Television

Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids & Family Group launch online community ParentsConnect.com

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MUMBAI: Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group have launched ParentsConnect.com exclusively for parents and caregivers of kids of all ages. ParentsConnect is a new online community that will connect parents to each other and to the advice they seek in an easy-to-use format. The announcement was made by Cyma Zarghami, president of Nickelodeon and Head of MTVN Kids and Family Group.

"The first generation of 'Nick kids' are now having families of their own. They know and trust us, and we want to serve them as parents just as we served them as kids," said Zarghami. "ParentsConnect puts parents in touch with the real parenting experts-each other."

With many personalized features, ParentsConnect enables users to search for parent-to-parent advice and activities by their kids' ages and stages, city/location and personal interests. Each parent can develop a customized home page that updates dynamically each visit with local activities, relevant news, discussion postings and more. Parents can also use discussion boards to connect with each other and share parenting advice, experiences or laughs, informs an official release.

"This is another step in our company's online strategy to super-serve passionate, targeted audiences ... in this case, parents ... with engaging and immersive new experiences," said MTV Networks chairman and CEO Judy McGrath. "You connect to people and information that really speak to parenthood and family, with Nickelodeon's personality and humour."

The ParentsConnect communities are led by Host Parents, a team of 20 trained moderators who are actual parents, chosen for their backgrounds, life experiences and writing abilities. Each Host Parent will provide member parents with assistance in using the site, maintain a personal blog, and recommend articles or links to useful information. In addition, ParentsConnect members may set up their own blogs and profile pages, as well as search member profiles and recommend articles or links to information they consider useful to other parents. The GoCityKids website, recently acquired by Nickelodeon, will be also be featured on ParentsConnect as the online guide to local family destinations, activities and events.

"We designed ParentsConnect to be the most useful parenting site," said NickJr.com and ParentsConnect general manager Kyra Reppen. "With distinct features such as localized content through GoCityKids, the ability for members to build their own customized home pages and choose only what's relevant to them, and advice that comes from real parents with first-hand experience, rather than professionals, ParentsConnect is truly unique."

ParentsConnect's public beta launches with an online advertising campaign and charter sponsorships from marketers such as Nissan North America. The ParentsConnect site will feature display advertising as well as contextual, integrated and direct marketing opportunities, developed and sponsored by various marketers. OMD handled the media buying and planning for the Nissan/ParentsConnect deal, states the release.

Nissan vice president marketing Jan Thompson said, "Through our partnership with ParentsConnect, we're excited to associate ourselves with content that has a high level of engagement for our consumers. We also hope to reach parents who are early adopters and will identify with Nissan's forward-thinking technology and design of its products."

In fourth quarter 2006, ParentsConnect will launch ParentsConnect TV which will have broadband video with user submitted content. It will also roll out local discussion boards, user- created polls and clubs, newsletters based on specific community interests, from recipes to travel, as well as enhanced social networking features.

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