For decades now, what was once an upstart kids cable channel, Nickelodeon, has been the go-to pay-cable choice for countless millions of kids. The network produced and aired content that defined many aspects of childhood for at least two generations of American youth, and now the company is looking at expanding that influence into the digital content space.
At the height of the news of closures due to novel coronavirus, Nickelodeon injected some much-needed good news into the cycle by announcing the launch of the #KidsTogether initiative, billed as a “global, multiplatform, prosocial” enterprise that leverages popular Nickelodeon characters to help teach kids and families to stay healthy, as well as suggesting activities for them to do while stuck at home.
Characters from SpongeBob, Blue’s Clues, and Henry Danger, among others, are featured in content that is intended to be “an additional resource” for parents while, at the same time, offering “kid-directed information” about family time and staying healthy. In a statement announcing the release, Nickelodeon said: “Nickelodeon is in its 40th year, the number one entertainment brand for kids. (We) built a diverse global business by putting kids first.”
This new release underscores that mission, helping to educate, inspire, and encourage kids, especially those who might be frightened and worried, stuck at home away from friends and familiar routines. As corporate responses to this pandemic go, this is a good one, and a great example of what a company can do when it seeks to exemplify the vision of the brand.
There are a few things about this endeavor that could serve as a positive example for brands looking to branch out, to serve, or to help, especially right now.
Nickelodeon did not stray far from what they know and understand. The company is using its own popular, branded personalities and characters to produce short-form videos, as well as digital and downloadable activities for kids stuck at home.
The company is accustomed to producing content for kids across multiple different media, so this was just a shift in content and, somewhat, in tone, rather than a full departure from the familiar. In addition, Nickelodeon used properties that are familiar and connected with the brand, so the audience will be drawn in and enthusiastic to connect.
Another positive move: they kept it simple and central. Users will be directed to a central online source for all the new content, so they will find what they want all in one place. That single destination point allows Nickelodeon to focus the marketing funnel in a way that aggregates even as it brings fans together. They’re coming to the same place, but for different content for different reasons. This gives the brand data it marketers can use to produce more of the kinds of digital content users prefer.
So, a smart PR decision, coupled with clear marketing goals allows Nickelodeon to make a larger jump into a new media marketplace, all the while offering kids and parents something both of them will be looking for.