BREAKING NEWS & VIEWS
EW.com Launches Family Channel, Gives Kraft Full Voice
Thursday, August 2, 2012
a Family category that looks and feels like a site-within-a-site. No, EW is not reporting family news or giving review grades to your kids. The site is adding a family entertainment section where parents can find news, guides and reviews featuring family-friendly entertainment. Early content includes commentary direct from celebrity mouths such as Jessica Alba and Mayim (Big Bang Theory) Bialik. EW’s own parent-filled staff also chimes in.
In fact the EW Contributors log includes the family status of each voice, including the number of children and their ages for each writer.
The construction is a handy site-within a site approach. It includes all of the major EW content categories (Lists, Blog, Movies, TV, Books, Games & Tech) are all here, but each drills only into family-oriented content.
The site features a Family Blog, which scrolls through the newer posts. Family appropriate content from across the site is also aggregated here. There are entertainment finder tools such as a review filter that lets parents find books, movies, TV shows and games that are right for the major kid age groups. What really works for a tweener at 10 to 12? Try The Adventures of TinTin or A Wrinkle in Time. The site is well thought through as a tool for an audience with a range of kids at different ages. It answers the most common question of all for most parents shopping for anything: is this right for my 8 year old?
For its first month, EW’s Family section is being sponsored solely by Kraft, which is promoting its iPad macaroni art app. By giving Kraft 100% share of voice, EW allows the sponsor to be present on virtually every page of the content. But in this case the ad creative cycles through a selection of different animated rich media units to maintain variety.
The EW site is a good example of smart content construction serving a niche of its own audience. Rather than ghetto-izing the family content, the editorial is respected with what amounts to a site of its own. Once you land on the front page, you are assured of staying within the boundaries of its kid-safe content recommendations.
EW.com managing editor Bill Gannon tells minonline that the aim of the site was to answer the pressing question most users have at EW.com but especially parents. “The core question is often ‘what to watch?’’” he says. “But for parents, the question is so much more challenging as they have very specific and legitimate concerns about issues like profanity, violence, sexuality and even intensity of emotions found in such works as Bambi, Old Yeller, and Charlotte's Web.”
There is an overabundance of choice, and so the family section is designed with filtering in mind. “Because so many of us at EW are parents ourselves, we thought we could help parents make better and smarter choices for family viewing. We've created a very deep range of articles, lists, photos and some new editorial user experiences including a significant aggregration and curation effort that leverages decades of our critic's grading system and our own specific age range recommendations.”
The site is also leveraging the parent audience by getting them to rate media and offer their own judgments on the levels of potentially objectionable material in these choices.
It takes a village to know what to watch.
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