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Nickelodeon And Starcom Ink Upfront Deal

Nickelodeon and Chicago-based media agency Starcom USA have inked a major upfront deal across all of the MTVN-owned network’s platforms including print, online and television.

The deal is based on quarter-hour program ratings. But the pact also includes several research initiatives to look at how children react to integrated marketing and online advertising as well as traditional television commercials.

“This deal provides customized research for understanding how kids are viewing advertising,” says Jackie Kulesza, VP/activation director for Starcom.

For instance, conventional wisdom might suggest that Nickelodeon’s target audience of 6 to 11-year-olds would not have the attention span to sit through commercials, but, says Kulesza, research shows that they're “more likely to watch ads because that’s how they get information about our products.”

The pact includes Nickelodeon and Nicktoons Network television, Video-on-Demand,, Neopets, Shockwave, AddictingGames and Nickelodeon Magazine. Starcom USA’s roster of clients includes Kraft, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and The Walt Disney Company.

With the bulk of upfront deals done on live-plus-three commercial ratings, this year’s market marks a major departure from previous seasons when rates were based on programs ratings without any DVR playback.

Starcom is among several media companies investing in research that yields ever more granular data.

“There’s a whole host of ways of being more precise in the commercial space,” says Chris Boothe, Starcom president/chief activation officer.

“I think that’s where everything is going.”