Hands-on takes on new video meaning

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kids can watch TV content everywhere, and Albie Hecht advises programmers and advertisers to observe their behavior. Kids watch, learn, connect, play, collect and create, he notes, and content should aim to interact with those behaviors. The 20-year veteran of kids programming shepherded such TV franchises as SpongeBob SquarePants, Blue's Clues and Jimmy Neutron as president-film and TV entertainment at Nickelodeon. Mr. Hecht's current company, Worldwide Biggies, is working with "Shrek" writer Joe Stillman on a film, "Planet One." Mr. Hecht talked to correspondent Daisy Whitney about the changes in kids' viewing behavior. Below is an edited transcript.

ADVERTISING AGE: Explain your focus on producing content for multiple platforms?

albie Hecht: The mistakes and old way of looking at things are to take the [linear TV] experience and repurpose it for multiple platforms. You have to create a property that will appeal to all of these sides of today's kids entertainment. [Take Jimmy Neutron] where we developed a character along all those experiences-an online character, an online game, an on-air short, a movie, a video game. And all of those things were developed simultaneously, because we had embedded this character with the properties of a young inventor-scientist who can do all those things in all of those media.

AA: Are you focused on computer-generated imaging projects now, and for what reason?

Mr. Hecht: I believe they are the 'toons of the 21st century. Kids really look at CGI as the modern cartoon.

AA: What has surprised you most about kids' behavior and how they consume media?

Mr. Hecht: User-generated content-the ability of kids to author and re-create content on their own.

AA: How do you take advantage of that?

Mr. Hecht: [Provide the] ability for them to perform by showing off their stuff, connect in a global jam, exhibiting, creating and connecting attributes or by letting their content become the content of a show.

What should advertisers expect and demand in this new world order?

Mr. Hecht: They should demand to be immersed in all of those experiences so they can have a stronger connection. They need to get embedded in those behaviors so they aren't just stuck in watch and learn.
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