As the entertainment industry continues to focus on convergence, Cartoon Network and Cartoon Network Online announce four Total Immersion Cartoon events for 2001. Total Immersion Cartoon events partner the television and the online worlds, giving kids opportunities to explore and interact with their favorite characters. The events also empower kids, allowing them some input into the direction of the network. The four events scheduled for 2001 are:
- Powerpuff Popularity Contest March 19-25, 2001
- The Big Pick II August 24-26, 2001
- Toonami: Lockdown September 17-21, 2001
- Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? October, 2001 (Every Saturday)
Each of these events will present unique opportunities for viewers to interact with the characters and the network. For example, viewers become programmers during The Big Pick II, when they determine what new show will be seen on Cartoon Network. One lucky winner will be named "Cartoon Network Executive for a Day" and program the network with all of their favorite Cartoon Network shows. In another event, viewers put themselves in Scooby-Doo's paws, with a chance to win a trip to the haunted places Scooby and his crew investigate in the October episodes.
Cartoon Network launched the Total Immersion Cartoon initiative in 2000. The first Total Immersion Cartoon event, Toonami: The Intruder, was a five-part on-air story that aired during Cartoon Network's afternoon action-adventure block and was augmented by exclusive online content available at Toonami.com. The result was a huge success for Cartoon Network, posting considerable increases from the previous year in several key demographics, including a 50 percent increase in viewers ages 9-14. Toonami.com's traffic was up 72 percent from the previous week, with more than 4.5 million page views for the week. Cartoon Network partnered with Nintendo to present the event.
"We proved the power of the Total Immersion Cartoon concept during The Intruder," said Jim Samples, General Manager of Cartoon Network Online. "Not only did we see our on-air ratings go up, but our online traffic also increased dramatically. When kids fall in love with a character or a show, identification runs deep, so it's not enough just to watch the show, these kids really want to take part in the action. These events help them do that."
Brief descriptions of the four Total Immersion events planned for 2001 follow.
- Powerpuff Popularity Contest March 19-25, 2001
Bubbles? Blossom? Buttercup? Who is the favorite Powerpuff Girl? Viewers will be able to voice their opinion through the Powerpuff Popularity Contest. Online and by phone, fans will be able to vote 24-hours a day during this six-day Total Immersion Cartoon event sponsored by Milk. The Girls will be featured on the Web site, where users can learn what makes each of the characters special, as well as play a brand new Powerpuff Girls game. The winner will be announced during a Powerpuff Girls marathon on Sunday, March 25, from 12 p.m. 7 p.m. (ET, PT).
- The Big Pick II Aug. 24-26, 2001
During The Big Pick II, kids will choose what they want to see on Cartoon Network. Throughout the summer of 2001, Cartoon Network will premiere 11 new shorts on Cartoon Cartoon Fridays one each week. Then, one of these shorts will be selected by viewers as the newest Cartoon Cartoon series for the fall of 2002. Voting will begin by phone during Cartoon Cartoon Weekend (Aug. 24-26), when the network airs every pilot episode again. Clips of the shorts will also be available online, where viewers will be able to vote beginning Friday, Aug. 17. The winning short will be announced on Sunday, Aug. 26. In addition, just for voting, participants have the chance to win one of hundreds of prizes. One Grand Prize will be awarded the chance to be Cartoon Network's "Executive for a Day" and program the network with all of their favorite Cartoon Network shows.
- Toonami: Lockdown Sept. 17-21, 2001
During Toonami: Lockdown, Toonami fans will have the chance to once again save Tom, the host of Toonami, and his ship, Absolution, from certain destruction. Viewers must tune into Toonami every day to retrieve codes that will then help them advance through an online game to help save Tom. In addition, Toonami.com will contain exclusive information about the show that can only be accessed online, such as ship blueprints and background information. In an effort to build the community aspect of Toonami, online players will be divided into three teams. An individual's score will be added at the end of each day to the team score, which will be posted online. Registrants will have the opportunity to win one of several prizes.
- Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? Oct., 2001 (Every Saturday)
Scooby-Doo is the top dog when it comes to haunted adventures, which make this Total Immersion Cartoon event appropriate for the month of October. Every Saturday in October, Cartoon Network will present a Scooby-Doo Halloween double feature, leading up to a 24-hour Scooby-Doo Movie Marathon on Halloween. Viewers watch for 'clues' during each segment and then log onto CartoonNetwork.com to unlock secret games, icons, sound effects and more. Finding each evening's clues makes users eligible to win a haunted trip to that night's movie location.
Cartoon Network, currently seen in 70 million U.S. homes and 145 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.'s 24-hour, ad-supported 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 Sheep in the Big City, 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. Cartoon Network's Web site is located at http://CartoonNetwork.com.
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.
Amy Phillips (Atlanta) (404) 885-2351 5025
Courtenay Purcell (Los Angeles) (310) 788-6903 5025