News in Brief

Thunderbirds roll into Little Chef kids meals...
March 1, 2001

Thunderbirds roll into Little Chef kids meals

Media conglom Carlton International and British QSR chain Little Chef have cooked up a multimedia promotion based on Carlton’s skyrocketing kids property Thunderbirds. Beginning next month and continuing through to the end of June, 435 Little Chef stores will serve up Thunderbirds-themed kids meals-think Parker’s Pizza and Brain Burger-offering five pull-back-and-release vehicles and one standard push-along car to collect free with purchase.

With proposed satellite TV exposure, an on-line competition to win Thunderbirds/Little Chef prizes, and outdoor advertising including exterior pole signs and a 48-sheet poster campaign, the promo will hit all media outlets, but most of the marketing hoopla will center on in-store and POS offers. Features include kids menu placemats highlighting the toy giveaway, with feature games/puzzles from Carlton Books’ Brain’s Puzzle Book and a money-off voucher for Thunderbirds videos. Posters, cardboard cutouts and Thunderbirds hats round out in-store marketing efforts. At press time, Carlton was in discussions with Thunderbirds licensees for possible cross-promotions.

The 4-1-1 on Mattel’s Matchbox 9-1-1 promo

This fall, Mattel will join forces with Safe Kids, a national organization dedicated to the prevention of unintentional childhood injury, to introduce the ‘Matchbox 9-1-1: Be Ready for an Emergency!’ program. Launching September 11, National 9-1-1 Day, the program will provide educational material that teaches kids how to react during an emergency and how to use, not abuse, the 9-1-1 system. Planned elements include an educational pamphlet, phone sticker and a 9-1-1 kids activity and sticker book. Information will be distributed through retailer promotions, on the Matchbox and Safe Kids websites ( and and via public service announcements.

Poké-icon Ash Ketchum and Kids’ WB! challenge kids to read

Kids’ WB! bookmarked its first-ever national in-school reading initiative at the beginning of this month with the launch of ‘The Premiere Kids’ WB! Poké-read-a-rama Challenge.’ The month-long program, offered to more than 65,000 elementary schools through a direct-mail campaign, is sponsored by Nintendo of America and Kids’ WB!

Supported by a national on-air PSA campaign featuring Ash Ketchum and the Pokémon gang, the program was developed under the direction of educational organization Youth Media International and its advisory board.

In a random draw of schools registered by March 2, one school will be awarded an advance in-school screening of Pokémon 3: The Movie before its April 11 debut, and a US$500 donation to the school library. Elementary schools have until March 30 for students to read as many books as possible, with each student receiving one Poké-Point for every book read. Each school will tally the total number of points collected, divided by the number of students enrolled in grades one to six. The highest-scoring school will host a Saturday morning of Kids’ WB! programming, as well as receiving a private screening of Pokémon 3: The Movie at their school, a US$5,000 donation to the school library and 10 Pokémon Stadium 2 games. The additional top nine schools will also receive a private in-school screening, a US$500 donation to the school library and 10 Pokémon Stadium 2 games.

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