Trick-or-Treat hits Internet

NEW YORK: This year's "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" campaign, which started in 1950, is entering the Internet era. The organization introduced pages on Facebook, MySpace, and Flickr, updated its Web site with e-cards and an e-store, and even debuted a "Text-or-Treat" program, where people can donate via their mobile phones.

NEW YORK: This year's “Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF” campaign, which started in 1950, is entering the Internet era. The organization introduced pages on Facebook, MySpace, and Flickr, updated its Web site with e-cards and an e-store, and even debuted a “Text-or-Treat” program, where people can donate via their mobile phones.

“Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF has been primarily driven by the trademark orange collection box,” said Kim Pucci, marketing director for the US Fund for UNICEF. “We need to offer a wider spectrum of engagement opportunities that are more relevant to how kids interact with brands these days.”

Sixteen-year-old Disney star Selena Gomez also signed on to be the spokeswoman for Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF this year. She currently stars on the Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place.

“This is the first time in recent years that we have had a very popular youth celebrity as our spokesperson,” Pucci said. “We have a wider appeal speaking right to kids directly, and we really want to leverage her fan base.”

UNICEF, which launched the campaign in early October, is hoping to engage kids ages 5 to 18, as well as get parents and educators involved in its efforts, she added. The campaign also partnered with Major League Soccer, in-school programs such as Key Club, and introduced a college campus challenge to keep university students involved.

UNICEF is working with AOR JS2 Communications on media relations, which includes outreach to bloggers.

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