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VERB Newsletter

VERB The Latest Word
May/June 2003 Issue
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VERB The Latest Word (Image: VERB logo)
May/June 2003

(Image: Department of HHS and CDC logos)

This is the fourth installment in a series of VERB newsletters providing the latest and greatest on how the VERB campaign is getting kids off the couch and into life. Read on…

VERB Scoop

  • Congratulations to VERB! In case you haven’t heard the great news, VERB won the Best Non-Profit Campaign at the Kid Power Awards in Orlando on May 7. The award honors VERB as one of the most innovative children’s marketing campaigns for the year and recognizes the brand for its overall excellence within its category. This title is a fitting tribute to VERB’s success in the first year of it’s campaign! (Image: Kid Power Awards logo)

  • Throughout the spring, the winner of YM magazine’s Are You Active? Contest appeared on an outdoor billboard at the crossroads of the world, Times Square in New York City. The winning essay came from Brigitte M., and it was selected out of almost 1,000 entries. Her essay described how she changed her life by becoming involved in school activities and joining her school’s volleyball team. Brigitte demonstrates the essence of VERB– having fun with her friends while getting active! (Image: YM logo)

  • In late April, the Washington, D.C., VERB spokesperson, Marcus Taylor, met with seven local media outlets to discuss how families can adopt healthier lifestyles. Interviews included a live appearance on WTTG-TV (FOX); three radio interviews with the CNN, AP and CBS affiliates; two newspaper interviews; and an interview with American Teacher magazine. The print placements alone reached more than 1.5 million readers!

VERB O-Meter

(Image: Pyramid of blocks topping off with contests and beginning with online)
Impact to Date 7,800,966

VERB has touched more than 7.8 million children and parents to date

Contests - 4,480
Sweepstakes - 31,731
Added Value - 623,500
Tours/Events - 2,587,470
Online - 4,553,785

VERB Outreach

As the first year of VERB winds down, here are some highlights from some of the last few local outreach efforts.

  • Spokane: Local ambassador Wendy Acosta participated in the parent media tour on May 5. She met with eight media outlets and taped four public service announcements to promote VERB. Also in Spokane, the local water tower is about to receive a makeover with painted multicultural VERBs.

  • D.C.: The nation’s capital received a tour recently– the VERB parent media tour! Colorful wood cut-outs of children dancing, bouncing, running, hopping, swinging, and more will appear in D.C.’s most popular parks beginning in May and running through early June. D.C. will also receive a surprise this month with an eye-catching, colorful multicultural mural will appear in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood.

  • Greenville: The sixth VERB Treasure Hunt was held at Haywood Mall, where more than 60 children searched for their favorite VERBs. Participating organizations included the Phillis Wheatley Association, Greenville County Recreation District, and Plain Elementary School.

  • Los Angeles: The Orange County Korean Festival and Parade was where more than 1,000 tweens experienced a variety of VERBs by playing hockey, football, basketball, soccer, and stepping, while Korean performances took place throughout the day. VERB also received the Best Youth Float award during the parade.

VERB Connections

  • With school coming to a close, VERB reached close to 87% of the tween target an average of seven times in both May and June. This was perfect timing because it provided tweens with plenty of ways to get active when they trade in their textbooks for the outdoors!

  • To date, the VERB campaign has generated 145 television and radio placements resulting in more than 10 hours of broadcast coverage. The average interview is more than 4 minutes in length, higher than the national standard. April garnered more than 100 print placements that produced more than 52 million media impressions. To date, the campaign has generated more than 142 million print impressions, nearly 800 clips and an advertising equivalency of more than $47.5 million.

  • In June, continued to introduce tweens to new forms of activity. Tweens learned the rules of Disc Golf, a hot new game that anyone with a flying disk or FrisbeeTM and some open space can play. They could also go out and try traditional golf after learning how to tee off, putt and hit the ball from the fairway in the interactive FORE! Fun game. In addition, Aly Wagner, the Women’s United Soccer Association’s newest star player, provided words of inspiration. Also in June, provided families with tools and encouragement to set up Longest Day of Play activities in their own back yards, or neighborhood parks.

Frisbee is a registered trademark of Wham-O.

VERB on the Move

(Image: Dotted lines connecting each paragraph)

Calling all future Olympians! Several grand prize winners from the Nintendo Power “Play Every Day” sweepstakes have claimed their sports camp tuition prizes already. One of the winners will attend a baseball camp at the University of Oklahoma this summer. Another winner will spend time at the Campfire Girls Camp in Coyle, Oklahoma, where she will participate in horseback riding, rock climbing, rappelling and swimming. Also, the five first prize winners have received their BMX bikes. One parent wrote in, saying, “I just wanted to send you a quick e-mail and tell you THANK YOU! My husband and I just went to pick up the bike [for our daughter] today! It is such a nice looking bike! This has just been a great experience!” Thanks to VERB, the sweepstakes’ winners will have quite a memorable summer! (image: Nintendo Power logo)

VERB Action Day– the event that people are still talking about! The VERB Action Day resulted in more than 23 print and broadcast publicity placements, including a two-page article on Time for Kids online. The article featured an interview with CDC’s Mike Greenwell and an onsite account of the day’s activities by tween reporter Pavitra Viswanathan. The online article attracted more than 1.5 million visitors.

Also in Los Angeles, VERB was featured in 17 interviews on Univision’s morning show, Primera Edicion, the mid-day show, Los Angeles En Vivo (in conjunction with the L.A. WACK Tour), and six different radio shows. VERB starred on a national call-in program, Radio Bilingue. Mothers from across the country flooded the telephone lines for an hour with calls asking how to help their children become more active. Telemundo, Univision and a Christian radio network included VERB on-air. The Christian Radio Network broadcast the interviews four times a day in Texas, New Orleans, and New Mexico!

Fast Forward

The next wave of activity for VERB officially kicked off on June 16! Here are some exciting, VERB-worthy events coming down the pike:

  • Brand new TV creative will debut in August! Also, several networks are developing public service announcements that will leverage stars from their most popular tween shows!

  • A customized VERB Tracker will be distributed in the fall to help tweens “track” their activity and inspire them with new and fun ways to get active!

  • Primedia will launch a new program during the school year that will get tweens active just like the Grant Program did in Phase I.

  • The amazing Gruner and Jahr program, Fit Family Fit Kids, will return in October 2003!

  • Beginning now and continuing throughout the summer are three awesome tours– MTV’s Made Tour, Teen People’s Break for the Beach, and Sports Illustrated for Kids’ “No Limits” Road Trip. You’ll get a full update on each tour next month!

VERB Chatter

  • June 21 wasn’t just the longest day of the year– it was the Longest Day of Play! The goal of the program was to get children throughout the United States into the spirit of play on this day and then every day thereafter. The Longest Day of Play crammed each possible minute of daylight with fun and play. It offered unlimited access to involve as many tweens as possible with the help of interactive content on and On-air promotions and giveaways on Radio Disney stations, and street team activities at dozens of events in Houston, Miami, Kansas City, and Los Angeles were also vital to the success of the event. Hundreds of children called or e-mailed Radio Disney with their VERB pledge for the Longest Day of Play. Plus, over 2,500 Activity Kits with of Play events on a local level were distributed to community-based organizations nationwide. (Images: VERB Longest Day of Play logo, Radio Disney logo, Picture of child with Florida Marlins mascot, Picture of children playing with hoolihoops, Picture of Radio Disney web page) OK, that’s all we are sharing with you for now! You’ll just have to wait and see for yourself all the fun VERB is up to in Phase II!

This publication is produced by the Publicis Groupe.

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