Cable Operators

A Clear Concept

6/08/2007 8:00 PM Eastern

As branding goes, creating an identity for PBS Kids Sprout seems an easy task. The upstart network for preschoolers and their parents already has the backing of two of the most trusted brands in TV: PBS and Sesame Workshop. And “We Share”—the network's new campaign—is about as simple and clear as it gets, conveying the network's mission: to be the place on TV where parents and kids share special time and moments.

But although the final concept emerges as simple and clear, getting there was a long and intense process carefully shepherded by VP of Marketing Eileen Diskin.

PBS Kids Sprout is a joint venture of Comcast, PBS, Sesame Workshop and HIT Entertainment; outside branding and advertising agencies also were involved.

“All of the brands that Sprout has behind it have provided a tremendous leg up for the network, but someone had to pull them all together,” says Stephen Burke, COO of Comcast Corp./president of Comcast Cable. “Besides having a very good sense of branding and great taste, Eileen has a great way about her. She has a real infectious enthusiasm that gets people excited.”

Sprout did spring from PBS Kids, but it wants to be different. It is both a 24/7 digital cable network and an on-demand product for preschoolers and parents to watch together. PBS Kids comprises blocks of educational programming for younger and older kids.

Like any good brand marketer, Diskin started with lots and lots of research. “We got quite a bit of anecdotal feedback from our audience,” she says. “We conducted stakeholder interviews with employees. And we talked to industry experts in the field of childhood development.”

Diskin and her team managed to boil that down to two simple words, making a complex task seem easy.

“I've worked with Eileen on a couple of projects, and I'm not surprised she got this award,” says Suzanne Hogan, COO of New York-based brand marketer Lippincott. “She gets everyone engaged and working together with very positive chemistry. She becomes the catalyst.”

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