Nestle hopes for happy returns birthday club

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LONDON -- Nestle next year will launch its biggest multi-brand promotion in the U.K., in conjunc- tion with Turner's pan-European kids channel Cartoon Network.

The rolling annual deal will show- case 10 of Nestle's major brands, including Smarties chocolates, Um Bongo fruit drink, Herta frankfurt- ers, Fab ice lollies and Nesquik drink, as part of the Nestle Birth- day Club.

The Club - which does not include any database building - will launch January 3 1998 to promote to child- ren and their parents the whole range of products that come under the cor- porate Nestle banner. The move is part of Nestle's global strategy to give more prominence to its corporate name. WPP's MindShare, London, and its spon- sorship consultancy Vision 40 brokered the deal. The concept was developed by the Cartoon Network. The cost was not disclosed.

A trailer, also created by the Cartoon Network, shows an animated birthday cake visiting themed cartoon landscapes fea- tur-ing the different Nestle brands.

Children can write in to join the club when it is their birthday. Each member will receive a certificate and a listing on the Toon Text, Cartoon Network's text service. One person each week will then be selected to have an hour-long cartoon show dedi- cated to them on both Saturday and Sunday mornings. Each week's winner will also receive a hamper of Nestle products and the chance to throw a birthday party at a Warner Bros. Studio store.

Though the Cartoon Network is broad- cast across Europe, its biggest ad market is the U.K.

"[This] is the most ambitious cross- divisional communications task we have undertaken," says David Hudson, Nestle U.K.'s communications and corporate affairs director. It is also Cartoon Network's biggest advertiser promotion so far.

Copyright December 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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