Tuesday, April 28, 2009

'iCarly': Ruler of the tweens

By Denise Martin
April 28, 2009

Miley Cyrus' 'Hannah Montana' may get more attention, but the Nickelodeon show starring Miranda Cosgrove gets more young viewers.
Everyone knows who Hannah Montana is. But perhaps only kids know she's been unseated as TV's reigning tween queen by one Carly Shay.

When no one was looking, Carly, the plucky 15-year-old star of the Nickelodeon comedy “iCarly,” overtook Disney Channel's “Hannah Montana” -- and this year, "American Idol" -- in the ratings race for young audiences.

Miranda Cosgrove, who plays Carly, is still a name that draws quizzical looks while Miley Cyrus sells out Cineplexes and concert stadiums. Nor is Cosgrove the whirlwind of controversy that Cyrus has been. On Sunday, Cosgrove posted to her Twitter page: "Just finished 5 more hours of math. At least this afternoon was fun! My first real driving lesson!" -- a far cry from Cyrus' recent bio (dating a 20-year-old, a Jonas brother and posing provocatively for Vanity Fair.)

And yet, in its second season, "iCarly," which follows the misadventures of three friends who produce a Web show about, well, nothing in particular, has grown into TV's No. 1 series among kids (ages 2 to 11) and tweens (ages 9 to 14), drawing an average 5.6 total million viewers to new episodes.

So how did Carly do it? Unlike her scandal-attracting peers, she's got the Web working with her instead of against her.....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

LG Goes Hollywood

by Todd Wasserman, Brandweek

Y&R campaign casts stars like Justin Timberlake, Heidi Klum and Hayden Panettiere

NEW YORK LG has racked up U.S. market share for its mobile phones by putting its ego aside and letting carriers like Verizon and AT&T get the glory, but a new high-profile push aims to inject some star power into the brand.

LG, working with Young & Rubicam, is launching its largest-yet campaign in the U.S. and linking with Justin Timberlake, Heidi Klum and Hayden Panettiere as well Paramount’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in an attempt to raise its profile.

The effort includes two focused campaigns. The LG Xenon phone, aimed at social networking-happy Gen Yers, will get a TV, print and online campaign featuring 19-year-old Heroes star Panettiere and placement in Timberlake’s MTV series The Phone. That effort breaks this week.

Meanwhile, a push begins next month for the Rumor2 phone, targeted at “style-conscious teens and young adults.” It will be highlighted in a campaign featuring supermodel and Project Runway host Heidi Klum, who designed custom backplates for the phone. The Transformers tie-in, hitting along with the film in June, is part of a partnership LG announced with Paramount on April 1 that includes placement in the film for its Versa phone. LG had a similar deal last year for Paramount’s Iron Man.

The deals were meant to underscore LG’s brand positioning, which Ehtisham Rabbani, the brand’s vp of product strategy and marketing, said is all about self-expression. “The big difference for us going forward is you’ll see a greater emphasis on using specific models to highlight the brand as a whole,” said Rabbani. “The idea is how can you best help the consumer express themselves? That’s the evolution of where we’re heading.” Rabbani said he believed it was difficult to create a strong bond with consumers with one overarching message.

The campaign comes as the U.S. phone handset market has changed radically over the past few years. LG now has about 22 percent market share in units. LG and Samsung now control more than 50 percent of the market.....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

17 Again Dethrones Hannah Montana in North American Tween Battle

Artice Source: ScreenDaily.com

By Jeremy Kay in Los Angeles

Zac Efron beat out his fellow tween idol Miley Cyrus to reign supreme as Warner Bros’ comedy 17 Again launched at number one with an estimated $24.1m opening weekend that gave Efron his second number one debut after High School Musical 3: Senior Year last October.

Hannah Montana The Movie tumbled 60.8% and three places to fourth on $12.7m for $56.1m. Overall box office surged as the top 12 releases grossed roughly $112m, marking a 20% gain on the same weekend last year.....



Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nickelodeon Calls on Kids for 'Big Green Help'

By Yana Polikarpov

Nickelodeon, a cable television network targeted to children and teens, will launch a series of on and off-channel ecological initiatives on April 22, Earth Day.

The multiplatform campaign includes the airing of green-themed episodes of popular tween shows iCarly and True Jackson, VP, along with select preschool series on Nickelodeon and sibling channel Noggin, all leading up to a “Power Down” activity at 9 p.m. ET on both networks. Power Down asks viewers to turn off the lights in their homes for 60 seconds to signal a commitment to becoming environmentally conscious.

