Marketers: Nick Jr. and Nickelodeon UK channels-Naomi Dearsley, campaign and marketing manager
Agency: (Print and Radio) Roose & Partners, UK-Natalie Littler, account manager (TV) Nickelodeon UK; Clare Price, freelance producer
Market: U.K. national
The idea: The Nick Jr. UK awareness campaign is designed to increase the net’s ratings and make Nick Jr. the number-one choice for parents with preschool-age kids in the U.K. Its ads are directly targeted at mums with kids up to age three and aim to reflect the diversity of quality preschool programming Nick Jr. offers by using visuals and voices of characters found on the digital channel. The entire campaign focuses around the idea: ‘Whose adventure will your child get into today? What will your child discover today?’
The campaign: Rolling out the initiative, 30-second TV ads air on Channel 5 from April 1 to May 31. The national radio campaign, also running 30-second commercials, hit the radio waves of 10 U.K. stations at the start of this month and will run through to mid-May. On the print side, Right Start will feature ad spreads this month and May, with its April issue also offering 16 cover-mounted cards featuring four different Nick Jr. characters with which kids can play `Snap.’ Junior magazine’s April issue will contain a single-page color ad. The print ads also direct mums and kids to www.nickjr.co.uk, the new website due to launch on April 6. The total value of the Nick Jr. awareness campaign is pegged at US$939,000.
In the increasingly crowded U.K. kids television market, getting a child to tune into your channel is quite a challenge. So what do you do? While most U.K. kidcasters plan campaigns that target children directly, Nick Jr. is shifting its focus to hone in on mothers. Winning over mums equals winning over kids.
The fact that the BBC could have its new digital preschool channel, Playbox, up and running by summer may also be a factor. It’s a brand that has a lot of mum-equity behind it.
The mum-targeted approach comes as a result of a May 2000 study conducted by Nick UK’s research and planning department on how the digital market is changing viewing habits. ‘We know from our own research that mums initiate viewing patterns amongst preschool kids,’ says Naomi Dearsley, Nickelodeon UK marketing manager. ‘They are the flickers and the stickers.’
Further, mums felt Nick Jr.’s lineup was a little too heavy on the classic preschool series, so the kidnet contemporized its sked by adding Blue’s Clues (with U.K. host Kevin) and Bob the Builder.
The ‘From Breakfast `till Bedtime’ Nick Jr. TV commercial airs on Channel 5, a national terrestrial channel in the U.K. that broadcasts to 30 million homes. Reaching a planned 35% of the target audience, the spots should be viewed by mums 2.3 times during the campaign run.
The radio campaign has been targeted heaviest in regions where there are high concentrations of housewives with kids, and is designed to reach 38% of this group while generating 14 listening opportunities during the eight-week run. And although Right Start and Junior magazines have relatively small circulation bases (Right Start reports 50,000 and Junior 53,000), the ads really hit the right demo since they both narrow in specifically on mothers of children up to age seven.
During 2000, over five million individuals tuned into Nick Jr., including one million housewives with kids and 1.6 million kids. When Nick Jr. launched in September 1999, access to digital TV in the U.K. was less than one million viewers. This increased digital audience growth is tremendous, with reports estimating that by 2010, all U.K. homes will be dialing into digital output.
So Nick Jr. also wants mums who don’t yet receive the channel to have the brand in their minds, so that when their households do convert to digital, it will be their first stop.