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Cartoon, ConAgra Push Promo Deal

Cartoon Network has signed ConAgra Foods, a first-time promotional partner, in a deal that extends to spring 2003.

ConAgra is currently touting its Chef Boyardee brand and will initiate another promotion for its Kid Cuisine line in January, according to Cartoon Network senior vice president of promotions marketing Phyllis Ehrlich.

"ConAgra's brands are totally integrated with our characters in the spots that will run on the network," rather than just tagged, said Ehrlich, who declined to estimate the dollar value of the food client's promotional pact.

To that end, Chef Boyardee's recently launched "Cartoon Food Bash 2002" incorporates eight characters from several shows, including Johnny Bravo, Samurai Jack
and Ed, Edd & Eddy.
A 30-second spot aims to drive youngsters to Chef Boyardee cans for instant-win opportunities. The new deal also includes online, print and on-package elements.

This instant-win contest, with opportunities on 22 million Chef Boyardee cans, offers a "food bash" party for 50 friends, featuring costumed characters and Chef Boyardee products. Lesser prizes range from a Powerpuff Girls
guitar to Samurai Jack

In addition, there's a Food Bash mini-site on Cartoon's Web site, with a link to Chef Boyardee's site. Codes on Chef Boyardee cans also enable kids to collect digital Food Bash trading cards and trade them on Cartoon Orbit, the Cartoon site's online trading community.

Kid cuisine interplay

While the print phase of the Chef Boyardee campaign involves a buy with owned DC Comics — which, like Cartoon, is owned by AOL Time Warner inc. — the Kid Cuisine effort will be trumpeted in a free-standing Sunday newspaper ad insert.

The insert, to reach 22 million homes in February, will carry a coupon for Scholastic Books, whose newest storybook, Samurai Jack, will include an ad for the "Super Power vs. Brain Power" promotion.

The four-month Super Power vs. Brain Power Kid Cuisine promo will feature Cartoon's Dexter's Laboratory
and Powerpuff Girls. On Cartoon's Web site, kids will be asked to vote in a "Cartoon Cook-Off" between those characters.

Cartoon worked out the deal with Bonnie Carlson, vice president of integrated marketing at ConAgra, which had previously purchased time on the animated channel, as well as the company's promotional agencies, The Wonder Group and The Frankel Group.

Donimo's tops TBS block

Sister network TBS Superstation also has food on its mind. It recently signed Domino's Pizza as the exclusive fourth-quarter promotional sponsor of its "Non-Stop Comedy Block," comprising episodes of Friends, The Drew Carey Show, Home Improvement
and Seinfeld
weeknights from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Procter & Gamble Co. has signed on as the block's first-quarter sponsor, with PepsiCo stepping in for the second quarter, according to TBS senior vice president and general sales manager Linda Yaccarino. Decisions regarding which brand or brands will be highlighted will be made in early December, she added.

The current Domino's buy includes sponsored "trivia bits," as well as interstitials that air during the breaks between shows. The Comedy Block's on-air presentation includes a representation of a neighborhood street, with storefront windows displaying the interstitials.

The Domino's logo also appears in a similar graphic on the Comedy Block area of the TBS Web site, promoting the pizza maker's new Buffalo Chicken Kickers — a product it's also promoting on TV.