It seems like every family with 2.5 kids has a minivan these days, and one car company looking to cater to this sub-market and get a leg up on the competition is Chrysler. The automaker has partnered with Sirius Satellite Radio to outfit its minivans with Sirius Backseat TV monitors that will begin broadcasting the top 100 kids TV shows from Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel this month.
‘The people sitting in the backseat are almost always between the ages of two and 17,’ says Mike Kane, director of feature innovations and advance technology at DaimlerChrysler. ‘And we wanted to provide something for that market because we think it’s a real selling proposition for families on the go,’
Equipped with in-vehicle satellite video receivers and two small roof-mounted antennas, Chrysler’s 2008 Town & Country and Dodge Caravan minivans will be the first models to offer the service when they roll into dealerships in August and September. And Kane explains that the two backseat screens are built to air separate programming feeds, so parents in the front will still be able to tune into their own favorite stations on Sirius Satellite Radio.
For its part, Nickelodeon will be aggregating content from top blocks including Nick, Nick Jr. and Nicktoons in a 24/7 programming feed specially created for an in-transit audience. ‘We hope to learn more about how our content gets consumed in this particular medium, and depending on what we see from that, we’ll work to create the best experience possible,’ says Alden Mitchell, VP of content distribution and marketing at MTV Networks.
Nick’s participation in Backseat TV dovetails nicely with Chrysler’s first-ever advertising deal with the broadcaster. It also fits in with Nick’s pre-upfront goal to bring in more advertising for adult products that stand to benefit from the increasing influence kids have over family life and related purchase decisions.
This summer, a caravan of Chrysler Town & Country minivans will ride along with the Slime Across America tour, letting families demo the satellite cartoon feed at each of the tour’s 20 stops. And beginning in October, custom ads featuring Jimmy Neutron checking out the new minivan features will run on TV platforms including Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite, digital websites GoCityKids.com, Nickjr.com Noggin.com and Shockwave.com and in Nickelodeon magazines. Leaving no stone unturned, the deal calls for a Town & Country minivan specialist to be on-site at the Nickelodeon Family Suites by Holiday Inn in Orlando, Florida from November to January 2008, and Chrysler’s spots will also air on the hotel’s in-house TV network.