[01/11/05 - 12:00 AM]
Cartoon Network Animates Psas to Encourage and Empower Young People to Aid Asia's Tsunami Victims

[via press release from Cartoon Network]

Cartoon Network Animates PSAs to Encourage and Empower Young People to Aid Asia�s Tsunami Victims

Global Kids Channel Covering 160 Countries to Produce Original PSA Series to Accompany Supertramp�s �Give A Little Bit,� Sung by Five for Fighting�s John Ondrasik, Multi-Platinum Recording Artist Clay Aiken and Grammy Award-winning Singer-Songwriter India.Arie

Kids to be Directed to www.KidsHelpOut.org to Learn of Worldwide Relief Efforts by UNICEF and How They Can Offer Support

Cartoon Network is committing its significant worldwide media resources and communication power with kids to create an integrated PSA program to inspire young people to learn how they can join in supporting global efforts to provide relief to the millions of tsunami victims�more than one-third of which are children.

Favorite characters from its vast animation studios will be featured in a musical salute set against Give a Little Bit, the classic anthem by Roger Hodgson, formerly of Supertramp. Five for Fighting�s John Ondrasik and UNICEF Ambassadors Clay Aiken and India.Arie each will sing an all-new recording of the popular tune produced and arranged by John Fields, who produces such artists as Mandy Moore, Semisonic, Andrew W.K. and Dovetail Joint. Viewers will be directed to visit an independent Website designed specifically for this campaign, www.kidshelpout.org, which will highlight the positive impact of the tsunami relief efforts. The site will also direct them to UNICEF for further information, to make contributions and to learn how even kids can make a difference regardless of their ability to donate. The campaign will begin airing domestically on Friday, Jan. 14, and internationally shortly thereafter.

�Children around the world have certainly seen or heard reports of the tsunami�s devastation, but may not yet have a clear understanding of what is being done across the globe to assist in the recovery efforts,� said Charles J. Lyons, president, U.S. Fund for UNICEF. �We�re extremely pleased to see one of the world�s top children�s networks respond quickly by showing kids the positive impact of the relief efforts and to empower them with ways to join in this global mission.�

�What has struck me most about this monumental disaster is that the children of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and other Asian countries within the region were both initially and still remain the single group most affected by the impact and aftermath of the Dec. 26 tsunami,� said Jim Samples, executive vice president and general manager, Cartoon Network Worldwide. �We wanted to communicate appropriately to our young audience the positive aspects of the global relief effort now underway. Kids, too, can play an active role in meeting this challenge.�

�Give a Little Bit was among the first songs we thought of that ideally fit the message we wanted to convey to kids around the world,� said Sam Register, senior vice president, original animation for Cartoon Network. �Its lyric �there�s so much that we need to share, so send a smile and show you care� was a natural fit for what kids need to hear. When we called to see if we could secure the rights to use the song, Roger Hodgson of Supertramp, the song�s composer, immediately gave not only his permission for the song, but offered to perform and record a message to kids that we can use on the Website. It was truly overwhelming to receive such a quick and personal response, and it allowed us to move straight away into production.�

Cartoon Network reaches more than 170 million households around the world in 160 countries and 17 languages. The on-air PSA spots will be distributed to each of Cartoon Network�s and Boomerang�s domestic and international channels. The on-air and online campaign is scheduled to run for at least four to six weeks, and will be amended as the relief efforts progress. The PSAs were created by the Cartoon Network on-air department under the leadership of Pete Johnson.

As the campaign progresses, different versions of the PSA will begin running featuring additional well-known recording artists singing the Give a Little Bit anthem. Each spot will be set to a different arrangement of the song�pop, hip-hop, etc.�to keep the message fresh, interesting and relevant. John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting (100 Years, Superman), already an active supporter of tsunami relief efforts, is among the first to record his version of the PSA. Both Clay Aiken and India.Arie (11 time Grammy nominee�Acoustic Soul and Voyage To India) also have laid down their own versions of the uplifting tune. Additional artists are currently being confirmed. Limited commentary from live-action talent also will be added to the PSA over the next several weeks. And finally, Roger Hodgson (It�s Raining Again) will present a new recording of Give a Little Bit featuring an 80-piece orchestra and choir.

Founded in 1946, UNICEF helps save, protect and improve the lives of children around the world through immunization, education, health care, nutrition, clean water, and sanitation. UNICEF is non-partisan and its cooperation is free of discrimination. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children and the countries in greatest need have priority. To make a donation or learn more about UNICEF please call 1-800-4UNICEF or go to www.unicefusa.org.

Cartoon Network, currently seen in 87.1 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.�s 24-hour, ad-supported cable service offering the best in animated entertainment.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.

  [january 2005]  

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