Nickelodeon, Ford Launch Campaign to Promote Auto Safety

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Nickelodeon, New York, and Ford Motor Company, Detroit, yesterday announced they have joined forces to develop a national marketing campaign aimed at educating children and parents about automobile safety.


The three-year campaign features Blue, the animated star of Nick Jr.'s hit series "Blue's Clues." As the official "spokespuppy," Blue will debut in national advertising for the Ford Windstar minivan, which is equipped with more than 40 standard safety features and earns the government's highest safety rating -- a quadruple five-star crash-test rating -- when equipped with side airbags. She also will be featured in Ford's product messages and safety guides.


Nickelodeon will work with Ford to create a customized Ford safety publication and a co-branded Nick Jr./Ford safety Web site.


The alliance will include a media buy on Nickelodeon, the children's cable television network, beginning in the fourth quarter 2000 and running through the third quarter 2003. In addition to television, there is a multi-year ad schedule in both Nickelodeon Magazine and Nick Jr. Magazine.


"Educating our customers and families about safety is a responsibility Ford takes very seriously," said Jan Klug, Ford Division, marketing communications manager. "Teaming with Nickelodeon will bring together two very powerful brands to communicate an important message to a common target audience -- kids and parents."


As part of the wide-reaching safety campaign, Blue will help to teach children that it is important to wear a safety belt while riding in a car or truck and they are safest when properly restrained in the back seat. The alliance will also help to educate parents about the proper uses of car seats and booster seats.


"We are proud to form this new alliance with Ford and to work with them on such an important campaign as child safety," said Cyma Zarghami, executive vice president and general manager, Nickelodeon. "Speaking to kids is something Nickelodeon does everyday, and it is great that Ford is willing to join with us and take a leadership position in educating kids about a subject that has traditionally been left in the hands of grownups."
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