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VERB Newsletter

VERB The Latest Word
April/May 2004 Issue
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This is the tenth 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…

VERBScoop

On May 3, VERB launched its Phase 3 campaign with a series of ads featuring Tennis superstar Venus Williams. The 30-second commercial features Williams in a game of tennis with a group of kids who have made up their own tennis rules — rules that are unfamiliar to Venus, such as, “if the ball hits the shadow  — it’s out.”

(Images: two screen grabs from TV spots featuring Venus)

The 15-second spot features Williams superimposed over a variety of locations with a call to action that directs viewers to the youth Web site, VERBnow.com, for more ideas on places kids can play. The print ad is a portrait of Williams with a group of kids, each of whom has a caption explaining his or her game and special rule for it. By featuring kids challenging pros with their own rules the ads are designed to break down kids’ barriers of being intimidated by organized sports.

The ads also empower kids with new ideas by showing a variety of ways to play. All in all, the Venus ads “serve up" how easy and fun it can be for kids to play their own way.

(Image: picture of Venus print ad)

  • Watch for more celebrity action when soccer star Landon Donovan and football star Donovan McNabb hit the airwaves this summer and fall.
     
  • Have you ever wanted to switch lives with a professional athlete? If so, look for the call to action spots on ABC Family for VERB Fantasy Switched, which began airing in May. Missed the TV spot? Well, you can always get more information on the fantasy switched casting call on the ABC family Web site!

    (Images: ABC Family and Fantasy Sports Switch logos)
     
  • What’s your favorite VERB? Kids all over the country told us and we began broadcasting it in May. Check out ABC Family for the VERB on-the-street vignettes.

VERBOmeter

(Image: Pyramid of blocks topping off with contests and beginning with online)

IMPACT TO DATE: 19,724,347

Contests 4,891; Sweepstakes 49,296; Added Value 623,500; Tours/Events 2,890,320; Online 16,156,340

VERB has touched more than 19 million children and parents to date.

VERBOutreach

  • The YM and VERB “Move It to Groove It” contest featured video dance parties at the middle schools of two lucky winners. One video dance party took place at Cecelia Snyder Middle School in Bensalem, PA, on the afternoon of March 26. The second took place at Grandville Middle School in Grandville, MI, on April 16. Each winner was honored at the party with a plaque and prizes from VERB and YM. For two hours, the students were physically active on the dance floor and walked away with some VERB goodies.

    (Image: YM logo)
     
  • In April, VERB participated in two Houston events: the BP Houston Children’s Festival and the Houston International Festival. At these family festivals, tweens were given an opportunity to participate in various activities in the VERB Sports Zone, and parents were given information about the importance of keeping their children involved in physical activity. Several community-based organizations also attended the events, and provided sign-up opportunities for tweens to participate in summer sports leagues.
     
  • VERB was also part of the Fiesta Broadway Festival in Los Angeles. At this event, tweens also had a chance to participate in fun physical activities, sign-up with local community-based organizations, and win cool premiums.

VERBConnections

  • Another VERB Results Update: Across the country, media covered our announcement of the successful results of the VERB campaign’s first year — and the hits keep rolling in! To date, we’ve garnered more than 1,100 placements and more than 243 million publicity impressions. Key placements include the Associated Press, USA Today, Washington Post and The CBS Early Show.
     
  • More than 600 pediatricians nationwide requested more information about the VERB campaign. Hundreds of clinics are distributing VERB brochures to parents about the importance of physical activity.
     
  • In April, VERB executed a successful Los Angeles Spanish media market tour. Part of the tour gave a local area family an opportunity to describe how they helped ensure that their children stay physically active. More than 3 million media impressions were generated from this media tour alone.
     
  • This May, Disney.com launched its VERB mini-site. Go there to find the activity creator and lots of other fun stuff: http://disney.go.com/sponsors/verb.

