Meet the Nickelodeon Executive Who Is Driving Revenue and Leading Award-Winning Campaigns

April 5, 2018

By Ryan Dinger

Courtesy of Jennifer Tracy

In her 13 years at Nickelodeon, Jennifer Tracy has made a reputation for herself as a marketer who can get results, no matter where she is placed. Whether it be working on record-breaking and award-winning social influencer campaigns or delivering convergent marketing programs for revenue-driving advertising sales, Jennifer has always found success.

In her latest role, as SVP of partner marketing and creative advertising, Jennifer is overseeing all integrated marketing partner relationships, creative, and several cross-functional teams.

Ahead of her upcoming appearance at the 2018 ANA Brand Activation Conference, we had a chance to sit down with Jennifer to discuss her brand's future in TV, the challenges of marketing to children, and a little bit of what she'll discuss at #ANAActivate.


Q. With audiences becoming more fractured and TV continuing to evolve in the digital age, what are some of the ways that your brand has been able to adjust and continue to find success?

Our goal is to create ways to make the world a more playful place, and that includes looking beyond our core business for ways to connect with the audience. While TV is still the number one way to reach kids, we recognize it's not the only way. We have made the art of the experience a business imperative and create on-the-ground extensions to complement our TV and digital campaigns. You see this in the form of the Nickelodeon Punta Cana Resort, SpongeBob the Musical on Broadway, and our major live events like the Kids Choice Awards, where we incorporate on-ground experiences for our fans and for our partners.

For our millennial audience, who grew up watching Nickelodeon and are now parents of preschoolers, and fans of our iconic IP such as SpongeBob and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — we also design social content to activate audiences on other platforms. Sometimes that also includes working with hand-selected influencers who have an affinity for our brands and create brand-safe content.

And we also just launched the first of several upcoming AR experiences with the Do Not Touch AR app, as well as a partnership with IMAX, which puts our SlimeZone VR experience in theaters across the U.S. These new digital experiences will enable people to experience Nick and our IP in a non-linear, imaginative, safe environment. That's incredibly exciting for us.


Q. In your session at the Brand Activation conference, you plan to discuss how you've transformed the customer experience. Can you tell us a little bit about how you've done that?

We follow the audience. When we see kids and families exploring new platforms and modes of brand engagement, we meet their needs. We believe we aren't in the position to tell kids what to do and where to be. Our job is to let them and their parents lead the way, and we will create the best experience possible.


Q. Your brand is one that is obviously targeting a younger demographic for the most part. What are some of the challenges that come along with this type of target audience?

Marketing to kids has nearly always come with guidelines (legal, standards, platform), and at Nick, we place additional brand filters to ensure we continue to be the brand that kids and families and our partners trust. Safety — for kids, for our brand, and for our partners' brands — has always been critical to us. In the current environment, it's more important than ever.


Q. What do you believe the future looks like for a brand that is traditionally associated with TV? What do brands like Nickelodeon need to do to continue to thrive?

Listen to the audience. It has always been insights, not algorithms, that have guided our decisions, and it has worked out well for us. We listen to what our Nick kids and families tell us. That's how we know where we are successful, and where they want more from us. It's how we realized there was an appetite for re-makes of Blue's Clues and Are You Afraid of the Dark. It's how we optimize content mid-campaign for our partners. It's how we know what to do differently and what to retain for the next tentpole event. When we truly listen, we know how to engage at the right moment.

And while we keep our content pipeline stocked and our linear and social business in overdrive, we are adapting how we work, and who we work with, in order to best serve the new and next generation of audiences on new and next-generation platforms.

Get more advice and insights from Jennifer Tracy at the 2018 ANA Brand Activation Conference, April 16–19, in Chicago, Ill.


You must be logged in to submit a comment.