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Paramount Global’s Nickelodeon has unveiled the U.S. launch of Our World, a global initiative “to inspire kids and provide them with tools to activate their individual and collective agency” and instill a belief that they can make a difference.
Nickelodeon is teaming up with a coalition of partners to “mobilize organizations globally and bring resources and best practices to kid-driven opportunities that allow them to take action.” The Our World campaign will run across the brand’s linear, digital and social platforms and will also be supported across various Paramount Global divisions. The initiative will launch in the U.K. and Mexico later this year, followed by rollouts in additional markets through 2024.
“With Our World, Nickelodeon is building on its longstanding prosocial legacy and community relationships, harnessing the power of the brand’s iconic franchises and global ecosystem, as well as the expertise of our coalition of partners to upskill, uplift and empower kids around the world,” said Marva Smalls, executive vp, public affairs at Nickelodeon and executive vp, global head of inclusion at Paramount. “Through this initiative, we will provide accessible pathways to encourage kids to take action, no matter how small, and inspire them to believe they can make a difference.”
Our World follows a 2022 study conducted by Nickelodeon, in which it spoke to more than 800 kids, aged 8-13. “Their responses provided an incisive look at a generation of kids facing unprecedented, complex challenges that are taking a toll, both emotionally and mentally,” the company said. For example, asked if they felt they could effect change, 46 percent of kids said no.
“Our World is built on the principle that nourishing kids’ relentless optimism and joyful creativity is needed now more than ever,” Nickelodeon said, highlighting the campaign’s focus on the “healthy development of youth agency as a key component to a successful childhood.” It will include a digital destination that allows kids and caregivers to link to activities and partner organizations with additional resources. Nickelodeon also vowed to “amplify kids’ experiences, telling their stories across its global ecosystem of platforms,” as well as sharing proprietary research on the topic of youth agency with youth-serving organizations.
The new campaign marks a new phase for Nickelodeon, which has developed a reputation for addressing social issues. For example, the brand has encouraged kids to be agents of change through The Big Help; encouraging them to get active through the Let’s Just Play grants program and Worldwide Day of Play; educating kids about the electoral process and its significance through Kids Pick the President; showcasing tangible steps kids can take to help the environment through The Big Green Help; celebrating kids and teens who are going above and beyond to help others through the Nickelodeon HALO Awards; or preparing preschoolers for Kindergarten through Beyond the Backpack, Nickelodeon has inspired millions of kids across the globe to take action to improve their communities, their lives and the world around them.
“By teaming up with a diversity of partners, Nickelodeon can be a catalyst to empower kids to meet the issues facing them,” Smalls told The Hollywood Reporter. “We have done so successfully for more than 40 years with long-term initiatives like Nick Helps to address support for kids and families during COVID; Worldwide Day of Play; a decades-long community program to address the importance of play; to Kids Pick the President by giving kids a voice and vote; to our Talk & Take Action Guides to address hate, racism and anti-Semitism. As a result, kids and families expect Nickelodeon to invest in kid-led movements and when we build it, our nonprofit and business partners want to come.”
Nickelodeon described its partners in the initiative as “an alliance of pioneers in community-driven social innovation” that will help it “work to drive systemic change to ensure that every kid grows up knowing they are powerful enough to create change.”
Here is a closer look at Nickelodeon’s launch partners for Our World:
Cooperative Extension’s 4-H
The youth development organization already looks to empower nearly 6 million young people through mentorship and programming in areas like STEM, healthy living, agriculture, the arts as well civic engagement. “Nickelodeon and 4-H are committed to providing kids with learning opportunities that ignite positive change in their communities and beyond,” the company said.
With the goal of making “Everyone a Changemaker,” the organization has supported more than 3,800 social innovators in 95 countries and worked with 500,000 youths.
Association of Children’s Museums
The ACM champions children’s museums and has more than 470 members across the U.S. and in 16 countries, leveraging collective knowledge. “Throughout 2023 and into 2024, ACM will partner with Nickelodeon’s Our World to offer resources to parents and caregivers, in addition to providing thought leadership as part of the initiative’s coalition of partners,” the partners said.
The grassroots movement works to make “proven innovations and grant finance accessible to everyone, everywhere,” according to a description of its work. “Its community engagement platform is designed to get funding and resources directly into the hands of everyday people to lead impactful projects in their neighborhoods.” The brands partnered last fall to empower more than 20 teams of young activists and changemakers in Atlanta and Los Angeles to start community projects.
The Aspen Institute
The nonprofit organization that promotes social entrepreneurship by connecting and supporting individual social entrepreneurs has already worked with Our World to develop a guidebook to help parents and their kids take action in their communities and will co-create additional community guides related to sports.
“At Nickelodeon, we see initiatives that promote social good as our responsibility and our opportunity to extend beyond our platforms to connect with causes and issues that concern a better life and world for kids,” Smalls explained to THR. “Millions of kids around the world live in communities where access to critical skill-building and experiential learning is limited.” Concluded the executive: “We are helping to grow a generation that wants to make a difference, and we will all be better for it.”
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