Viacom Wins Eight Cynopsis Social Good Awards, Including Impact Honors for Its LISTEN Addiction Initiative

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Anchored by its stigma-crushing LISTEN addiction initiative, Viacom brands underscored the companywide commitment to social responsibility by earning seven honors at the Cynopsis Social Good Awards ceremony in New York City this morning.

LISTEN, which earned the Impact Campaign distinction, is a multi-dimensional campaign grounded in the belief that compassion and awareness are central elements to fighting the scourge of addiction. A partnership with Facing Addiction, LISTEN unites addiction-fighting resources with transformational video stories of individuals who have fought from nearly hopeless circumstances to become inspirations for those still struggling to find sobriety.

This video is just one in a series posted on heretolisten.com. A LISTEN special that aired across 11 Viacom networks has been viewed more than 2 million times and drove 38.1 million social impressions and more than 56,000 engagements across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Debi Mazar, one of the stars of TV Land’s hit Younger, appeared alongside Niels Schuurmans, executive vice president of Viacom Velocity, to accept the award on the company’s behalf.

“I am so proud to see Viacom mobilize the voice and reach of its channels to take action in breaking down the shame and stigma around addiction and address it for what it is – a health issue,” Mazar said. “Media has the power to change hearts and minds. And LISTEN is doing that one story and conversation at a time.”

LISTEN also took top honors in the Branded Campaign for a TV Series or Special Programming category.

Logo earned a pair of honors. The network’s stirring Trailblazer Honors ceremony served as a tribute to victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre and took the Philanthropic/Human Rights Campaign category, while its Fill in the Blank push around Pride Month earned best Branded Campaign for a Digital or Mobile Platform.

BET Networks also took two categories. Its HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) Snapchat tour earned best Digital Media Campaign:


While the network’s understated Vote Your Voice spots earned top Hash Tag Promotion:

Viacom International Media Networks earned the last two honor, in the Public Service Announcement and Best Spot (30 Seconds or Less) categories, both for Nickelodeon’s Together for Good collaboration with UNICEF, which works to protect disadvantaged children around the world.

In addition to the Impact Award, Viacom received 44 total nominations across 21 categories and an impressive array of brands, including Nick Jr., Spike, Viacom International Media Networks, MTV, VH1, and our Viacom Velocity in-house agency.

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Nick Jr.’s Nella the Princess Knight Captures the Zeitgeist of Diverse America

Not all super heroes wear capes—some wear sparkly ball gowns.

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Nella rides into town with a message of self-empowerment. Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon.

Nella, the titular character in Nick Jr.’s Nella the Princess Knight is shattering princess norms.

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This biracial princess knight slays gender norms. Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon.

Equal parts glam, girly-girl and brave warrior, Nella lives in a castle and gossips with her pet unicorn about fashion—yet she’s not afraid to get her pink gloves dirty when trouble arises.

Nella grabs her glittering sword and dons pastel armor, embarking on treacherous quests to save her kingdom.

Oh, and she’s biracial.

Since the show premiered earlier this month, Nella’s attracted legions of fans (besides Nick Jr.’s target audience of preschoolers).

Nella is a hero. Not just for the citizens of her fictional village, but for parents, journalists, television critics, African-American bloggers, college students, women’s studies professors, and child media advocacy groups.

According to People, “[Nella] stands for everything our world needs.”

Here’s why.

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Viacom CEO Bakish Outlines Long-Term Growth Strategy on CNBC

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Footage courtesy of CNBC.

Viacom will marshal its resources around six flagship networks: MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Comedy Central, and Spike, which will be rebranded next year as a premium Paramount channel. Paramount Pictures will not be going anywhere; in fact, the flagship networks will join forces with the iconic studio to produce one or two co-branded films every single year. The company still claims the highest viewership of any cable family in the United States.

These were among the core messages that our CEO, Bob Bakish, delivered to David Farber on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street following release of the company’s first quarter 2017 earnings yesterday. Watch the full conversation above, and click over to Viacom Investor Relations to read the press release or listen to the earnings call.

Nick Gives Assistance Dog Group a Canine Companion of Its Own

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Canine Companions for Independence does all kinds of awesome things.

They gave an assistance dog to a quadriplegic girl so she wouldn’t have to call a family member to pick up dropped or needed items around her. They connected 10-year-old Matthias with Aubrey, a similar companion, to ease him through the complex and ongoing battery of appointments necessary to deal with his rare genetic disorder. And they provided wheelchair-bound student Savannah with the nuzzling attention she needs to get through the daily obstacle of hour-long medical procedures.

And they do it all for free.

To bolster that incredible work, the organization is getting a canine companion of its own: the pups of Nickelodeon’s hit show Paw Patrol. The partnership will begin with a variety of events around the country this fall, along with this PSA, which will air across Nick Jr.’s digital properties:

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Viacom’s Top Networks to Join AT&T’s Streaming-Only DIRECTV NOW Service

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Viacom just announced that fifteen of our top networks will join the more than 100 that will be available on AT&T’s DIRECTV NOW streaming service when it launches later this year. Here’s what you need to know:

No television necessary

DIRECTV NOW will be available entirely and only online. That means you can access it through those devices that you carry around with you and use for basically everything else. All you’ll really need is an internet connection. And if AT&T is your wireless provider, you will even be able to watch beyond the boundaries of the connected world without vacuuming up data.

Deadline quoted AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson on this unique setup recently: “The data required to stream [DIRECTV NOW] on your mobile device is incorporated into the price of the content … If you choose to use that in a mobile environment on AT&T [then] your data cost will be incorporated into your content cost.”

The gang’s all here

Viacom’s family of cable networks reach more viewers than anyone else. We’ve worked with AT&T to make sure DIRECTV NOW carried some of our most beloved, resonant, impactful properties, including MTV, MTV2, MTV ClassicVH1, CMT, BET, Logo, Nickelodeon, NicktoonsNick Jr., TeenNickComedy Central, TV Land, Spike and Centric. So, lots of stuff like this:

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‘Bauernhoftour 2013’: Dora, Nick Jr. Take Kids on Guided Farm Tour

by Christin Sander, Viacom International Media Networks
    Nick Jr. brought kids to ‘Pinke Panke’ – a small farm yard in the German capital Berlin – where they got the chance to explore and experience nature and farm life.

Nick Jr. brought kids to ‘Pinke Panke’ – a small farm yard in the German capital Berlin – where they got the chance to explore and experience nature and farm life.

Living in a metropolis like Berlin can be monotonous for kids sometimes – free-living animals, wildflowers, herbs and whatever nature offers are rarely seen. For that reason, Nick Jr. and the team at the ‘Pinke Panke’ farm invited children from 3 to 6 years of age to the farm yard to learn about the environment and all its facets.

During a farm tour, guided by Dora the Explorer herself, the little ones got to see chickens, donkeys, sheep and many other animals that they could actually pet. The experts from ‘Pinke Panke’ also explained to the kids where popular breakfast eggs and ‘oh so loved’ milk come from, why a cow has patches and what a pig eats. The highlight for the kids, grown-ups and even Axel Schulz (a German ex-boxer and actor): the feeding of the animals. But a farm does not only house animals; the kids also discovered and even harvested lots of plants, vegetables and herbs. Read More