Since its launch in October, more than 300,000 users have joined Cartoon Orbit, CartoonNetwork.com's secure online community for kids. Averaging 20,000 new Orbiters per week, traffic has steadily increased as the site has transitioned from beta-testing mode to a fully functional Web site. Creators attribute the growth to several factors: increased awareness of Cartoon Orbit through on-channel and off-channel promotions, including a recent collaboration with Kellogg's; added functionality; and, most importantly, kids' desire to interact with their favorite cartoon characters and other cartoon fans.
"We've had really positive feedback from the kids as well as their parents," said Jim Samples, general manager of Cartoon Network Online. "It's a fun and safe way for kids to have their own experience of the Internet. Cartoon Orbit is also a great vehicle for on- and off-channel tie-ins."
On-air promotions of Cartoon Orbit have had dramatic results. Each Friday, during Cartoon Network's Cartoon Cartoon Fridays telecast, a secret code appears on the screen. Viewers can then log onto Cartoon Orbit and use the secret code to add a special, limited edition cToon (the site's online trading cards) to their cZone. In the first three weeks of the program, hits on Cartoon Orbit increased by 120 percent as viewers logged on to claim their free cToons.
The cToon has appeared off channel, as well. The new Powerpuff Girls Cereal by Kellogg's contains a secret code that drives consumers to www.eetandern.com, a Kellogg's Web site where kids can earn points towards various prizes. By entering codes found on the Powerpuff Girls Cereal, kids can discover the animated conclusion to a Powerpuff Girls adventure presented on the box, as well as earn cToons of each of the Powerpuff Girls.
"This is a perfect example of how we can make Cartoon Network's online popularity work to drive sales for our sponsors," said Samples
Recent enhancements in the site have improved navigation. The most notable of these being the 'Who's Here' button. Users are now able to see who else is logged onto Cartoon Orbit to facilitate trades, chat, or just to comment on each other's cZones.
"The community aspect of Cartoon Orbit is very important," said Jim Samples. "Kids can get involved in the trading of their favorite characters while meeting other Orbiters. It gives the site a very personal feel. We'll continue to add new surprises and enhancements to keep Orbiters coming back."
To date, more than 2 million cToons have been posted to kids' accounts through Cartoon Orbit. Capitalizing on kids' love of collecting and trading, Cartoon Orbit combines the world's largest animation library with the interactivity of the Internet to let kids build their own personalized cartoon worlds. Kids are able to collect and trade their favorite characters and chat with other members of the Cartoon Orbit community in a kid-friendly environment.
CartoonNetwork.com is the Internet's top destination for online animation. With more than 100 million page views per month, CartoonNetwork.com is consistently one of the most visited entertainment Web sites where users can interact with all of their favorite Cartoon Network characters. Some of the more popular features include individual character homepages, games and Web Premiere Toons, CartoonNetwork.com's original animation shorts. The site recently added Cartoon Orbit, a secure online community where fans can buy, sell and trade their favorite characters with CartoonNetwork.com's online trading card, the cToon.
Cartoon Network, currently seen in more than 70 million U.S. homes and 145 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.'s 24-hour, basic cable service offering the best in animated entertainment. Drawing from the world's largest cartoon library, Cartoon Network also showcases unique original ventures such as Courage the Cowardly Dog, Mike, Lu & Og, The Powerpuff Girls, Ed, Edd n Eddy, Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, Dexter's Laboratory and Cartoon Cartoons. Since its launch in 1992, Cartoon Network has remained one of ad-supported cable's highest-rated networks.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., an AOL 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.