Leading up to the event, Radio Disney handled the bulk of the PR and media outreach in-house, including reaching out to local media, launching a microsite with the tour schedule, and spots about the tour and featuring spokeswoman Paula Abdul on the Radio Disney networks. Simon Malls, which sent out e-mail blasts to its kids club members, also used in-mall signage and TVs to promote the events.
"From the Ad Council's perspective, it's really critical to reach this target audience in non-traditional ways and that's why we think experiential marketing is really important," said Kathy Crosby, the SVP and group campaign director for the Ad Council. "We're not selling a product, we're selling an idea, so in order to captivate this young audience, we have to allow them to experience it in a tangible way."
The tour includes interactive games for kids, viewings of Ad Council PSAs, and a new game this year called "Tick Tack Know," where kids are quizzed after viewing the PSAs. The four Ad Council PSAs in the tour are about nutrition education, lifelong literacy, wildfire prevention, and inspiring invention. There is also a contest to win a trip to Colorado for the Winter X Games or to LA for dance lessons with Abdul.
"Having Paula Abdul as our spokesperson has given us a little bit of a lift," said Rob Thompson, director of national events for Radio Disney. "Kids and moms associate Paula as the nice judge on American Idol, and obviously she comes from a musical and dancer background. It's a great fit for us with her and she's really lifted our awareness of the 'Move It' program."
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