VERB The Latest Word
February 2004/March 2004 Issue
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This is the eighth 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…
(USA Today & CBS Early Show logos) VERB results hit a home run with
national media! On Tuesday, February 17, USA Today launched the
groundbreaking results of the first year of the VERB campaign with a lead brief
in the Life section. Following the top daily newspaper article, Dr. Julie
Gerberding, CDC Director, announced the impressive findings on the top rated
morning program CBS Early Show with a four-minute live segment.
The article and interview reached more than 10 million people.
(CNN logo) More than 130 television stations nationwide ran information about
the VERB results, including top cable network CNN and two of the three
top NBC stations nationwide – WMAQ in Chicago and KNBC in Los
Angeles. Articles also ran on the Associated Press, Reuters, and UPI
wire services reaching more than 2,700 newspapers nationwide.
On Wednesday, February 18, results coverage was extremely impressive. We
conducted 22 live and taped television interviews; top placements included
CBS in Washington, DC; NBC in Los Angeles; ABC in Denver,
Colorado; and FOX in St. Louis, Missouri.
To date, VERB placements have generated more than 69.5 million publicity
impressions. We expect additional coverage in publications such as Scholastic,
Good Housekeeping, and Child Magazine.
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IMPACT TO DATE: 17,479,624
Added Value: 623,500
VERB has touched over 17 million children and parents to date.
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Houston: The Asian American and African American markets hosted their
second VERB Partner Summit in Houston on February 18. Local community
organizations and media attended. Community influencers Sherea Mckenzie
(Executive Director of the Mayor’s Joint CityCounty Commission on Children),
Shannon Bishop (Director of Cooperative for After-School Enrichment of Harris
County Dept. of Education) and Rogene Gee Calvert (Chief of Staff from Council
Member Quan’s Office) are just a few leaders that were present to speak about
the importance of physical activity.
Miami: On March 7, VERB participated in one of Miami’s annual
festivals, Sun Day on the Mile. Several local community-based organizations,
including the Boys and Girls Club, the Coral Gables Youth Program and the
Miami-Dade Police Department, helped create a VERB Activity Fair. Kids
participated in fun activities while their parents received information about
the importance of their children being physically active. About 5,000 Hispanic
families interacted with VERB over the course of the entire day.
Los Angeles: VERB participated in the Jam Session during the NBA
All-Stars Weekend in Los Angeles. For four days, tweens got to test their
basketball skills at the VERB Challenge while their parents received important
information about keeping their kids physically active. All in all, it was a
huge success. Hoop it up, y’all!
Miami & Houston: To help generate excitement about the impressive
evaluation results announcing that VERB is working, Hispanic kids from the
Cossaboom YMCA (Houston) and International Jose Marti YMCA (Miami) gathered to
celebrate by hosting a VERB Activity Fair. Kids had the chance to participate in
a variety of activities including soccer, dodgeball, jump rope and basketball.
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January and February radio placements exceeded expectations! The radio news
release, which included a sound bite from Dr. Janet Collins offering ideas on
how parents can motivate their children to become physically active, aired on
2,300 stations nationwide, reaching nearly 18 million households. The ad was
aired on the syndicated radio networks USA Radio, Family Life Radio and Voice
Overall VERB publicity is rapidly increasing each month. To date, we have
generated more than 716 million publicity impressions and reached more than 40
million households through broadcast placements. General top placements of the
month included the Chicago Tribune (Circ.: 1,016,471), Dallas Morning
News (Circ.: 596,616) and the San Jose Mercury News (Circ.: 276,787).
For one week, beginning the end of January, six kids each day were awarded
autographed trading cards and footballs by entering the NFL sweepstakes
on VERBnow.com. The sweepstakes generated a 20% increase in registrations for My
During February and March, kids who record their activities on VERBnow.com
will have the chance to win cool prizes as part of an NHL sweepstakes.
Over the 21-day sweepstakes, VERB and the NHL will award prizes to one lucky
winner each day. Prizes include NHL jerseys, hats, and autographed pucks.
The VERB and NHL partnership goes beyond the Web! All-Star goalie Marty Turco
of the Dallas Stars will appeared at a press conference and an NHL Street Hockey
skills clinic on March 2, 2004.
(VERB Recorder logo) The number of kids visiting VERBnow.com continues
to grow! As of mid February, more than 70,000 kids have registered to keep track
of their activities on My VERB Recorder — a number that exceeds the
original goal by about 40%.
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VERB on the Move
(Channel One logo)
As Phase II comes to a close, so does one of the most successful activation
programs VERB has seen to date. VERB partnered with the in-school TV network,
Channel One, to activate 45,000 tweens from 60 different schools in the
weekly, pedometer contest known as Make Every Move Count. Channel One
created and ran promotional spots in support of the contest, using Krystal
Greene, a Channel One anchor, as the spokesperson and reaching 3,200,000
students. Out of the thousands of entries received, 10 schools were selected
each month to participate in the challenge from October through March. Each
month the 10 selected schools received kits filled with pedometers, tracking
posters, school banners and teacher and student guides. The participating
schools hailed from as far west as the Centennial Middle School in Spokane,
Washington, to as far east as the Ingomar Middle School in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania. Each of the winning schools "stepped" more than 2 miles per day by
playing soccer, basketball and Frisbee, as well as jumping rope, climbing indoor
walls and training seeing eye dogs. One school even created an after-school
walking club to increase its total tally of steps. By week's end during each
month, the school with the most steps won a VERB Action Pack, which contained
$1500 worth of athletic equipment; within each school, the class with the
highest number of steps won $10 gift certificates to local sporting goods
stores. Also, the participating and winning schools detailed their progress in
two updates per month throughout the course of the contest. Lastly, the contest
generated a good deal of local publicity on TV and in the newspapers. By
consistently activating 45,000 students and creating a buzz about the Make Every
Move Count contest, the program was an amazing success for VERB!
(Time For Kids logo)
VERB partnered with Time For Kids to create a custom publication for
2,200,000 students in grades four through six. The publication consisted of a
Tracker, tips and games on getting active as well as a sweepstakes. The grand
prize winner of the sweepstakes was awarded a bike and safety gear, a donation
of $2,000 worth of sporting equipment to her school, and her picture online as a
VERB All Star. There were 15 first-prize winners who received bikes and
protective gear, and ten second-prize winners of gift certificates to sporting
goods stores. Accompanying the custom publication was a teacher's guide on VERB,
to use in their classrooms. By continuing to activate tweens and influencing the
Influencers, the Time For Kids publication was a successful addition to the
Phase II media plan.
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This February, Nickelodeon aired the custom-created VERB PSA featuring
the tap dancing skills of Lisa from Nickelodeon's sketch-comedy series All
That. The PSA was on-air for 3 weeks.
Be sure to catch the final VERB Movie Night, at 8 p.m. March 24, on the
Disney Channel. The movie, "Going to The Mat," is an inspirational tale of a
blind wrestler who overcomes his disability and helps lead his team to the
championships. Look out for the VERB tickers, which will run during
active-oriented scenes and direct tweens to get active.
Stay tuned for the third Disney PSA featuring Raven Symone, star of
the hit show “That's So Raven.” The spot, which has the same eccentric feel of
the show, highlights the vital role that physical activity plays in providing
Raven with enough energy to perform each week.
The two winners of the VERB “Move It to Groove It” contest with YM
have been announced! Contestants submitted an essay to YM explaining
their future plans or their current activities that motivate others to get
active, and competed for the chance to win a video dance party at their school.
VERB and YM will be visiting the schools of the two lucky winners this
March and will get kids moving and grooving! Be sure to check out next month’s
newsletter to see photos from the event.
The Fit Family Fit Kids program has been so successful that it is also going
to be executed in the Hispanic community. The Telemundo television network and
VISTA magazine are helping to bring the Spanish program, Niños Activos,
Familias Sanas, to life this spring. Keep on the lookout and ponte las
This publication is produced by the Publicis Groupe. (Image: Publicis Groupe
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The Fit Family Fit Kids program with Gruner and Jahr will conclude
this March. For the past 6 months, we have followed the lives of 4 families: The
Kenyons, The Newmans, The Terans and The Comeauxes.
A fitness expert was hired to work with each family and we have tracked their
progress with respect to getting more active. It's amazing how much more
activity they have included in their lives. The families have also learned that
being active is fun!
(Photos of the 4 families)
The program to date has been very successful from a Web-traffic perspective
as well. In only 4 months, we achieved the same level of Web traffic as was
achieved in more than seven months in phase I. The average time spent with the
Web site has increased 50%, from 1:50 to 3:00! Can't wait to see how the next 2
In addition, we will distribute two news stories nationwide covering the
success of these families. We will distribute the first one in April and the
second one in June to coincide with the kick-off of summer.
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* Links to non-Federal organizations are provided
solely as a service to our users. Links do not constitute an endorsement of any
organization by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. The
CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages
found at these links.
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