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Classroom PSAs Highlight Broadband Assets

Cable in the Classroom has produced a pair of new 30-second public service announcements, highlighting the suite of educational tools the cable industry has made available to help teachers and parents improve student learning.

The spots are the first from the industry's education foundation in two years, and reflect a new direction.

"These spots speak to what cable has done and can do," CIC director Peggy O'Brien said. "They are less self-congratulatory to the industry than in the past. What the industry has done already speaks much better to its credibility and integrity to support education."

Funded by Comcast Corp., the creative was developed by Philadelphia-based shop Hammerhead & Whizbang. They're designed to alert parents, teachers and students about cable broadband's educational power, appeal and ease of use.

One, titled "What Does It Take to Keep Up With The Mind of an Eight-Year-Old?" cites as a source for fresh, fast and ingenious tools that bridge educational gaps, engage students and expand learning.

The other, "What Learning Is Meant to Be," encourages students to explore opportunities beyond the classroom, pointing to experiences and acumen that can be gained from a field of daisies and waiting on the school lunch line, to visiting a Shakespeare site on the Web.

The commercials have been produced generically, and can be tagged by operators and networks. They're now available in the member section of the organization's Web site. Copies of the tapes are also being mailed to members. Complementary and complimentary print ads are available for placement in local publications.

CIC is also making the PSAs available in Spanish for the first time.

"One of the affiliates in the Southwest asked about it," O'Brien said. "Given the importance of that community, it's really something we should have initiated ourselves."

Overall, O'Brien said cable is making a concerted effort to run the PSAs in the months ahead.

Comcast has committed to airing $1 million worth of spots during the next two quarters, while Cox is digitally inserting the spots on its national feed. Also, Cox systems can use the spots with local feeds, CIC spokeswoman Carol Vernon said.

Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks also plan schedules.

Among programmers, Discovery Communications Inc., A&E Networks and ESPN are on board to air the latest spots.

"The spots are evergreen. We'd like to see them run in the fourth-quarter, but we recognize that's such a key period for advertising," said O'Brien. "We expect they will also be used early next year."

CIC also wants to provide MSOs and networks flexibility. "The idea is that the spots also can run when our members want to support their own initiatives. They're meant to be positive reinforcement," O'Brien said.