Berenstain Bears Lend Warm & Fuzzy Name To Prevent Child Abuse

bears-new-logo.jpg“Home again, safe at last.” Though it’s a classic kid-lit line to end adventure tales like the Berenstain Bears & the Spooky Old Tree, it’s not remotely the case in families where child abuse seeps in at any level.

We’re heartened to hear that the Berenstain Bears have licensed the use of their nurturing country critters to develop a national signature campaign for Prevent Child Abuse America, because they’re the perfect symbol for the PCAA message: “Every child DESERVES the chance to be raised in a healthy, safe, nurturing environment.”

The Berenstain Bear family and foundation have been Shaping Youth for decades with their positive media messages, and they’re as relevant today as they were when their first beginner reader popped off the press.

Granted, they now have a 21st century digital treehouse where kids can play, and media partners like Harper Collins and pbs for games and TV clips…But their ‘moral of the story’ sibling silliness and life lessons gleaned from their vast array of books have a profound positive impact WAY beyond the preschool carpet.

We’re thrilled to see that what started as a regional pairing of Berenstain Bears/PCAA will now go national, further reinforcing that we made the right choice honoring Mike Berenstain as our second profile for People Shaping Youth. (our full interview posts here Monday)

After all, we strive to pick candidates that ‘walk the walk’ at all levels…A ‘surround sound’ of positive media influence that extends far beyond the reach of any celeb publicity stunt or product PR-tie-in.

From a marketing standpoint, I’m particularly pleased that the PCAA advocacy arm chose the Berenstain Bears as a safe, colorful, upbeat icon to make this topic more approachable and accessible to the masses.

It’s key for pop culture consumption of a difficult topic, for child abuse is a head-spinning concept to most of us, unfathomable in its stigma of darkness and often shoved under the carpet of cause-marketing.

PCAA will no doubt kick into high gear with savvy marketing punch, for they’ve also chosen PINWHEELS as their vehicle to stir up visibility and engage the public hands-on!

Pinwheels mesmerize with motion, delight all ages, and are a perfect symbol of happy, fun, childhood whimsy, denied to kids in abusive environs, so this is a colossally easy symbol to spin metaphors around. (the creative director in me already has thought of a gazillion ways they can tap this into the PCAA mission with the homey comfort of the bears integrated seamlessly!)

Much like the massive outreach of the LiveStrong yellow bands, hot air balloon Children’s Miracle Network icons, and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure campaign, the Berenstain Bears will be the warm-n-fuzzy symbol of the PCAA and the pinwheels will pay it forward to the public…excellent combo and media/marketing strategy all around!

I see this as a great way to garner mass appeal of PCAA’s research, prevention tips and productive coping skills…

Frustration is everpresent in our stressful society, so by unearthing pragmatic choices, raising awareness among parents and community educators (rather than simply vilifying) PCAA should succeed nationally in tamping down preventable instances of ‘shaken baby syndrome’ and shedding a beam of light, worthy of supporting in full force!

More on all of this soon, as I’m dashing to the Virtual Worlds Conference which I’ll report on next week…

I just wanted to land a quick post as a ‘prequel’ to Mike Berenstain’s interview with us on Monday…much like I did with our first honoree, Danica McKellar’s math book prequel to her full interview.

We’re using our interview to kick-off YALSA’s Teen Read Week. Why? Because you never outgrow the Berenstain Bears’ messages for starters, AND because we’ve found many a teen looks back wistfully at the simplicity of cozy lap time…(at least some of our Shaping Youth readergirlz do!)

We’re encouraging youth mentoring programs for teens and tweens to read to wee ones as Shaping Youth’s contribution to the ALA’s Teen Read week, using the Berenstain Bears as our initial jumping off point! (The bear’s humor even fits the YALSA 2007 theme of LOL)

Now that we’ve heard of the Berenstain Bears/PCAA pairing, it’s all the more appropo as a teen library event, to show how snuggling up with a book in a reading corner is a bonding experience of safety and inclusion at the community level…

This can raise PCAA awareness, support prevention, AND exemplify the need to take this ideal into homes universally. I’ve gotta add this mentorship/cause-marketing idea to the Teen Read week wiki!

By the way, we’re ALWAYS on the lookout for People Shaping Youth…Think you have a candidate? Send ‘em our way, and we’ll do the ‘marketing sniff test.’

We sift through many ‘do-gooders’ to handpick what’s ‘real’ and authentic in terms of consistency of brand, and media messaging overall…

Congratulations, Mike and Jan and the whole family of “Berenstain Bears” for being selected as an honoree…We look forward to seeing much more of your influence in the years to come…In the digital generation at every age and stage, children need to hear your voice, now more than ever.

p.s. Thinking about the Virtual Worlds conference and the land of the avatars… just imagine what we could do with a virtual land of safety and peace! From bears and treehouses to a safe haven for children from global abuse of all kinds…Media CAN be used in powerful ways…to heal, bring hope, and create positive change in multiple ways…It’s all about the content. Games for Change…The LiveEarth eco-teens’ student concerts for Project Global Cooling…The incredible TinyStars global watch group using new mapping technology to snuff out the children’s sexploitation and human trafficking trade…Global Kids Digital Initiative in the virtual world of Teen Second Life…the potential for change is there alright…Ah…it’s a warm and fuzzy feeling…Kinda like those Berenstain Bears…AJ



  1. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  2. Sign: umsun Hello!!! rcuwwymhyw and 1114ssgfhphzye and 7479I will try to recommend this post to my friends and family, cuz it

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge