March 31 is the target date when the industry will know how marketers can use Sesame Street characters to promote fruits and vegetables.
A task force of licensing experts has been working on developing a tool kit with the Sesame Street Workshop, said Meg Miller, director of public relations for the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association.
“We are getting to a point where the tool kit is ready to be launched,” Miller said Feb. 19, during a visit to The Packer’s offices in Lenexa, Kan.
Sesame Workshop will have final approval, and Miller said there will be “brand standards” on using characters. Possibilities include a national promotion campaign, seasonal promotion campaigns and promotions designed for produce marketers, she said.
Last October, first lady Michelle Obama helped announce that Sesame Workshop and PMA joined the Partnership for a Healthier America in a two-year agreement to help promote fresh fruit and vegetable consumption to children. The agreement allows produce growers, suppliers and retailers to use the Sesame Street brand without a licensing fee. Some administrative costs apply, but the amount hasn’t been released.
Miller said PMA members and others in the industry are enthusiastic about the campaign, especially the buyers and suppliers on the marketing task force.
“We’ve got retailers on board, we’ve got grower-shippers on board,” she said. “Everybody is thinking about how they are going to adopt it to their business.
Miller said the campaign has the potential to cut through the advertising clutter and reach kids with a healthy message with the help of a powerful brand.
“Our industry is standing together with one voice,” she said. “This is going to be a great initiative for us.”