Sesame Street and Elmo Live On?

Elmo and Kevin Clash. Photo Courtesy of Bryan Bedder and Getty Images. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL
Elmo and Kevin Clash. Photo Courtesy of Bryan Bedder and Getty Images. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL
Elmo and Kevin Clash. Photo Courtesy of Bryan Bedder and Getty Images. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL

To the surprise of many who support and adore the Elmo character, Kevin Clash, the long time voice of the famous puppet, and his off-screen life placed some uncertainty over its fate. As of today, a third man, has come forward indicating he too had an inappropriate relationship with Clash when he was a teen. This accuser has also indicated he has a book that will be released soon that will discuss this period of time spent with Clash.

All of this reminds me of when Paul Reubens, aka Pee-Wee Herman, was arrested and CBS dropped his children’s show, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Paul’s career never rebounded from his child pornography scandal. In fact, one could say Reubens’ transgressions made it possible for people to take Clash’s with little surprise. Guilty or not, Clash will more than likely not re-enter the children’s entertainment scene. This incident has casted too big of a cloud over him that will more than likely prevent his career from flourishing again. The public seems to forgive and forget drunk driving, abuse and adultery, but sexual acts against a minor is etched in stone.

Sesame Street who originally stood by Clash even after the quick settlement with the first accuser, has managed to distance themselves from the man who brought in a considerable amount of money to the brand. With the resignation of Clash, Sesame Street has continued to move forward with operations not discussing who will be the new long-term voice of Elmo in the show.

Sesame Street has become quite the popular show this year thanks to former Presidential candidate Governor Mitt Romney. His comment during the first debate to cut funding to PBS sent fans of the network in a flurry. In fact, Governor Romney probably refueled the passion for the beloved children’s show, in particularly Big Bird. Now the question arrives, how will Clash’s scandals affect the Sesame Street or Elmo brand?

Many believe Sesame Street, especially with its prompt movement to address and accept Kevin’s resignation, will remain unscaved. Let’s face it. The show has been around for decades and has maintained a wholesome image through the years. Sort of reminds you of what Walt Disney and his legacy did for his characters and theme parks. Although both have faced concerning chatter regarding employees, both are considered iconic across generations and will probably remain that way.

So if Sesame Street is left standing with hardly a blemish, what about Elmo?

Hasbro probably has just as much if not more to lose if Elmo doesn’t rise from the scandals. Hasbro is the sole toy maker for Sesame Street. The Tickle Me Elmo doll and other Elmo items alone has accounted for half of sales for the Sesame Street toys. On top of Elmo carrying such a large weight of sales, his interest has seen a decline over the past few years. However, this Christmas season Hasbro released the LOL Elmo toy. So will Elmo be hurt by the scandal?

According to Gerrick Johnson, a toy analyst, the LOL Elmo toy has been flying off the shelves since Black Friday. Looks like Elmo will live on!

One would never want to be entangled with any scandal, but Sesame Street seems to have shown the world what to do if you are attached to one.

  • Move quick to provide concise statements to the public.
  • Keep it moving.

It will be interesting to see how Sesame Street and PBS handles their renewed popularity.

What do you think? Will you still support Sesame Street? Elmo? Have you already forgotten about Kevin Clash?

Comment below. Your reply may be used for an upcoming article.

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

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Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit http://www.abovepromotions.com or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstore

Election Results: Social Media is the Winner

Election Ads are OVER! Image Courtesy of MSNBC Now. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012
Election Ads are OVER! Image Courtesy of MSNBC Now. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012
Election Ads are OVER! Image Courtesy of MSNBC Now. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012

One thing is for sure. Social Media won the 2012 U.S. Elections!

It’s hard to think back to 8 years ago and how differently those U.S. elections went amongst the people around the world. Where as it would take you days or months to really learn what your friends, family members, business associates and customers think about a win or a loss, now we know is seconds. With just 140 characters we can learn what celebrities are thinking about as the results roll in. Oh yes. Social Media is the winner for this year’s elections.

Although this area is growing, there are still people on the fence on how vital social media can be for branding and communicating to the public. For those of you still hesitant on if your company should be more active on or even pay attention to social media, I hope this blog with a few statistics will help to finally push you into properly adding this tool to your marketing campaign. If this is you, please take a look around you or simply in the words below. The public has spoken. They have chosen to declare social media as being a big part of their lives.

 

Hyper-Messaging

Let’s start with Twitter and the power of a good image. The picture below of the President of the United States and his wife hugging was retweeted more than 300,000 times (as mentioned last night by NBC) beating the record previously held by Super Tweeter, Justin Bieber. November 6th was also a 20 Million Tweet record for Election Day. This made Tuesday the most tweeted about event in U.S. political history according to Twitter.

Presiden Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in an embrace was tweeted by the President's Twitter account. The picture seen around the Twitterverse. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. 2012
Presiden Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in an embrace was tweeted by the President’s Twitter account. The picture seen around the Twitterverse. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. 2012

