By Jul 01, 1998

Birthday Treats BUENOS AIRES – The Cartoon Network celebrated its fifth anniversary here with a program that got kids to show off their artistic abilities while raising awareness for the cable channel in the process.

The network invited Argentine kids to draw a version of the network’s birthday cake and mail the results in for its April birthday bash. Five drawings were randomly selected, and each winner received trips for 20 to a popular amusement park for a special anniversary party, complete with free rides and video games. To create excitement for the program, families were invited to visit the Cartoon Network booth in one of the largest malls in Argentina. While there, kids could make and bake their favorite cartoon characters from dough, get their pictures taken with Dexter, the popular cartoon character from Dexter’s Laboratory, watch cartoons on special displays, and play with “live” characters at the booth. Children could also make toy donations to a children’s hospital via drop-off boxes at the booth. The network supported the program with Cartoon Network goody bags of cartoon-themed merchandise.

Developed by Del Rio & Font, the five-day program generated enough awareness to boost the network to the No. 1 position among four- to 11-year-olds.

The Sky’s the Limit CHINA – Four American airlines have taken off with a program that partners with Air China to offer consumers from both countries frequent flier miles and other services. The partnership is the first alliance between U.S. carriers and China’s largest international airline.

Details pertaining to the Northwest, Continental, America West, and Alaska airlines’ partnership with the Chinese will be “ready as soon as the carriers are granted government approval,” said Northwest executive VP, marketing and international, Michael Levine. Passengers can transfer between planes and will be able to take advantage of the coordination of schedules and connections, linked computer reservations systems, reciprocal frequent-flier programs, joint marketing, and sales and promotion programs. Northwest first started talks with Air China two years ago.

“This is the real genius of the alliance concept,” Levine told the Associated Press. “Working together can provide non-stop service to more than 60 percent of the U.S. and Chinese market.”

Northwest recently announced that it hopes to buy a $519 million stake in Continental in a deal that would link the No. 4 and No. 5 airlines’ route systems.

Watching the Cookies Crumble BUENOS AIRES – Bagley S.A., a Danone brand, recently developed a program to launch its new healthy snacks with an offer Argentine nutritionists couldn’t say no to: free cookies.

Developed by Wunderman Cato Johnson, the program was wrapped around a healthy dose of cookie sampling, direct marketing, and public relations support. Some 500 nutritionists – the very people whose endorsements can get health-conscious consumers racing to the snack food aisles – received Tentalight cookie samples and folders containing information about the new cookie brand. The company included questionnaires which recipients were asked to fill out, along with an indication of their favorite cookie flavor. Nutritionists who sent in the questionnaires received a cookie “thank you” based on the flavor they had chosen.

To support the program, the company sampled the product in 75 of the country’s largest supermarkets in and around Buenos Aires during a 10-week period. Brochures and cookie coupons were also distributed. Consumers who submitted three proofs-of-purchase received cookie samples in the mail.

Bagley generated a 16.4 percent response with nutritionists (82 of them returned the questionnaires). On the consumer side, more than 310,000 personal contacts were made, and the company distributed more than 250,000 product brochures.

Trebor Program Smells Like Roses LONDON – Trebor Bassett is offering consumers a breath of fresh air with a program that rewards them with chances to win more than 10,000 cash prizes when they purchase the brand’s three types of Extra Strong breath mints.

The Test Your Strength instant-win, on-pack program is wrapped around specially developed “strength-o-meters” which look like five mints compressed together. The value of the cash prize is revealed when consumers squeeze the mint roll packs.

The program offers retailers the chance to maximize profits by increasing sales 16 percent, said Trebor Bassett marketing controller Louise Cooke. The brand is supporting the program with advertising and product sampling at major soccer matches across the UK. (Story courtesy of Incentive Today Magazine)

Harley Revs Up Sales SAO PAULO – Harley Davidson raced into the fast lane with an image-enhancing program designed to maintain the sales goals the brand had recently achieved.

The First National Hog Rally attracted Harley-riders to special HOG rallies in Paraty, just outside the popular Brazilian hot spots of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte. Participants got to test drive new Harleys on road trips from each major city – complete with police protection all the way to Paraty. Special barbecues, accessory exhibitions, and rock concerts rounded out the event.

The Hog Rally program lured 300 Harley-drivers to the rally, “an outstanding number considering the brand hasn’t been here for long,” said Geraldo da Rocha Azevedo of the Rocha Azevedo promotion agency that created the program. Harley has secured a spot for the Hog Rally in its calendar of events for next year.

It’s Time for Happy Hour LONDON – Smirnoff is making waves in the U.K. with an instant-win program that asks consumers to peel off their shrink-sleeved bottle labels for chances to win valuable trips and prizes.

Developed by The Creative Minds Consultancy, the program invites consumers to try their luck at peeling back their labels for 100 Thomson CityBreaks trips across Europe and North America, plus a discount offer on six Smirnoff “Happy Hour Cocktails” ingredients. The chance to save 100 Pounds off a Thomson CityBreak is also available and is linked to a second-bottle purchase.

The brand has also responded to interest in the promotion theme outside of London, adapting the promotion exclusively in Northern Ireland (Gilbey’s of Ireland). In order to give convenience and appeal to the consumers of Northern Ireland, the promotion has five major prizes of Travelscene Cities short breaks to New York with Belfast-departure options, plus 1 Pound off their next Smirnoff purchase with an accompanying 75 Pounds discount against Travelscene Cities short breaks. (Story courtesy of Incentive Today Magazine).