Children’s International Arts Festival Local Strategy
The Children’s International Arts Festival (CIAF) started as a worldwide, online festival where children ages 5-12 answered questions from the Gospel of John and drew art to illustrate their answers. The best of their work has been published in the Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John, an online storybook Bible available for free viewing and downloading at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. Nineteen children have won dude ranch vacations for their families. Each child winner has a web page at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org/winners. To get a good idea of what winning children and their families will experience on a dude ranch, please watch the following video: www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org/alyssa.
Unique Sponsor Opportunity: Surprise Visit to Child Winner
Making surprise announcements to Children’s International Arts Festival winners has succeeded beyond our wildest expectations. For the last 15 of our 19 winners, we have tried to generate media coverage to capture a moment similar to Publisher’s Clearing House. We’ve succeeded 87 percent of the time with 13 of our winners receiving significant media coverage.
The amazing thing about all this media coverage is that KidsTalkAboutGod.org has never had a representative in any of the 13 media markets where its winners received coverage. Surprise phone calls were made to child winners. Imagine how much easier it will be to generate media coverage when the primary local sponsor of the Children’s International Arts Festival makes a surprise visit to a child’s home or school!
This represents a unique opportunity for a sponsor to do something endearing that will generate water-cooler buzz. To state the obvious, this is like seeing a purple cow. It goes far beyond conventional advertising.
The Heaven Project, Online Book, Voting & Ad Impressions
The Heaven Project is the new focus of the Children’s International Arts Festivals. Children can choose to answer and illustrate one or more of five festival questions. Their answers and artwork will be featured in a Kids Talk About Heaven online book. Each two-page image of this book will feature the name or names of major sponsors and/or the name of the sponsoring dude ranch. Other sponsors will be featured in space below the online book.
Online voting will be incorporated so that children who make the finals will encourage their friends and relatives to vote for their art and/or writing to win a dude ranch family vacation. All this means more sponsor ad impressions.
The heaven-related questions for the festival are as follows:
1. What does heaven look like?
2. What will you do your first day in heaven?
3. What will you do when you see God?
4. How do you get to heaven?
5. How can you make earth more like heaven?
To read what KidsTalkAboutGod.org believes about going to heaven, please see the following statement of faith: www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org/sof. These beliefs will be reflected in all Kids Talk About Heaven online books.
Promotional Business Cards
Two-sided, promotional business cards are one of the most cost-effective ways to promote a Children’s International Arts Festival (CIAF) sponsor. The promotional side of the card will contain the website address assigned to a specific arts festival. Like the card below, the website address will have an extension. For example, the web address for a CIAF in Houston would be KidsTalkAboutGod.org/houston. The other side of the card can contain the sponsor’s business card.
These cards can sit on desks in attractive 5” X 7” acrylic cardholders as shown at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org/display. They are a great way to connect with people as almost everyone has children in their lives regardless of their age. At least 20,000 promotional business cards are available to sponsors as a part of the CIAF package. Price quotes for additional cards and 5” X 7” acrylic holders are available upon request.
Attractively designed posters can create many additional ad impressions for sponsors and increase the participation in a Children’s International Arts Festival (CIAF). Up to 500 11” X 17” posters are available as part of this sponsorship package. All sponsors will be mentioned on the posters along with the dude ranch where the winner and winner’s family will vacation. To view a sample of this poster, please visit www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org/poster.
Postcards will play a critical role in this marketing plan. They will be sent to churches and Christian schools. This mailing will help insure that we receive enough festival entries to build a high-quality Kids Talk About Heaven online book. As with the promotional business cards and posters, postcards will display the name of the featured ranch and the state in which it’s located and major sponsors. If space permits, other sponsors' names will be included.
If a sponsor is located in an area that has an annual rodeo or county fair, these could be opportunities for piggyback marketing. The promotional business cards will be received with gratitude at all events that attract families. A dude ranch family vacation represents the kind of vacation most families dream about but can’t afford. For a family of five, these vacations can cost $10,000 or more.
Publicity Plans for Mass Media
There are two main mass media publicity opportunities in this campaign: festival announcement and winner announcement. When the announcement of the Children’s International Arts Festival is made, there is an opportunity for local sponsors and the sponsoring dude ranch to be recognized.
