Geppetto’s Got Game for Kids Foot Locker

NEW YORK Two TV spots that break this month aim to lure the back-to-school crowd to Kids Foot Locker stores for new kicks by Reebok and Converse.

The cross-promotional commercials from WPP’s Geppetto Group target 6- to 11-year-old boys and will air on WB Kids, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon programming. One 30-second ad, which breaks today, shows a young boy following a ray of light down a city street. The beam bounces off a variety of objects, including a shiny baldhead, a rearview mirror, a dog collar, a belt buckle and a woman’s makeup compact. He finally discovers the light source: a shiny, white Reebok Classic shoe on display in a Kids Foot Locker store window. The tagline: “The all-new, white-hot Reebok Classic. Only at Kids Foot Locker. You game?”

A second 30-second spot, which breaks Monday, is set in a Kids Foot Locker store. A sales clerk, dressed in the chain’s familiar referee’s jersey, asks four boys, “Who wanted the new Converse Weapons?” Each kid points to himself. The clerk then tosses one of the shoes into the air, simulating a jump ball. The kids dribble and pass the shoe as if it’s a basketball, until one takes a jump shot and lands the sneaker in a shopping bag. The ad signs off with the clerk saying, “Guys, we’ve got more than one pair.” The tag, “With Converse, it’s always game time,” ends the spot.

“There’s lots of competition this time of year,” said Jennifer Goodman, managing director at the Geppetto Group, a New York agency that specializes in creating ads directed at kids and teens. “It’s really important to establish a brand personality with kids, which is what Kids Foot Locker is trying to do.”

Geppetto Group has created advertising for Kids Foot Locker for five years, Goodman said. Other clients have included Johnson & Johnson Kids, Nike, Campbell’s, McDonald’s, Crayola and KFC.

Spending on the campaign was undisclosed. Kids Foot Locker spent $2 million on ads in 2002, according to CMR/TNS Media Intelligence.