'Kids' Choice' Scored High in Ad Sales


Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards
not only generated record ratings, but also is expected to amass $3 million in local ad sales, a new high for the live event.

MTV Networks director of affiliate marketing Gabrielle Goodman said that the 15th outing of the annual Nick event had brought in $2.7 million from affiliates' local clientele as of early last week. After all the reports are in from affiliates and interconnects across 100 markets, including the top 25 DMAs, she estimates ad sales from the program will total "upward of $3 million for the first time."

The live April 20 special scored a record 10.6 rating and 38 share, among kids 2 to 11, according to Nielsen Media Research. The awards show beat all broadcast and cable rivals that night among that group (up 43 percent), and delivered 5.9 million viewers aged 2-plus (up 40 percent).

Initially, MTVN projected that local ad sales surrounding that primetime event would equal the $2.5 million it had notched a year ago, Goodman said, but the local advertising climate had improved more than anticipated.

The strongest categories included auto dealerships and entertainment destinations, ranging from roller rinks to theme parks, she said.

But to her, "the most surprising category" was jewelry stores.

In addition to generating ad sales, MTVN used the program for marketing tie-ins to drive affiliates' high-speed access initiatives, Goodman noted.

Although MTVN has received "extremely positive feedback" from affiliates so far, it will be several weeks before the subscriber sales for high-speed access are tabulated, she said.

Charter Communications Inc., Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable all increased their links to the Kids'Choice Awards, according to Goodman.

Comcast set up Nick-related retail kiosks in 27 markets, chiefly in Philadelphia and Detroit and other markets in the Northeast and Midwest, up from four a year ago, she said. And Charter teamed with Gateway Inc. and Circuit City Stores Inc. to add a retail component to its on-air presence in a dozen states.

Both MSOs featured such costumed Nickelodeon characters as SpongeBob SquarePants and Jimmy Neutron to boost traffic at their retail locations.

Besides bolstering awareness of voting via the Internet, Goodman said the affiliate marketing phase promoted cobranded, exclusive online content, including clips from previous award specials and downloadable screensavers.

Time Warner Cable promoted the Nick Kids Club in 45 markets, with Kansas City, Mo., and Austin and San Antonio, Texas, among the strongest, said Goodman.

That MSO reported 11,000 new registrants for the Nick Kids Club, "powered by Road Runner." That total surpassed the MSO's prior record of 6,300 for a Jimmy Neutron
campaign last fall, she noted.

MTVN worked with operators on two levels with prizing: Twenty markets presented local trips to attend the Kids' Choice Awards
event, while consumers in the remaining 80 competed for one national trip prize.

Next year, MTVN will be looking to increase the number of local prizes and also to explore other revenue-producing areas for operators, such as selling digital-cable services, Goodman said.