New York -- Nickelodeon's primetime Kids'
Choice Awards special has generated $1.6 million in local ad sales for affiliates and
interconnects -- more than double the amount amassed a year ago.
Although Kids' Choice Awards is in its 11th
year on Nick, it's only in its third year of attracting local sales around that event
A live, marquee event like Kids' Choice Awards
is not the only thing that can spark local sales interest. Nick's costumed-characters
sales-promotion program -- featuring appearances by costumed versions of characters from Rugrats,
Hey Arnold! and other Nick shows -- amassed $1.2 million in local cable sales last
year. Those off-the-shelf efforts brought revenues to 82 systems and interconnects from 55
local advertisers, 20 of which were new to Nick last year.
The key reason why such local sales promotions score so
well for Nickelodeon is that there are not that many "signature" events
available that appeal to the children's and family audiences, according to Lynn
Richardson, Nick's director of affiliate marketing, and Yvonne Parish, the
network's affiliate marketing manager, West Coast.
Richardson said the $1.6 million in business from local
clients was tallied by systems and interconnects in 30 markets; they tied into a
sweepstakes that offered as its grand prize a trip for a family of four to attend the
awards in Los Angeles. All told, 30 families won the top prize, which also included
dinner, a day at Universal Studios in Hollywood and $500 of spending money per family.
That sales volume was "more than double" the
$700,000 that 21 systems brought in from the special a year ago, she said.
In addition, Nick offered a second opportunity to 35 other
affiliates that jointly promoted a single grand-prize package. Those operators, which also
sold sponsorable Kids' Choice tune-in spots, have garnered a combined $300,000
in local dollars to date, Richardson added.
There also were five runner-up prizes in both affiliate
Locally, Kids' Choice has, in its latest
outing, helped Nickelodeon to break new-to-Nick accounts, as well as new-to-cable
accounts, Parish said. Besides the usual kid-oriented suspects, the event attracted
retailers in the hardware, furniture, cellular-phone, computer/consumer-electronics,
sporting-goods and carpet categories, she added.
On the West Coast, Parish cited one standout sales effort,
involving Cox Communications Inc.'s Cox Cable in San Diego, Bay Cable in San
Francisco and Adlink in Los Angeles. Spot-cable rep firm National Cable Communications
made the regional buy for Mother's Cookies, a grocery-store distributor that was new
In other markets, the Interconnect of the Twin Cities
signed Funco Land to its first cable buy, as did Comcast Corp.'s Comcast Cable of
Knoxville, Tenn., with Children's Hospital, according to Mike Noble, the
interconnect's promotion director, and Tim Kiser, sales manager at the Comcast