How (and why) puppets play on social media

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What You’ll Learn:: 

“Sesame Street” may seem like it’s only for 2- to 5-year-olds. But while preschoolers don’t tweet, it has 847,000 Twitter followers.

How does it do that?

Join Daniel N. Lewis, director of new media communication for Sesame Workshop, to learn how a children’s brand nurtures an enormous fan base among adults—including many non-parents.

You'll learn:

  • The importance of understanding and respecting your audience
  • How to build a future audience
  • How to think about each platform natively
  • How digital platforms and your brand attributes intersect
  • Why everyone loves Cookie Monster

Social media is often thought of as ephemeral. Post a tweet, and it scrolls out of view very quickly. But can such media be part of a long-term strategy? The answer is yes. Hear how “Sesame Street” does this.

“Sesame Street” is designed for kids, but it has a large adult fan base by including jokes and humor that a child can’t get.

Why do this? Because the educational impact of media is stronger when a parent is involved in the consumption of that media, Lewis says. In order to accomplish its mission, Sesame Street needs to make sure that parents are watching with their kids.

And equally important for growing its brand, “Sesame Street” is building fans among young adults who aren’t now parents but may soon be.

Hear how the children’s company uses humor by sending up movies. Cookie Monster takes on roles such as “Lord of the Crumbs,” “Cookies of the Caribbean,” “Hunger Games,” and “The Biscotti Kid.”

The TV program produces micro-content for the 13-35 year old audience who may be parents someday, or aunts and uncles. It even targets 13-18-year-olds on Tumblr. Few of them have children, but the show hopes that when they do, they will introduce the kids to Sesame Street.

Hear the story of the series of tweets that retold the popular “Sesame Street” book, The Monster at the End of this Book. Find out why that drew even celebrities into retweeting and discussing the tweets.

Most of all, join Lewis and have fun learning from figures beloved by children and adults alike.

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Broadcast: 
April 2014
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Presenter bio: 

Daniel N. Lewis is director of new media communication for Sesame Workshop, the not-for-profit organization behind “Sesame Street.” He creates and implements a comprehensive social media strategy to extend the Workshop's reach and influence. Lewis earned his J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he served as an editor of the Cardozo Law Review. He graduated from Tufts University in 2000 with a B.A. in economics.