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A top-secret makeover of Sports Illustrated for Kids will have subscribers doing double-takes when they get their December issues. The mag's first ever redesign since its 1989 inception will feature an edgier look along with a new logo, more action photography,...
November 1, 2000

A top-secret makeover of Sports Illustrated for Kids will have subscribers doing double-takes when they get their December issues. The mag’s first ever redesign since its 1989 inception will feature an edgier look along with a new logo, more action photography, more realism, bolder graphics and in-depth coverage of a wider variety of sports. By appealing to the older end of its eight to 12 demo, the mag hopes to bring itself in line with visually stimulated, sophisticated and info-inundated kids.

The revamped issue will follow closely on the heels of a November collector’s issue marking the 10th anniversary of Disney Adventures. The occasion is being marked by a 24-page top 10 section, a bonus 250,000 circulation via Radio Disney events, and a Radio Disney-supported Birthday Bash Sweepstakes offering a trip for four to an upcoming BBMAK concert and a signed gold album.

Sony Pictures Family Entertainment Group’s Max Steel has yet to score a tie-in with one of the big two QSR chains, but the 3-D CGI action-adventure series will make up for it through sheer quantity and timing thanks to three recently announced deals.

Starting this month, a seven-week promo will see more than 7,000 Pizza Hut restaurants across the U.S. offering four extreme sports premiums, along with POP. A second QSR tie-in with Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s will follow in February 2001, running five weeks and supported by in-store displays, an on-line ad campaign and four or five more Max premiums. Finally, Max will rise again for the May sweeps with a premium-based promo supported by in-store and on-line spanning over 1,600 Jack In The Box outlets.

To date, Max Steel has been a winner merch-wise, with fourth quarter 1999 international sales topping US$40 million and Mattel’s U.S. toy line outselling all other newly introduced brands from January through April of this year.

The holiday race to top kid box office charts is on and the QSR chains are doing their part. In addition to a Burger King program for Nickelodeon’s Rugrats in Paris: The Movie (November 17 release) and a Wendy’s program for Universal’s Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas (slated for release the same day), McDonald’s is offering up an elaborate tie-in to Disney’s November 22 release of 102 Dalmatians.

A ‘Win on the Spot’ game will head up the promo, offering a US$102,000 grand prize, bolstered by instant-win US$5, US$10 and US$20 cash prizes. Premium-wise, the burger giant will go for broke with a full 102 toys, including some that bark and light up (kids with big allowances can buy the whole set for US$102). Various Dalmatian yo-yos will also be on offer for US$1.99 with purchase. National advertising will support from November 21 through December 21.

Burger King will go ahead with its third Pokémon tie-in next month, despite the fact that the third movie, originally slated for a holiday release, has been delayed until next spring. Premiums will include fake Nintendo Game Boy Gold and Silver games that beep, light up and squirt water, along with about 20 collectible mini critters. A 30-city Pokémon Gold and Silver Adventure Tour and advertising via Lowe Lintas & Partners, New York, will hike exposure December through January.

The German video industry is looking to launch an image campaign to promote family videos and educate parents about controlled viewing for kids. Headed by Munich-based edel and BVV, the national video association, the campaign is still in early development with an eye on an Easter to mid-2001 launch date.

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