Marketing Wins from Big Bird & Friends: Even Adults Can Learn from Sesame Street

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Sesame Street is a beloved brand that has been teaching the world’s children how to count, spell, and get along with each other for over 40 years. Considering how popular Sesame Street is, you would think that the Sesame Workshop could just rest on their laurels and bask in their past success. Or, you may think that an old brand like Sesame Street would have a hard time adapting to the modern age of YouTube, Twitter, and interactive content.

On either count, you would be wrong. Sesame Street, with over 40 years of content to draw from, has become an incredibly successful content marketer. Here are six examples of content wins that prove that Sesame Street still has a lot to teach grown ups (especially grown up marketers), as well as children.

Flappy Bert

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Ah, January 2014 when Flappy Bird ruled the Earth. Recently, viral smartphone game hit Flappy Bird was taken down by its creator for various reasons. Almost immediately after it was taken down, Sesame Workshop posted “Flappy Bert” which is the same game but with… Bert of Ernie and Bert fame. The game, like that upon which it was based, immediately became a viral hit. 

“Share it Maybe” and other Song Parodies

Speaking of viral hits, doing a silly parody of a hit song seems to be one of the easiest ways to go viral. Sesame Street are masters of parody songs. The denizens of the Street have created more parody songs than I can count. Here is one of my favorites, “Share it Maybe”, a parody of the Carly Rae Jepson song “Call Me Maybe.”

“Mad Men” and Other TV Spoofs

Speaking of parody, the comedy masters at Sesame Street can do more than sing. They can also parody your favorite TV shows. From “Mad Men,” to “Sons of Anarchy,” to “CSI,” Sesame Street has produced parody videos that educate kids and entertain adults. By creating entertaining digital content, Sesame Street gives fans a reason to keep up with them, engage with their content, and ultimately convert to evangelical followers of their brand.

Telling Similar Stories in Different Ways

One of the trickiest things that any content marketer has to do is repurpose content for different audiences. Sesame Street does this extremely well. The show is aired in countries around the world and in many of them, the content has been rejiggered to fit the audience. 

Tweets From Characters

Sesame Street’s most valuable asset may be its arsenal of beloved characters. From time to time, said characters are allowed to tweet through @sesamestreet where they post their thoughts, and directly interact with fans.

Talking About Issues that Matter — Even when They’re Controversial

Sesame Street is incredible at creating entertaining content, but they also provide inspiring content — even if it’s controversial. From helping kids cope with death, to dealing with HIV, Sesame Street tries to help kids deal with a world that’s scary sometimes.