Mattel Interactive, the computer games arm of the toy company
behind Barbie and Fisher Price, is embarking on a cause-related
marketing programme to promote physical education.
The pounds 6.5m initiative, called Kids for Life 2000, involves Mattel
mailing more than 22,000 schools with a pack featuring its ’Reader
Rabbit’ character in an interactive CD-ROM.
The mailing is ultimately designed to drive awareness and sales of
Mattel Interactive children’s products, while promoting physical
education for children.
It encourages children to get involved in a month-long campaign, to run
in June, to improve their fitness. The campaign has been developed by
Kids for Life, an organisation which runs children’s activity centres
across the UK. Kids for Life produced the mailpack in-house.
The activity has received government backing, including encouragement
from Minister for Sport, Kate Hoey, as the programme helps children
fulfil part of the National Curriculum.
The Kids for Life project follows recent reports that as many as 20% of
four-year-old children are overweight and one in ten are obese (European
Physical Education Association).
Graeme Forrest, education marketing manager at Mattel Interactive, said:
’As is the case with developing computer skills, physical activity is an
important part of every child’s development.’
A promotion with Legoland Windsor has been added to the mailpack to
further incentivise schools to become involved in the project.
Participating schools can visit the theme park at a discount rate.
Mattel already produces Barbie, Sesame Street, and Rugrats-branded
interactive products, as well as interactive titles for PCs, Nintendo,
Sony and Sega.