Thursday, April 3, 2008

Nickelodeon Expands Virtual Worlds - Ad Support & Subscription

Nickelodeon seems to understand their demo and the power of multi-platform content. On TV, they have built a brand that reaches across all ages; both adults and their children can sit in front of their TV and enjoy the same shows. And they have created character driven shows that extend online; iCarly being the perfect blend of online and linear to the you tube generation.

They continue to lock in their audience by extending their reach into online gaming and virtual worlds. As kids have become so adept at using the computer, they will have no issue moving back and forth among these offerings. Nickelodeon will in fact lock in this demographic.

The challenge is that this audience is at an age where they are naive to the business model. When a kid watches a commercial, they immediately desire to have the product. As parents, we must use our best tact to listen to that need and to redirect to other subjects. Advertising to this demo must be managed successfully. Reaching this audience is great, but the parents need to be reached as well. Paid subscription can offer to the parent safety that the child won't see or be influenced by advertising. The free to play model, while ad supported, needs to walk a fine line as to the commercial message being sent and the action being asked of the child. Perhaps, systems can be put into place where the child can click to show interest in the ad and the ad message will be sent to a parent's e-mail address. The bottom line, they must proceed cautiously.

Kids are the next generation of online users; Nickelodeon has a variety of content offerings to keep this audience from age 3 through 16 and beyond! From Dora to Zoey 101, from Wonderpets to Spongebob to Avatar; if they show restraint and common sense in their advertising model, they will keep the parents, too.