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90-year Tradition Meets New Media as GSUSA Launches www.girlscoutcookies.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2007
Marion F. Swan
Girl Scouts of the USA
(212) 852-8012, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ripple Effects Interactive
(412) 683-3700, email@example.com
Lisa Strickland Harris
(212) 229-0500, firstname.lastname@example.org
New York, N.Y. – Now in their 90th year of sales, Girl Scout cookies — those delectable treats sold by Girl Scouts across the United States and its territories — have a new official online home: www.girlscoutcookies.org.
This mini-Web site from Girl Scouts of the USA offers consumers point-of-sale information that makes finding Girl Scout cookies fast, fun and interactive.
At girlscoutcookies.org, consumers simply use their ZIP code to find out when and where to purchase Girl Scout cookies. In addition, Girl Scout cookies also have a new official presence on the popular social networking site, MySpace.com, and four vintage cookie promotional commercials pulled from the archives have been added to Web sites that feature online videos. The most popular of these is YouTube.com, but the videos have also been added to Google, Yahoo, Grouper, Sharkle, Break, Friendster, AOL Uncut, Uber and Soapbox.
This online initiative from GSUSA targets loyal customers — Americans purchase approximately 200 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies a year — and aims to increase awareness of and interest in the Girl Scout Cookie Program for newcomers.
"By creating a one-stop online destination with information about every council that sells one of America's favorite treats, we believe it will be easier than ever to enjoy a quality product while supporting girls and young women throughout the country," says Kathy Cloninger, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. "This annual, voluntary activity teaches girls essential financial skills they will use their entire lives. We're proud that the Girl Scout Cookie Program has become the nation's premier business and economic literacy program and believe this online initiative will truly strengthen the program and result in a successful 2007 sale!"
The Girl Scouts' first-ever appearance on MySpace aims to raise interest in the cookie program by interacting with a new group of potential Girl Scout supporters — teens and adults — who spend significant time in online social networks. Half of all teens who go online visit social networking sites at least once a day, and 70 percent of 15- to 17-year-old girls network online. More than half of all MySpace users are older than 35, so they represent a segment with real purchasing power.
The Girl Scout cookies MySpace page showcases mouth-watering cookie photos, user polls, vintage Girl Scout cookie ads (the same ads now also seen on YouTube.com and other sites), and more. The page will be updated throughout the 2007 cookie sale period, which spans October to April but is commonly January through March for most councils.
In building its MySpace page, and in placing its online videos, Girl Scouts tapped the expertise of online marketing firm Ripple Effects Interactive. Ripple Effects will be helping Girl Scouts reach both a teen and adult audience throughout the cookie sale season.
The Girl Scout Cookie Program, the nation's premiere entrepreneurial program for girls, has been teaching young women invaluable finance, marketing, public speaking, customer service, teamwork and leadership skills since 1917. All of the proceeds, minus the baker's fee, go to local Girl Scouts. A portion of cookie proceeds goes to the troop/group that did the selling, and girls themselves decide how the money is spent.
Girl Scout cookies are sold once a year in all 50 states and in U.S. territories. To find a council selling cookies in your area, visit www.girlscoutcookies.org.
About Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent organization for and leading authority on girls with 3.7 million girl and adult members. Now in its 94th year, Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. The organization strives to serve girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girls Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer, or donate to the Girl Scouts, call (800) GSUSA 4 U (800-478-7248) or visit www.girlscouts.org.
About Ripple Effects Interactive
Founded in 1997 by interactive marketing veterans, Ripple Effects Interactive is a national digital marketing agency ranked among the nation's Top 25 independent interactive firms by Advertising Age. With offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Ripple Effects offers a full range of services, including strategic communications planning, Web site design, e-mail marketing, social media, online and search marketing, user experience testing, content management solutions, and Web application development for a prestigious client roster in higher education, cultural and nonprofit, consumer and lifestyle, and travel and tourism. For more information, a client list and a portfolio of work, please visit www.RippleEffectsInteractive.com.