Family Meals Are Hip Again


Nick at Nite, TV Land join to promote togethernessTV Land and Nick at Nite are trying to make the family sit-down dinner a regular event in U.S. homes, not just something that happens at the holidays.

With its “Family Table: Share More Than Meals” social initiative, TV Land and Nick use their own PSAs to urge families to put those TV trays away, drop the bags of chips and get everyone out of the lounge chairs.

Working with National Cable Communications (NCC), the nation's largest cable spot-advertising firm, and American Family Insurance, the networks put together a promotion platform that reached across 17 states.

Gloria Ehrenberg, NCC's director of promotions, says the campaign naturally fit with the insurance company's advertising tradition.

NCC, working in concert TV Land and Nick at Nite, offered American Family Insurance an exclusive local sponsorship of “Family Day: A Day To Eat Dinner With Your Children” on Sept. 26.

The Family Day isn't new, though it's hardly well-known. Created in 2001 by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, Family Day is a national effort designed to promote the benefits that come from families' sharing a meal and sharing each other's company on a regular basis. Though most younger children still eat meals with their parents, only half of all families with kids 12-17 regularly eat together. Studies show the simple getting-together ritual has positive effects on the well-being of teens.

American Family Insurance supported Family Day with local-cable media placements for a PSA campaign in 73 markets across 17 states. The promotional campaign included on-site sponsorship of a booth at the Mall of America near Minneapolis and a link to the campaign at the insurance company's Web site.

“Local promotions help local-ad sales by providing clients with in-market extensions of their marketing messages in a less traditional way,” Ehrenberg says, “be it oriented around events, education or entertainment.”

In each of those markets where American Family PSAs were airing, local systems and interconnects could piggyback their own related sponsorships. That was especially attractive for clients with family-friendly businesses, including restaurants, kitchen-appliance stores and even soft-drink manufacturers.— J.B.G.