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VERB Newsletter

VERB The Latest Word
February 2003 Issue
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VERBTM The Latest Word
February 2003
(VISUAL: Department of Health and Human Services logo and CDC logo)

This is the first installment in a series of VERB newsletters providing the latest and greatest on how the VERB campaign is getting kids off the couch and into life. Read on…

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VERB Scoop

From primetime TV stars to cartoon characters, there sure are a lot of people talking about VERB! The Cartoon Network, the Disney Channel, the WB Network, and CBS all donated talent and media time for VERB-branded PSAs.

(VISUAL: Cartoon Network logo.) The Cartoon Network PSA, which started in October, features popular animated characters from The Power Puff Girls, Courage the Cowardly Dog, and Ed, Edd & Eddy.

(VISUAL: Disney logo.) Since November, the Disney Channel has been volunteering its new breakaway star, Kim Possible, and her superpowers in another PSA.

(VISUAL: WB logo.) Friends on the WB Network, including David Gallagher from 7th Heaven and Alexis Bledel from Gilmore Girls, are also joining in on the fun.

(VISUAL: CBS logo.) CBS created primetime PSAs using Catherine Bell from JAG and the sports star Deion Sanders to speak to Mom and Dad about VERB.

In reaching the African American audience, the rapper, Bow Wow, promoted the VERB message in television and radio PSAs. The television PSA appeared twice a week for eleven weeks on local television, while the radio PSA ran on national networks including the American Urban Networks and Radio Disney. The Bow Wow PSAs garnered 61,880,370 impressions—WOW!

In its third month, the Gruner & Jahr’s Fit Family Fit Kids program continues to track four different families’ progress in becoming more active and reporting on them in Child, Family Circle, Fitness, and Parents magazines. As an extension of the Gruner & Jahr program, the online site has been created to provide an interactive experience for the program’s loyal followers. When the program concludes in May, three out of four women with kids aged 12 and younger will have been exposed to this program an average of five times each—quite impressive!

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VERB Outreach

VERB street teams have taken to our local markets interacting with tweens at key venues and events.

Columbus: Chillers Friday Night Meltdown/ Family Skate, The Harvest, The Arts Festival, “First Night,” and Columbus’ New Year’s Eve Celebration
Green Bay: Local children’s festivals, Ringling Bros. Circus, and the Punt, Pass & Kick Competition
Greenville: The Aaron Carter Concert and Reidville Elementary Fall Festival
Houston: The Arts & Music Festival, Enrique, Safe Street Night, Haunted Woods, Children's Festival, Asian Festival, Festival Chicano, and the Houston Fun Run where we reached 3,000 tweens
Los Angeles: The Harvest Festival, Peace Day, KTLA Kids Festival, and Hollywood Carnival
Miami: The Miami Heat, House of Terror, Urban Latin Music Festival, and the Miami Holiday Village

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VERB Connections

Considering the barrage of toy and video game ads children saw throughout the month of January, we were able to break through the clutter and effectively deliver our message. We impressively reached 91% of our tween target an average of nine times. Parents were also bombarded with commercials telling them what to purchase for their children, yet the VERB message gave them something else to think about. We reached 60% of Moms more than twice a month.

VERB Internet exposure has delivered 158 million targeted impressions through the first five months of the campaign, exceeding the guaranteed amount by 4%. The number of tweens accessing via the AOL banner ads is nearly three times the industry standard.

VERB is out and about. We have incurred an outstanding 30,906,848 impressions for the month of January through our public relations efforts. Major print placements included Las Vegas Review, Cleveland Daily Banner, and The Cincinnati Enquirer. Ethnic print placements were found in Korea Daily and La Opinion.

