After four years of parent-targeted support from Turner Network Television, Cartoon Network will take over this fall's effort to promote "Trick or Treat for UNICEF" fundraising efforts.
"It's a natural for Cartoon to be involved, since we speak to kids," said Cartoon Network executive vice president and general manager Jim Samples. "We reach both kids and parents."
The first 50 affiliates to commit to running the customizable Trick or Treat public-service announcements a minimum of 150 times from Oct. 1 through Oct. 27 by month's end will receive a package of Cartoon Network premiums for later distribution at local tie-in events.
The package includes 25 T-shirts, 100 key chains and 400 trick-or-treat bags, said Turner Network Sales senior vice president of marketing Coleman Breland.
Cartoon's announcement will say that thus far, more than $115 million has been generated for the United Nations's international children's program from Trick or Treat for UNICEF efforts.
The annual fundraiser represents "a long-term commitment from Turner [Broadcasting System Inc.] overall," said Samples.
TNT and other Turner networks will air related cross-channel promos from Oct. 1 through Nov. 5. The customizable PSAs will feature such Cartoon characters as Johnny Bravo, Dexter and Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy.
In a notice to operators that featured the Powerpuff Girls and the headline, "Your local community can make a world of difference," Cartoon said its affiliate-marketing kit includes ad slicks, posters, on-hold telephone message scripts and one-sheets for customer-service representatives. It also includes details on how to order the familiar orange donation boxes.
Cartoon will also provide operators with costumed characters for appearances at related events.
Teachers remain the other major target group. Educational materials for kindergarten through 12th grade will also be distributed, with UNICEF/Cartoon co-branding.
Samples also said Cartoon's estimated 4 million monthly Web visitors will be able to play a related Trick or Treat game involving the network's characters, and view a unique page that explains the fundraising effort.
Cartoon Orbit, the network's online digital-trading community, will offer exclusive digital trading cards, called "C-Toons," throughout the promotion. About 1 million youngsters collect and trade C-Toons.
Several retailers are participating, with McDonald's Corp. joining IKEA, Pier 1 Imports and Sears Portrait Studios.
The final promos in the campaign, which run Oct. 28 through Nov. 5, will urge consumers to drop off donations at Coinstar coin-processing machines in more than 9,000 supermarkets nationwide. Those machines enable consumers to automatically donate their coins to UNICEF and get a receipt.