“On Earth Day, we are using the power of our brand to connect kids to an issue of importance to them,” said Marva Smalls, executive vp, public affairs, Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group, in a statement. “More than half of kids have told us they are concerned about the environment. By working with our partners, and through initiatives like our new grants program and Power Down, we are providing them with tools and resources to help them be better environmental custodians.”.....

Monday, April 13, 2009

Disney Expert Uses Science to Draw Boy Viewers

Article Source: New York Times
Published: April 13, 2009

LOS ANGELES — Kelly Peña, or “the kid whisperer,” as some Hollywood producers call her, was digging through a 12-year-old boy’s dresser drawer here on a recent afternoon. Her undercover mission: to unearth what makes him tick and use the findings to help the Walt Disney Company reassert itself as a cultural force among boys.

Ms. Peña, a Disney researcher with a background in the casino industry, zeroed in on a ratty rock ’n’ roll T-shirt. Black Sabbath?

“Wearing it makes me feel like I’m going to an R-rated movie,” said Dean, a shy redhead whose parents asked that he be identified only by first name.



Milk Shakes Up Campaign

Article Source: AdWeek

The California Milk Processor Board, the originator of the iconic "Got milk?" ad campaign, is changing with the times.

The advertiser is making its first foray into gaming with an advergame, "Thrashteurizer," available for download starting today. The game is part of the "White Gold" campaign created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners a year ago with a series of music videos from a so-lame-it's-cool fake rock band. The game communicates the key health benefits of drinking milk while challenging users to accumulate points by playing in tune with White Gold.

The move is the latest shift from traditional media for CMPB, which has gone from spending 60 percent of its budget on TV spots three years ago to about 35 percent today. It rolled out "White Gold," for instance, on MySpace, and TV has played a support role. According to Nielsen, the CMPB spent $3 million on media in 2008.

"We're going [online] where we believe our eyeballs and hearts and minds are," said Steve James, executive director of CMPB.....

Friday, April 10, 2009

Activists Reject Having It Burger King’s ‘SquarePants’ Way

Article Source: New York Times
By Stuart Elliott

Burger King has long thrived on polarizing ad campaigns that delight its core audience of younger men and discomfit other consumers. From the “Subservient Chicken” Web site to an invitation to earn a burger by deleting friends on Facebook, the ads have generated headlines and, often, sales.

But eyebrows have gone up a bit higher than usual over a current promotion for a children’s value meal called the 99-cent B.K. Kids Meal, which features SpongeBob SquarePants of Nickelodeon cable TV fame. Because the offer requires the purchase of an adult value meal at the same time, Burger King is advertising the Kids Meal to adults ­ in a campaign with an adult approach...


COMIC RELIEF: Phone Sexting Grows as a Teen Trend

Gary Markstein, copyright 2009 Creators Syndicate
Image Source: The Week

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cartoon Network, XD Add More Live-Action To Draw Older Boys

Article Source: USA Today
By Gary Levin, USA TODAY

Kids programmers are going where the boys are.

With Disney Channel, MTV and American Idol cornering the TV market for tween girls and younger, Cartoon Network and a new channel, dubbed Disney XD, are focusing more intently on the XY chromosome.

Nickelodeon remains the dominant network for kids, but Cartoon and XD, formerly known as Toon Disney, are moving away from a mostly single-minded focus on animation in search of a broader audience and slightly older viewers. The new target is ages 6 to 14, incorporating the sought-after tween crowd....


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Disney to Target Boys with Rebranded Cable Channel

Article Source: Los Angeles Times

The entertainment giant plans to relaunch Toon Disney as Disney XD,
which will be aimed at boys ages 6 to 14.

By Dawn C. Chmielewski August 07, 2008

The entertainment giant, which has made billions catering to the princess fantasies of young girls, plans to relaunch Toon Disney as Disney XD as a cable channel targeting boys. The move, under wraps for more than a year, is an attempt by the company to capture a market that has long eluded it.

Starting in February, Disney XD will seek to become to young dudes what the Disney Channel, with its lineup of tweeny bopper programs such as "High School Musical," "Hannah Montana" and "Camp Rock" is to girls. Disney XD, aiming squarely at boys ages 6 to 14, will offer original action-adventure and comedy series, movies, animation and sports-themed shows developed with Walt Disney Co.-owned ESPN.

"What was clear to me, and clear to us, is we had a huge opportunity to create content that were boys' favorites," said Rich Ross, president of Disney Channels Worldwide.....