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VERB O-Meter

(VISUAL: Pyramid of blocks topping off with contests and beginning with online)
Impact to Date - 2,247,192
Contests - 2,884
Tours - 3,600
Sweepstakes - 5,000
Online - 2,235,708

VERB has touched over 2 million children and parents to date


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VERB on the Move

Kudos to the local ambassadors for further promoting VERB within the local markets! Ambassador Scott Murray of Green Bay developed his own VERB activity board with the local Oneida Tribe and has seen an increase in physical activity among participating members. Ambassador Wendy Acosta’s youth group is being honored with a Chase Youth Award for promoting VERB through in-school efforts and serving as role models to tweens. (VISUAL: Connecting dots between each paragraph.)

Throughout the year Nickelodeon has been invading our nine markets with a live staged version of the hit show Wild & Crazy Kids complete with games, stunts, and an ultimate team challenge. The Spokane and Kansas City tour stops attracted 3,600 tweens in October! The tour will travel to the remaining local markets this spring.

When children were out watching the new Harry Potter sequel during the blockbuster winter movie season, Screenvision promoted the VERB message and the Reel Rookies contest on over 4,000 movie screens nationwide. The contest encouraged tweens to develop a cool movie idea using their creative talents. In March, three lucky grand prize winners and their families will receive an all-expense-paid trip to New York City to view an exhibit-style premiere of their work and a family film premiere.

Ever wish you had the means to build ramps for that skate park or buy supplies for that park cleanup? Well, Primedia’s Most Verbable Player Award will supply grants allowing kids to do just that! More than 500 students have entered the contest with their big ideas in hopes of winning grants. We’ll be sure to share the ideas with you once they are collected.

In December, Shape and Redbook targeted Moms with customized VERB messages. 1,642 Shape readers entered the contest writing about how they have been positive role models to tweens—this is an awesome response rate! The winner will be announced in the April issue. Redbook hosted a sweepstakes for VERB parents, which was promoted online at The sweeps asked readers to write in describing a child’s healthy lifestyle. Looking forward to those results too!

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VERB Chatter

(VISUAL: Five tweens standing with their arms around each other.) The word around town about VERB has been positive among tweens and parents.

The children’s quotes gathered from focus groups exemplify how VERB has been able to connect with tweens. We also have seen this effect in our contest and promotions. One entrant in the YM contest concluded her essay by saying, “Life is so full of verbs, and I am using them all!” The Fit Family Fit Kids program has stirred quite a buzz among parents. We have received feedback from them inquiring how they “could get VERB” in their communities. Additionally, Moms have expressed how enthusiastic their children have been in responding to VERB: “Kids can’t wait for the next VERB ad.”

“It’s good, trying to get people to go out and try more stuff. Go out and play and be more active. Do more things. It’s like a movement!”

“It’s like what you are doing; it doesn’t matter but you always have to try. You can always do verbs and play…”

“Pick any sport and do it. Pick a sport you like and start playing it and never get out of it.”

“I have seen other VERB ads. It’s always kids. Kids have their own special things they are good at… All of the VERB things make me want to keep going. VERB supports me. Be a kid, live, exercise.”

“It makes me feel good because I see the people that accomplish big things and it tells me to boost my confidence up to do big things.”

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Fast Forward

Keep your eyes peeled for the VERB-worthy opportunities:

(VISUAL: Apolo Ohno.) Hot, new TV spots debuting Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno in “Race” and the NBAs Orlando Magic’s Tracy McGrady in “Bounce.”

Stay tuned to the Gruner & Jahr program for the fourth month of updates on the families’ progress.

In February, the Wild & Crazy Kids tour picks up again in Miami (2/12), with the help of local ambassador Ralph Leon and Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning. In Green Bay (2/20), football star Nate Wayne helps out on the tour. We’ll be sure to keep you updated with the other cities.

The tracking study is underway with two months of data, and the early assessments show that tweens love the VERB ads! We will issue a full report in February to keep you updated!

This publication is produced by the Publicis Groupe.

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Page last reviewed: August 1, 2007
Page last modified: August 1, 2007
Content source: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Adolescent and School Health 

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