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<I>Jimmy Neutron</I> Blasts To Class

9 May, 2002 By: Jessica Wolf


When kids are excited over the newest animated release, it's a great time to reel them in for some education, too.

At least, that's the idea behind Paramount Home Entertainment's “Science Is Fun” direct-response promotional campaign to support the July 2 release of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, according to VP of publicity Martin Blythe.

Paramount is sending out 30,000 Jimmy Neutron-themed resource kits for parents and teachers. The kits include a double-sided activity poster, Jimmy Neutron “Science Is Fun” stickers, an information sheet complete with a how-to list for making a home science kit and tips on educational Web sites, magazines and books.

As part of a suggested lesson plan, educators are asked to pose a list of 10 multiple-choice questions to their classes, like: “Have you ever looked through a microscope or a telescope?” and “Have you ever played with science at home?” (The survey then offers a list of science-related activities to choose from.)

Teachers are asked to tally the results from their classes and send them back to Paramount, which will then use the results as part of the street-date advertising in national magazines and newspapers, Blythe said.

The first 500 teachers to respond also get a free videocassette of the $80 million movie.Blythe said Paramount's Jimmy Neutron partner, Nickelodeon, mandated that promotions and publicity campaigns for the Academy Award-nominated animated movie include an educational element.

This particular promotion is near and dear to Blythe, who said he has hands-on experience in trying to get his own kids interested in science.

“We cannot forget that Jimmy Neutron is essentially a highly entertaining experience,” Blythe said. “But I wanted many parents who maybe hadn't seen the movie to understand that it has many more levels to it.

“The goal [with the campaign] is for kids to take their excitement from school and apply it at home, because many elementary-school-age kids are not thinking of science as something that's relevant to their lives,” he added.

Blythe said Paramount also is sponsoring regional invention contests in approximately 15 markets and is working with local science museums, children's museums and local TV stations to talk up science education -- specifically as it relates to robots, gadgets and rocketry.

“Kids have to understand they have to do things themselves,” Blythe said. “The great thing about Jimmy Neutron is it genuinely inspires kids to do things for themselves.”

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