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Two new government-sponsored ad initiatives designed to steer tweens and teens away from high-risk behavior are steering millions of dollars into youth media.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is in the process of selecting a kid-savvy agency to...
October 1, 2000

Two new government-sponsored ad initiatives designed to steer tweens and teens away from high-risk behavior are steering millions of dollars into youth media.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is in the process of selecting a kid-savvy agency to head up a campaign set to launch in 2001. Billings are estimated at more than US$100 million, and Omnicom public relations agency Porter Novelli is handling the hunt. The goal of the campaign will be to stop tweens from engaging in dangerous pursuits like smoking and taking drugs.

Meanwhile, the White House Office National Drug Control Policy has just kicked off a US$20-million TV ad campaign and contest asking teens for submissions on what keeps them drug-free. Winning entries will be incorporated into a pool of ads breaking in November on U.S. broadcast and cable. Merkley Newman Harty, New York will create the spots under the direction of Ogilvy & Mather, ONDCP’s lead agency. The ads, produced in association with The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, mark the halfway point of a five-year, US$1-billion effort to encourage kids not to use drugs.

Minute Maid is aiming for the elusive tween set with a year-long TV campaign pushing its new single-serve Minute Maid Coolers. TV ads from Leo Burnett, Chicago are slated to roll out in January on Nickelodeon, NBC, Fox Family and Cartoon Network to coincide with the U.S. national launch of the kid-friendly fruit drinks in foil pouches. An FSI drop on January 7 will offer 75-cent discounts, followed by Catalina coupons, in-store materials and event sampling.

Golden Books Family Entertainment is latching on to the tenacious Pokémon machine this month with a national promo pushing a new collectible 3-D Trivia Challenge minibook line. Full-page print ads appearing in this month’s Nintendo Power, Nickelodeon and other kid mags will anchor the program, which includes a sweeps and extensive POP material. Each Pokémon book sports a peel-and-win sticker that can reveal one of 111 prizes, including a grand prize trip for four to Japan, 10 Nintendo game systems, 50 Pokémon Gold game paks and 50 Pokémon Silver game paks.

Blue’s Clues host Steve Burns will be coping with some serious jet lag this month thanks to a trip Down Under to support the international expansion of the hit tot show. Australia’s Haven Licensing and mass retailer Target have jumped on board to promote the visit with a ‘win a breakfast with Steve’ contest and dedicated Blue’s Clues merch areas in all 131 Aussie Target locations. Steve will visit major children’s hospitals in Sydney and Melbourne and conduct a bevy of consumer media interviews. Australia’s Nine Network, which airs the series along with Nickelodeon Australia, will broadcast a special ‘Treasure Hunt’ ep on October 16 to commemorate the visit.

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