The result? Whenever a child reads a Sesame Street themed book, uses a Sesame Street themed potty or eats Sesame Street themed crackers, these formative life experiences are stamped by the brand via a wide array of licensing partners. Revenue is then reinvested in expanding Sesame Street offerings and developing educational activities for children around the world.
We strolled down Sesame Street online in hopes of learning how one of the best-known children’s brands works its Q quotient magic on the Web.
An initial click onto the Sesame Workshop page lands the user at an efficient portal for all matters Sesame. The content is easy to navigate and is divided into four main areas: Parents & Caregivers, Sesame In Your Neighborhood (live event listings), a gateway to SesameStreet.com, and a retail outlet: the Sesame Store.
SesameStreet.com, the television show site, features an illustration of the famous address, complete with Sesame monsters lining the page. The show’s theme rings out upon mouse-over of the show’s characters.
Branded elements from the television program are woven into the educational content. The Sesame Street signpost, a prominent symbol used on the show, serves as a navigation tool, neatly dividing the content sections between parents and kids. A countdown shaded in the same violet hue favored by the Count (a popular character who teaches numbers) appears when new site sections load. Each page is sponsored by a letter of the alphabet—another carryover from the show. All are excellent examples of the site’s thorough approach to cohesive branding.
Sesame Street’s main characters each have their own page. On the Elmo page, visitors have the option to “Learn More about Elmo” and play three games involving the character. Kevin Clash, the Emmy Award-winning actor for Elmo voiceovers, dubs instructional and educational copy to enhance the experience for kids.
Aside from character-centric features, the site boasts content-driven sections. Stories is an engaging area that augments readable Sesame Street stories with animated visuals and sound, bringing them to life for children. Art employs a Java-enhanced program that allows kids to simulate painting by clicking and dragging colors around. The Music page provides a path to Sesame Street Radio, where kids can listen to their favorite Sesame Street songs. Elmo’s World, naturally, introduces that segment of the TV show, where Elmo teaches kids about certain concepts—body parts, bathing, and food, among others.
The site is not just focused on half-pints. The Parents section offers comprehensive parenting information that is well organized and researched, covering such topics as school, health, saving, safety, and immunization. Sesame Street’s Maria, a popular adult character, answers questions for readers. Recipes and articles, including one depicting a kid’s eye view of a vacation, provide parents with insightful tips.
The primary objective of the Workshop section is to detail the brand’s mission. Funding, of course, is discussed, and visitors are encouraged to support the cause, either by donating money or making a purchase. A sizable press section is also included here.
Of course, the Sesame Street site has an e-tail feature. All Sesame Street-related items produced by licensing partners are available for purchase, from Earth’s Best Organic Baby Food to diapers produced by Pampers to toys produced by Hasbro and Fisher-Price. What’s more, these products are available for virtual purchase through manufacturer websites—an expedient and convenient marketing feature.
Sesame Workshop is a highly educational experience for children and parents—and an impressive marketing tool. But brand builders will also benefit from seeing how an iconic brand experience can be represented on the Web with plenty of imagination and interactivity. If those qualities bring the television show to mind, it’s no coincidence.