Nickelodeon is responding to brave souls on Facebook and bringing back their ’90s hits. I am just… thrilled? puzzled? clearing my DVR as we speak?
For the last decade, the Facebook generation has asked Nick to ‘Salute our Shorts,’ to show us some ‘Rugrats,’ let ‘Clarissa Explain it All,’ and give us Kenan Thompson in his prime (sorry, K. You were much funnier on ‘All That’).
Nick interns rounded up the Facebook fan pages to make their case to the Big Boss. At the time, over 9 million devotees pined daily for ‘Kenan and Kel,’ ‘Rocko’s Modern Life’ (which, now that I think of it, is chock full of suggestive adult humor) and ‘Doug.’ (Just last week I shocked my younger brother by reciting all the lyrics to The Beets’ ‘Killer Tofu.’) Now the number of fans is past 15 million, and we’re getting what we want.
We mid-late 20-somethings don’t exactly catch the commercials that air on Nick, so Nickelodeon is relying on word of mouth for this low-risk venture. Let’s hope those of us passionate enough to rap “I want my Nickelodeon back” actually tune in. If so, ’90s Nick may get a permanent spot on Teen Nick. If not, no loss to Viacom. They own the shows and are running them during a low-rated time of day.
But if we don’t toon in (see what I did there?!), what does that say about us? We miss shows we liked as kids, but do we actually want to watch them? Is the idea of SNICK returning better than the reality of SNICK returning? Facebook got us Betty White on SNL, but what was cooler, the campaign or the show? Just because Grandpa likes to fondly remember walking a mile barefoot uphill to school doesn’t mean he wants to sell his car.
I’m not sure Facebook fans will transform into faithful watchers of Teen Nick. I do know I’d watch a couple of 30 second ads to search online my favorite episodes of these oldies but goodies. Social media feedback is clearly valuable to a brand like Nick, with devotees who don’t fit its current demographic but will start tuning in their kids pretty soon. I don’t think a random spot on a specialty cable channel is the best answer. Give the people what they want where they are… upload videos to your Facebook page, start a Hulu channel (or whatever the Viacom equivalent would be), get some advertisers, rake in the cash and boost your brand. Just my advice. Wonder what Clarissa would say.