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Kraft Foods and Burger King Corp. are tying in with Nickelodeon for an estimated $20 million integrated promotion for a new kids TV programming block.

The promotion for the 8 p.m.-9 p.m. Nickel-O-Zone block is one of the largest yet for the cable network. As part of it, Nickelodeon will telecast "secret" on-screen messages that can be decoded using Nickel-O-Scopes included in packages of several of 16 participating Kraft kids brands.

Burger King will be offering toys based on two of the new shows in the block through its kids meals.

"I really think this is on the scale of [promotion partners] CBS and Kmart," said Pam Kaufman, VP-promotion marketing at Nickelodeon. "It will involve hundreds of millions of Kraft food packages."


The Nickel-O-Zone promo is part of Kraft's estimated $60 million, non-exclusive promotional linkup with the network that began in 1996.

"There's clearly a template but it's ratcheting up," said Kraft Director of Marketing Development Deb Sawch. "It's continuing to build momentum."

She said Kraft's Nogglevision program last year with Nickelodeon, offering "red reveal" glasses to watch special programming, resulted in average 4% sales increases for participating brands.

The Nickel-O-Zone promotion kicks off Aug. 31 and will run for two weeks. The network will run teasers and tune-in spots for four to six weeks prior to that.

The new programs, to be added to existing Nickelodeon programming to comprise the block, are "The Wild Thornberries," "Animorphs" and "Cousin Skeeter."

Among the participating kids brands are Kraft Singles, Kool-Aid, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Polly-O String Cheese and Oscar Mayer Lunchables.

Promotional offers will vary. Post Golden Crisp, Waffle Crisp and Honeycomb cereal will offer an in-pack poster from Nickelodeon's "Hey Arnold!" Taco Bell Dinner Kits will offer a sweepstakes for a walk-on role in "The Journey of Allen Strange." Lunchables will offer a trip to Nickelodeon Studios to host Nickel-O-Zone.

Advertising for the Kraft brands that use TV will carry tags calling attention to the Nick promotion.


For Burger King, the promotion marks its second major collaboration with the kids network since signing a multiyear deal earlier this year. For the latest one, there will be five kids meal toys tied to the network's shows, including an action figure from "Kablam" and a "Cousin Skeeter" finger puppet. The kids meal toys will be backed with in-store and TV ads. Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, is handling.

BK won't be offering an "Animorphs" toy, since the Scholastic property has already inked a deal with Tricon Global Restaurants. But BK separately will be a promotional partner for Nickelodeon's release of a "Rugrats" movie this fall.

"Nickelodeon is a great brand fit," said Richard Taylor, VP-marketing services at BK. "Both of us want to speak to kids, not at them." He wouldn't specify results from BK's first, "Rugrats" promo with the network, but said, "they were tremendous numbers."

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