrats will ‘be a little bit quiet for the next 18 months’ as they prepare to tout sequel pic Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, set for a fall 2000 release.
Nick’s third key promotional franchise, The Wild Thornberrys, will star in a major QSR promo slated for spring 2000, with the CatDog franchise getting a well-deserved rest after a year of non-stop activity.
In the future, Kaufman says Nick will stick to promoting properties only after they’ve managed to build up a sizable following, saying that while jumping in early with CatDog did well for promotional partners, ‘from a merchandising standpoint it might have been a little early.’