    (Image: Disney logo)

VERB on the Move

(Image: VERB Anytime Doubletime logo)

The VERB Anytime Doubletime school promotion was in schools nationwide during April and May. Anytime Doubletime motivated students to get active by inspiring them to take two VERBS to create their own game and play! More than 1.8 million kids participated. Kaleidoscope Education Support Group will award 20 schools each with a $1,000 grant for furthering physical education. (Images: pictures of three posters featuring Anytime Doubletime)

Fast Forward

  • Keep your eyes and ears open for the new Hispanic/Latino communications that will first appear in June. The spots encourage parents to motivate their kids to participate in 60 minutes of daily physical activity. They are scheduled to appear nationally on Spanish network TV and radio and throughout various national print outlets.
     
  • In conjunction with the new round of communications, a 26-week mobile marketing tour targeting Hispanic/Latino parents will launch in July. Kicking off in Los Angeles, the tour will be a part of various community festivals and events across the country. Parents will have the opportunity to learn important information about the need to get their kids involved in physical activity for at least 60 minutes every day. Kids will be entertained with various activities including a basketball toss and soccer kick. In addition to Los Angeles, the tour will also stop in Houston and then Miami.
     
  • This June, stay tuned for the first Nickelodeon PSA featuring Miranda Cosgrove from the new hit show “Drake & Josh.” This up-and-coming young actress has quickly gained popularity with her role as Megan Parker, the cool, spunky little sister. In the spot, Miranda and her friends will show how they get out and play by showing off their double-dutch jump roping talents while giving some tips for how to get started.

    (Image: Nickelodeon logo)
     
  • This summer, VERB is launching a fun-filled, mobile tour aimed at getting kids active. Promising an unforgettable tour experience, VERB’s Anytour will be hitting theme parks, sporting events, festivals, malls, and other special events showing tweens fun ways that they can play Anytime and Anywhere. The VERB Anytour will launch June 14, 2004, and will feature six interactive vehicles jam-packed with a multitude of fun physical activity stations, give aways, prizes, and music designed to show kids how easy and fun it is to get active. The tour will travel for 16 weeks, over 35 markets in the United States — so look for the Anytour in your community, you never know where they'll show up!
     
  • For the second year, VERB will be a part of SI For Kids No Limits Road Trip tour, which is visiting amusement parks nationwide from June to August. The tour features BMX bike and skateboard shows by extreme-sports athletes along with daily clinics. As the title sponsor of the tour this summer, VERB will have two customized tents with interactive activities to get kids movin’ and excited about VERB!

    (Image: SI For Kids “No Limits Road Trip 2004 Tour” logo)
     
  • In Teen People’s "Special Music Issue," on news stands in July, VERB gives three hot ways for kids to get groovin’ this summer with a step-by-step dance tutorial, an invitation to participate in the VERB “dance off” at Teen People’s "Rock ‘N Shop" nationwide mall tour this coming July to August, and the chance to enter the “Create Your Own Dance Move” contest and win professional dance lessons. VERB’s in-book spread features the incomparable choreographer Darrin Henson, who has worked with such artists as Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears and N-Sync! Darrin will also be live on-site at Rock ‘N Shop, ready to teach event attendees the latest dance moves of some of the hottest stars!

    (Image: Teen People Rock ‘n Shop logo)

VERB Chatter

VERB in the News! Here’s what the media said about VERB’s campaign results:

  • “VERB is a program that encourages kids to get out there!” — CBS Early Show (Reach: 2.6 million households)

    (Image: The Early Show logo)
     
  • “One year into a campaign aimed at lowering child obesity rates by encouraging children to exercise, about 74 percent of American “tweens” are aware of the campaign, according to a national survey.” — Associated Press (Top source used by 1,700 newspapers)

    (Image: Associated Press logo)
     
  • “If you want the kids to get outside and exercise, market physical activity like companies sell toys…A new survey shows that the CDC’s national ad campaign VERB is working.” — CNN Headline News (Reach: 1.1 million households)

    (Image: CNN logo and screengrab from CNN Headline News)
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