K-C First to Sponsor PBS Kids Sprout

DALLAS Kimberly-Clark has signed on as the first of four sponsors of PBS Kids Sprout, a 24-hour preschool network and Web site, where the company will promote its Huggies disposable diapers and Pull-Ups training pants.

The new digital venue, distributed by cable and satellite to more than 16 million subscribers, will also give Kimberly-Clark a laboratory to learn more about customers and extend its online marketing efforts, said Brad Santeler, director of media services at K-C.

“The new medium will also be relatively uncluttered with only four sponsors,” Santeler said. “We will have exclusivity in child-care products.

K-C has made a one-year commitment to the program and has right of first refusal in the second year, Santeler said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But Santeler said the company looked at the opportunity more for its research potential than pure sales growth.

“It’s a great medium for our concept of mom and baby together,” Santeler said.

Analysis of consumer patterns using the network and online component will be handled by K-C’s media agency Mindshare, Santeler said. Ogilvy & Mather’s existing spots will run on the new venue, he said.

PBS Kids Sprout is a for-profit channel that will feature children’s programming such as Sesame Street, Bob the Builder, Barney & Friends, Teletubbies and others.

“Not only does Sprout offer programming that is trusted, we’re also able to provide such programs after 6 p.m., when other preschool channels just aren’t available,” said Diana Kerekes, acting general manager for PBS Kids Sprout.

PBS Kids Sprout, which offers 50 hours of video-on-demand content per day, was created as a partnership between Comcast Corp. and PBS.