While Cartoon Network may be known for its colorful characters and kid-friendly shows, today it is now so much more than just an animation station. It’s now a technology-enabled multiplatform powerhouse that fosters kids’ creativity with engaging shows; mobile, online, console and VR games; toys; and even coding tutorials. Through these platforms, the Network has created ways for Gen Z audiences to engage with their favorite characters while also embracing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) content – an initiative that spans the entire organization.
In October 2017, ARPR client Cartoon Network sought to amplify its core message of inspiring kids at the intersection of creativity and technology to an influential audience of media, business-minded creatives and forward-thinking entrepreneurs during the Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York City. ARPR was enlisted to project manage the activation and deploy an integrated PR campaign, in order to drive media interest and attendance.
To begin, ARPR coordinated a beneficial agreement that positioned Cartoon Network as leader of the Fast Company Innovation Festival’s ‘Creativity Track.’ The activation included programming entitled, Why the Future Belongs to Creative Thinkers and featured the Network’s president alongside luminaries from MIT Media Lab, Adafruit, DIY.org, Minecraft and GIPHY.
In addition to project managing the partnership and event production details, ARPR also crafted a strategic earned media strategy to engage right-fit technology, education, parenting and entertainment journalists leading up to the event. In the weeks prior to the event, ARPR secured executive interview opportunities with target media to reach a diverse audience, resulting in digital, podcast and video coverage. New York-based reporters and influencers were then invited to attend the Cartoon Network-sponsored programming, which included a TED-style breakfast talk and expert panel discussion, followed by pre-arranged one-on-one interviews with event speakers and Network executives. For media that wanted to follow the conversation but were unable to attend the event in person, ARPR live-tweeted the experience from @CartoonNetworkPR and offered a full video recording and hi-res photos once the event concluded. ARPR also worked collaboratively with Cartoon Network’s internal marketing team to expand buzz surrounding the Creativity track and its corresponding panel discussions through paid media activations and email marketing.
In just twelve months since initially partnering with Cartoon Network, ARPR has positioned the Network as a unifying brand voice behind the movement to engage kids at the intersection of creativity and technology, culminating at the 2017 Fast Company Innovation Festival. Cartoon Network’s programming attracted a full audience and more than 10 media members, including journalists from Wall Street Journal, WIRED, HuffPost, Big Think and Good Housekeeping. Potential combined readership, viewership and listenership from interviews conducted prior to, during and following the event well exceed 77.7 million, reaching key audiences in technology, education, parenting and entertainment.