PR: Cartoon Network and the FDA to Launch Year II Expansion of Spot the Block
Building upon its 2007 inaugural public education campaign SPOT THE BLOCK, Cartoon Network working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced an all-new 2008 expanded edition of the online and on-air promotion to launch Monday, April 7. New creative elements targeted to kids, tweens (ages 9-13) and families include an original rap song, a customized online game, multiple desktop character downloadables and brand new streaming videos that serve to encourage young people to use the Nutrition Facts Label on food packages to make healthier food choices. SPOT THE BLOCK also will be featured in Cartoon Network’s “Get Animated” interactive U.S. tour, which will present a giant puzzle game challenge for kids as well as updated take-home information for parents.
|Turner Animation President and COO Stuart Snyder|
The fully refreshed and redesigned Website, www.spottheblock.com, will work in tandem with new SPOT THE BLOCK customized public education on-air spots to be featured regularly on Cartoon Network throughout 2008. The fully animated spots showcase characters from popular original programs like the Emmy-winning Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Camp Lazlo, Chowder and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, and were created to promote good nutrition, portion control and a healthy eating lifestyle. The SPOT THE BLOCK project is a first-of-its-kind partnership between Cartoon Network and the FDA and was originally introduced on Feb. 14, 2007.
“Our goal with SPOT THE BLOCK from the beginning was to build gradually on our campaign messages so that kids have time to develop a consistent habit of properly reading and understanding nutrition labels on the food they enjoy,” explained Janice Hamilton, President of JMH Education, the agency that created the program on behalf of the FDA. “Naturally, we want the program to be entertaining as well as informative, so we’re delighted that Cartoon Network has created new videos, a new game and a new colorful format for the Web site that will engage kids as they learn about such issues as calorie count, serving sizes and portion control.”
“We’re extremely honored to continue as the FDA’s media partner for communicating these important nutrition messages to kids and families,” said Alice Cahn, Cartoon Network vice president of social responsibility. “For several years now, our mission through our ‘Get Animated’ outreach programs is to teach and inspire kids to get healthy, get active and get involved. SPOT THE BLOCK gives kids and parents the information they need to make good choices about what they eat and how much of it they should enjoy at any given time. And using our most popular characters to deliver the message helps make it fun and personal.”
During its 2007 introductory year, SPOT THE BLOCK stressed the importance to kids of regularly finding and reading the nutrition labels on packaged food and drinks, and taking note of listed serving sizes, as food packaging often contains multiple servings.
This year’s extended SPOT THE BLOCK messages include “Size Up the Calorie Count,” which encourages kids to investigate the following: What is the serving size? How many servings are in the container? And how many calories are in a single serving? The program presents the following benchmarks: 40 calories per serving is low, 100 calories per serving is moderate, and 400 calories per serving is high.
An additional 2008 message is “See What’s In It for You,” designed to help kids get the most nutrition from the calories they eat, which will help with healthy weight management. A checklist kids should start using as they consider their food choices includes looking for the percentage daily value listed beside each nutrient to determine if a food is high or low. As a guideline, 5% daily value or less is consider low while 20% daily value or more is high. Kids also will be encouraged to limit food high in certain fats, cholesterol and sodium that may have a negative impact on optimum health, and inspired to select foods that provide enough of desired nutrients including potassium, fiber, vitamins A & C, iron and calcium that they need to reach their health goals.
A major highlight of the 2008 SPOT THE BLOCK campaign is an original downloadable nutrition-focused song, “Dishin’ the Nutrition.” Kids can drop the song into their iPods or MP3 players and print the lyrics so that they can sing along at any time. Another new feature to the Website are a series of eight favorite Cartoon Network characters with SPOT THE BLOCK messages that can be downloaded as colorful computer wallpaper. Later this spring, the Website will introduce an additional new online game that will both entertain and challenge kids to keep lessons from SPOT THE BLOCK top of mind.
Cartoon Network will produce and run two new animated public education on-air spots this year to complement the two original spots created last year. The first new spot, “CALORIES! YO!,” includes a rhythmic, tuneful song performed by favorite Cartoon Network original characters that stresses the first key message, “Size Up the Calorie Count.” The second new spot, “NUTRIENTS! YO!,” features an animated song and dance number to inspire kids to “See What’s In It for You.”
The online destination for SPOT THE BLOCK, www.spottheblock.com, will offer all 2008 campaign elements and many from 2007, allowing kids the opportunity to engage with the FDA’s key messaging, play the interactive games, and to interact with the tools that enable them to better understand the Nutrition Facts Label on their favorite foods.
Launched in February 2005, Cartoon Network’s GET ANIMATED provides on-air, online, print and off-channel programs to teach children the value of a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, good eating and helping others. Featuring the network’s roster of popular cartoon characters, GET ANIMATED currently includes multiple animated PSAs, a mobile tour, community programs and its 2006 Rescuing Recess initiative. For more information, please visit www.GetAnimated.com.
Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com), currently seen in more than 91 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service offering the best in original, acquired and classic animated entertainment for kids and families. Overnight from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. (ET, PT), Cartoon Network shares its channel space with Adult Swim, a late-night destination showcasing original and acquired animation for young adults 18-34.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.