We will produce 30-second TV and radio spots, and then distribute them to local television and radio stations. Also, we’ll try to encourage feature stories. For broadcast, we’ll produce a video and audio interview as though being interviewed by a reporter. Because reporters are always in a rush to meet news deadlines, we could get some airtime because we’ll make it easy for a reporter to get a story on the air. We’ll provide contact information of the primary local sponsor so that reporters know that they can get sound bites for the arts festival announcement.
Strategic Media Partnering
Television station news producers and reporters are very competitive. We saw this in Indianapolis when we talked with news directors and reporters about covering the surprise announcement to one of our dude ranch vacation winners. The Fox station anchor asked if the surprise announcement could be made during the morning news broadcast at the station.
When we accepted the invitation from Fox, we gave the station an exclusive. As the proverb goes, sometimes it’s better to have a bird in the hand than several in the bush. To see how we kept the surprise element, please visit www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org/lydia.
Sometimes strategic media partnering can go deeper. TV, radio and newspaper sales managers may want to take on the promotion by selling ads to sponsors to pay for airtime or ad space. All this will drive more website traffic to the festival web page where CIAF sponsors will be featured.
TV & Radio 30-Second Public Service Announcements
Sample Script for TV and Radio Public Service Announcement: Pictures of Featured Dude Ranch Shown
“Howdy Partner! If you’re a kid between the ages of 5 & 12, listen up. You can win a dude ranch vacation at the [Name of Dude Ranch] in [State]. Just answer some questions about heaven and draw some art. You could find yourself riding horses at the [Name of Dude Ranch]. And if you win, the good folks at [Name of Primary Sponsor] are going to put $1,000 in your jeans to help you get there. Just go to KidsTalkAboutGod.org/city-name. That’s KidsTalkAboutGod.org/city-name.”
Note: Primary Sponsor Logo or Name Appears in TV PSA When Mentioned
The sponsor who does the most to fund and/or market the Children’s International Arts Festival in any given area will have the option to function as the spokesperson for the festival. Assuming media coverage is obtained for making the surprise announcement to the festival winner, this sponsor will have the option to make the surprise announcement to the child winner. Another sponsor could be featured in presenting the check for at least $1,000 to help cover travel expenses to the dude ranch.
Summary of Benefits for Highest-Level Sponsor(s)
Primary sponsors of a Children’s International Arts Festival will receive the following benefits:
- Featured in all press releases and public service announcements
- Featured in the Kids Talk About Heaven online book developed for a specific geographical area
- Featured on promotional literature such as posters and business cards distributed through primary sponsor
- Featured on postcards mailed to local Christian schools & churches
Summary of Benefits for All Other Sponsors
- Featured on festival web page below Kids Talk About Heaven online book developed for specific geographical location
- Featured on all arts festival posters
- Promotional business cards available with multiple sponsors featured
- Possible mention in press releases, depending upon number of sponsors
Custom Agreements for Sponsors
Our main goal for sponsors is to make sure everyone is happy. There may be situations where the sponsor structure as outlined in this paper needs to be changed to meet sponsor needs. A primary sponsor may want an exclusive. An agreement can be drafted so that a sponsor's competitors will not be accepted as additional sponsors. These kinds of agreements will be entertained more readily when sponsors are among the first to get behind bringing a Children's International Arts Festival to their area.
There could be a situation where sponsors are all paying the same sponsor fee. In this case, sponsors could pick a number. The sponsor with the closest number to the one selected by Carey Kinsolving will serve as the primary sponsor.
The primary sponsor can serve as a spokesperson for the Children's International Arts Festival in a designated media market. This is especially critical when the surprise announcement is made to the winning child. In the event that no sponsor wants to take on this responsibility, Carey Kinsolving can make a surprise phone call to the child winner.
Underwriting and Sponsorship Costs
Depending upon the size of the city or media market, underwriting for a festival can range from $5,000 to $15,000. The four levels for sponsoring a Children’s International Arts Festival are as follows:
- Underwriter: Sole Underwriter of Festival
- Gold Spur: $2,500 Primary Sponsor
- Silver Spur: $1,000
- Bronze Spur: $500
- Payments: Half of sponsor fees can be paid over a one-year period using a credit card through a PayPal monthly subscription.
The sole or primary sponsor will present a check of at least $1,000 to the child winner to cover expenses associated with travel to a dude ranch.
The owners of the Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch, Coulter Lake Guest Ranch and Western Pleasure Guest Ranch have each decided to give their third dude ranch vacation to a Children's International Arts Festival winner: www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org/ranchletters.