From TV to toys, Nickelodeon has experienced strategic growth through the years, building over time from just cartoons and kids programming to movies, games, clothing and even full-on events.
In fact, the goal of reaching parents that grew up watching Nick and their children who are now living the Nick brand has become a true family affair. And while Nickelodeon has always been anchored in creating experiential moments for its fans young and old, this year’s upfront presentation ushered in a new objective by Viacom CEO Bob Bakish; expanding Viacom’s presence in the physical world so brands like Nickelodeon could forge an even stronger emotional bond with audiences.
“We are making the world a more playful place in many different ways. TV is one and real-life experiences are another,” says Sharon Cohen, Executive Vice President, Partner Marketing at Nickelodeon.
“Which means Nickelodeon as a brand is extending beyond the screen and creating moments that families can feel, touch and play with together,” she explains. “Live event experiences are an extension of our brand to another medium. They give us the ability to create a deeper connection with fans.”
Experiential immersion can run the gamut, but in terms of Nickelodeon’s scope, it’s shaped by several key research findings: The bond between families is closer than previous generation, they’re hungry for inclusive getaways that cater to every member, and parents are consulting with their kids when deciding on what to do and where to go. Ultimately, this means developing events and excursions that appeal to every member of the household, while creating opportunities for the family to come together.
It’s with this is mind that Nickelodeon is in the process of expanding its resort offerings and theme parks, while also launching events like PAW Patrol Live this year and SlimeFest (the first multi-day music festival for kids and families in the U.S.) in 2018.
“Parents and kids can access and enjoy content on so many platforms and through so many mediums, we really have to be everywhere they are,” says Cohen. “Basically, we’re not just coming along with them on a vacation or an outing anymore – we ARE the vacation or outing.”