WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2006
The Making of a Cartoon Icon: Cartoon Network's Newest Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade® Float is the Highlight of a 360 Campaign for Foster's continuing into 2007
An imaginary friend is always with you - and so are the pals from Cartoon Network's best loved original series FOSTER'S HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS. The hit original series is enjoying a networkwide programming and marketing initiative that has elevated shy eight-year-old Mac and his perfect alter-ego, Blooregard Q. Kazoo, to iconic figures of the Cartoon Network brand. As Bloo and company sail down Broadway in the 80th Anniversary Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade® on Nov.23, singing the Beatles' classic "With A Little Help From My Friends," it will mark just one of the many amazing highlights the network has developed for the show through programming, promotions, new media, consumer products and gaming that extend well into 2007. Shortly after the Parade at 7pm Cartoon Network will also premiere the first FOSTER'S HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS movie Good Wilt Hunting, which will introduce viewers to the creators of their favorite imaginary friends for the first time.
The FOSTER'S float will be a 30-foot-tall replica of Madame Foster's fun-filled, rainbow colored mansion - and will include all of the favorite imaginary friends. Through the creativity of the Center for Puppetry Arts, multiple puppets of Bloo will pop out of the windows and chimney; while Cheese reclines in an open window and Wilt leans against the house on the ground floor. Eduardo will be featured on the float as a walk-around character, and Coco, whose mouth will open and close, and Herriman will be seen as sculpted replicas.
"We feel there is no better 'face' for Cartoon Network than these wonderfully creative, adventurous and mischievous characters from FOSTER. They are the perfect embodiment of the Cartoon Network motto - Fun, Funny, Fearless" said Dennis Adamovich, senior vice president of marketing for Cartoon Network. "The intent of this campaign is to create iconic characters with Bloo and Mac and make them the "spokestoons," if you will, of the network. There's no better venue to highlight their importance to Cartoon Network than the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade."
"This all-encompassing marketing campaign for FOSTER'S has generated unprecedented exposure for the show in the community, as well as in the retail marketplace," said John Friend, senior vice president for Cartoon Network Enterprises. "Having Bloo, Mac and the Fosters friends come to life for kids - in all formats from on-air to digital to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - creates a real, emotional connection to these characters. It is a great spring board for us as we continue to expand our consumer products business and launch the FOSTER'S toy line from Mattel this spring."
Fans of the show will be able to see their favorite Friends on Thanksgiving Day and everyday thereafter through publishing, apparel and interactive with a brand new toy line debuting in the spring. The new toy line represents the first toy licensing deal for the series since its launch in 2004. Mac, Bloo and the rest of the Foster's cast will be the lead products in a brand new line of toys and games that will focus on humor and putting the "funny" back into the toy aisle. The new line is part of Cartoon Network's global, multi-year portfolio deal with Mattel, the world's largest toy company.
Over the summer, Mac and Bloo were the starring characters in the network's most ambitious multi-media branding campaign to date - which generated a ground swell of press in late June as mysterious red billboards began appearing across the country with lines like "I pooted!" or "I'm hot toe picker." The reveal billboards appeared in July with the Cartoon Network characters and logo, defying speculation that the ads were for new hygiene products. Simultaneously, Mac and Bloo were the hosts of Cartoon Network's summer programming block, kicking-off the prime time line-up each night at 7pm and also introducing the "Are You a Cartoon Network Kid?" live summer segments that featured kids from all over the country. The duo was also featured in cross-over promos interacting with other characters from Cartoon Network's original programming including CAMP LAZLO, THE GRIIM ADVENTURES OF BILLY & MANDY, MY GYM PARTNER'S A MONKEY, BEN 10, and THE LIFE & TIMES OF JUNIPER LEE.
For the first time since their 2004 debut, the FOSTER'S cast was also featured in Burger King Kids Meals in March of 2006. In May - the network launched Big Fat Awesome House Party, a free year-long interactive game that allows players to immerse themselves in the FOSTER'S world by creating their very own imaginary friend and then guiding that friend through the game. In the first week, more than 700,000 new users registered to play. To date, the game has attracted 6.6 million registered users. The game will continue to evolve, rolling out new levels, additional games and exciting new features into 2007.
In August FOSTER'S joined several other Tuner Broadcasting System Inc. properties available for download from Apple iTunes and Amazon. Additionally a new interactive game from Crave for Nintendo's GameBoy®Advance will be available for the upcoming holidays and a first season DVD is also in the works for early 2007.
In FOSTER'S HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS, shy Mac has the perfect alter ego in his imaginary friend Blooregard Q. Kazoo. Bloo is the impulsive, brash creature who lives at FOSTER'S HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS, a haven for wayward imaginary friends like Wilt, Eduardo, Coco and others who have been separated from the kids who invented them.
About the Macy' s Thanksgiving Day Parade:
With more than 50 million viewers across the country and more than 3.5 million spectators that line up along the streets of New York City each year, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a national icon that has grown into a world-famous holiday event. For 80 years, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has marked the official start of the holiday season. Growing in size and scale, the Parade proudly marches down a 2.5-mile route in New York City with over 10,000 participants in tow including Macy's employees, their families, celebrities, athletes, clowns and dance groups spreading holiday cheer. The Parade also features America's best marching bands, fabulous floats and Macy's signature giant helium character balloons. For more information on the Macy's Parade please visit www.macysparade.com or call the Parade hotline at (212) 494-4495.
Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com), currently seen in more than 91 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.'s ad-supported cable service offering the best in original, acquired and classic animated entertainment for kids and families. Overnight from 11pm-6am (ET, PT), Cartoon Network shares its channel space with Adult Swim, a late-night destination showcasing original and acquired animation for young adults 18-34.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.