Nickelodeon Channel Going Dark


TV BlackAt noon this Saturday Nickelodeon will turn off all their programming and go completely dark (link to AP story). The three hours of dead air is part of its fourth annual worldwide day of play, an encouragement to kids to get outside and work on getting in shape.

A few quick thoughts:

  1. Sometimes the greatest way to get noticed is to create a vacuum. A moment of silence, a limited edition product, or taking a leave of absence. In show business this strategy is called “leave them wanting more.” In business it’s called “supply and demand.”
  2. Maybe you’re an adult and could care less about Nickelodeon going dark. What if it was CNN or ESPN going dark for 3 hours? Most people would notice and you can bet you’d hear about it at your office or from a friend. This is the youth equivalent and it will be highly noticed.
  3. Sure this is all for a great cause and helps kids think about life outside of watching TV and playing instead. But Nickelodeon is also getting a tremendous amount of favorable PR from this. It’s being covered on TV, radio, internet news sites and blogs like this one. The favorable PR reaches far beyond the affected demographic.
  4. I think what Nickelodeon is doing this Saturday is admirable and won’t go unnoticed. However, at the risk of sounding like a cynic, it’s just too easy for kids to switch over to another channel when Nickelodeon goes dark.

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