Press Record on the Video Camera

A mother uploads a video of her daughter crying over the election to YouTube and suddenly she is a viral hit. This video draws attention to the radio station, NPR, and they apologize (out of courtesy/good public relations) to her. When I last checked, her crying video had about 13,791,910 views. I’m quite sure Abigael is all smiles today. No more ads!
Abigael Evans shedded tears and displayed what many Americans were feeling. No more Ads. Photo Courtesy of NPR. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012.
Abigael Evans shedded tears and displayed what many Americans were feeling. No more Ads. Photo Courtesy of NPR. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012.
So you may not be impressed or wonder how social media can help move your products. Although formal surveys help to paint a more accurate picture of consumer habits, social media is growing into a reliable source as well. Let’s take a look at how the election, PBS and Sesame Street helped Spirit Halloween and Costumecraze.com move costumes.
Million Puppet March 2012. Photo Courtesy of Nicholas Kamm/CNN.com/Getty Images. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012.
Million Puppet March 2012. Photo Courtesy of Nicholas Kamm/CNN.com/Getty Images. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012.
Spirit Halloween always sees a spike in certain types of masks during the Halloween season. During an election year, candidates’ masks are extremely popular and some say an indicator of who will win the election. This year, Spirit Halloween saw an increase in sales over the Sesame Street characters. Costumecraze.com couldn’t keep the Sassy Big Bird costume in stock. Both company’s images were shared online and both experienced a high volume in requests for their inventory. All of this hype due to former presidential candidate Governor Mitt Romney’s name drop and social media’s sharing boost. Sesame Street became one of the most sought-after brands over the past month. Even as of today, only a limited size of the Sassy Big Bird is available for purchase.

There is just no denying social media played a huge role in this year’s elections for the presidential, senate and amendment races. People, whether they want to admit it or not, were influenced or emotionally charged by their peers’ status posts and images related to voting. This is ultimately a good time to stand back and look at the role of social media for your business or non-profit organization. This is the time to decide what is the best thing to share or monitor via social media sites. Clearly social media is the winner this year, but are you winning at it? Well, that post is for another day.

 

What are your thoughts on the effects of social media this year on the elections and how it can impact a business. Has it impacted yours? Share your thoughts on today’s post. You may appear in a future article.

(Please note this is not a post to deter anyone from a completely rounded marketing plan. Don’t forget social media is not the only aspect of branding your business.)

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

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Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit http://www.abovepromotions.com or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstores.

 

Twitter Storms from Last Night’s Debate: Save Sesame Street, KitchenAid and New Moderator

Romney Upsets Sesame Street Fans. Presidential Debate October 3, 2012. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. Viral Photo.
Romney Upsets Sesame Street Fans. Presidential Debate October 3, 2012. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. Viral Photo.
Romney Upsets Sesame Street Fans. Presidential Debate October 3, 2012. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. Viral Photo.

 

For a person who loves to study crisis communications, a Presidential debate is like Christmas in July. You know something will be said to irritate the public and given the ease of spreading messages over social media, one can expect a good meme or two from it. Surely a comment or two would come up about someone’s facial expressions in front of the camera or tone in their response.

Just as anticipated, last night’s first Presidential debate with President Obama and Governor Romney delivered a few items that just had to be highlighted today.

First, let’s talk about Sesame Street. Are Sunny Days really going away? Was anyone expecting to hear PBS would be on the chopping block to reduce the budget if Governor Mitt Romney is elected?

“I’m sorry, Jim, I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually like you, too. But I’m not going to — I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for. That’s number one.” – Gov. Romney.

Within seconds Twitter and Facebook lit up with comments objecting to the statement and admittedly many were quite humorous. Thank goodness for the daylight and people who check facts. Unfortunately, the cut will only be $300 and $445 million dollars per Forbes magazine and would make for an interesting argument amongst economists on being a viable solution. However, for the true fans of the arts, children, PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), this deduction would still ruffle the feathers of Sesame Street followers.

But enough about Big Bird and the cartoons. Let’s move on to the moderator who appeared to lose favor with viewers.

Jim Lehrer Moderator for October 3, 2012 Presidential Debate. Photo By Pool-Michael Reynolds/AP. Above Promotions Company, Tampa, FL. 2012
Jim Lehrer Moderator for October 3, 2012 Presidential Debate. Photo By Pool-Michael Reynolds/AP/Yahoo. Above Promotions Company, Tampa, FL. 2012

In debating, there are rules and order. Many viewers took to social media to discuss the lack of control and questions posed during the debate by Jim Lehrer from PBS. Per the Washington Post:

“The tough assessments crossed party lines: Republican commentator Laura Ingraham wrote on Twitter that Lehrer seemed “a bit overwhelmed.” Comic and Democratic activist Bill Maher bluntly tweeted that “Lehrer sucked.””

A search on Twitter will lead you to some additional sentiments. In following a few trending hashtags, #essencedebate being one, many implied CNN’s Roland Martin would have been a better moderator, while media critic for the Tampa Bay Times, Eric Deggans seemed to also weigh in on the missteps of Lehrer on Facebook, “Much as I respect Jim Lehrer, also hated stuff like Dodd/Frank and Simpson/Bowles weren’t explained to viewers who aren’t policy wonks.”

It can only be assumed that the next moderator, Martha Raddatz, Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent at ABC News will be practicing for the October 11th debate along with Vice President Biden and Congressman Ryan.

But at least Lehrer remained respectful and didn’t offend the President, unlike KitchenAid.

 

KitchenAid's Social Media Personnel Brings Up President Obama's Deceased Grandmother. Photo Courtesy of Mashable. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012
KitchenAid’s Social Media Personnel Brings Up President Obama’s Deceased Grandmother. Photo Courtesy of Mashable. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012

 

Now, truly this is the OMG moment of the night. One that people on both sides of the political spectrum found offensive. KitchenAid, oh KitchenAid, what were you thinking?! At what point did this appear to be a joke for Twitter. Perhaps the social media personnel thought they were logged into their personal account? Since then an apology has been tweeted by a company official, but the reach of it and the crisis storm from it, will cause for a more formal statement to be made at some point in time.

Whew! You probably thought you would only have to worry about fighting with your friends on Facebook. Who’s ready for the next debate?

Please comment below if any other storms brewed last night during the debates.

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.