YTV sends kids to Nerf camp

In an effort to go beyond one-off efforts, the new multi-platform campaign with toy-co Hasbro is the longest-term promo push Corus has done.

Starting next month YTV viewers will be directed to an online Nerf boot camp in the first phase of what will be an eight-month, multi-platform campaign for the foam-loaded weaponry.

In the partnership between Corus Television and toy maker Hasbro Canada, kids and tweens will be encouraged to visit, where they can check out new products, play Nerf games and enter contests. Promotions for Camp Nerf will start March 2 with 10-second on-air spots, online banners on during popular after-school and Saturday morning program blocks and an e-newsletter blast to the members.

‘We’ve never done anything this long term before,’ says Chris Arthur, director of sales youth division at Corus. ‘We thought we’d look ahead and see if we could do something that was better than just a few one-offs.’ Corus came up with the concept but worked with ZenithOptimedia for the media arrangement.

The first contest details, for a new product called Nerf Swords, will be communicated for four weeks during YTV’s Saturday morning cartoon block, Crunch. On-air and online ad creative was developed by Corus Entertainment. Then, in mid-April, 10-second billboards airing on YTV will communicate phase two of the campaign – the launch of the ‘Nerf Dart Tag Training Zone’ that will be accompanied by ‘The Outfitter Tent’ where kids can check out retail information.

‘I think the same kids are going to come back several times throughout the eight-month period, and more and more kids are going to become aware of it as time goes on,’ Arthur tells MiC. She believes that, because of the length of the promo, every kid within their six-to-12 target will be reached.

After all the online training, point-and-shoot enthusiasts can use their skills in real life during festivals across the country as part of YTV’s annual Weird on Wheels tour in June, which will also be supported by the channel’s after-school block, The Zone. In the final phase beginning Oct. 19, YTV will start to promote the fourth online game. The ‘Action Blaster Training Zone’ will launch on Nov. 2 and will also be supported with a new online contest and four-week promotion during the Saturday morning cartoon block.