Kids TV channels seek to service adults too

Krishna Desai speaks on the business, content and digital sides of Turner International India‘s kids forays.

What is the local content strategy adapted by the channel to attract viewers and more so encourage co-viewing (kids & parents together)?

Way back at the turn of the century, realised that there was a growing preference of local content in the kids‘ space, resulting in development of our Desi Toons strategy that emphasises on showcasing locally relevant content that resonates with kids. We will continue to deliver local content be it more of international shows in local languages, acquiring and producing content conceived locally and delivering a platter full of hit shows in different formats.

Although, traditionally, kids‘ channels are perceived to cater to only to children, the latest findings of Cartoon Network New Generations , our proprietary research, shows that a majority of parents (three out of every five parents) watch television with their kids; morevover, cartoons are their most preferred genre after serials. Our strong portfolio of shows such as Tom and JerryBen 10Oggy and the CockroachesChhota Bheem, etc. cross age limits and appeal to parents as well.

What kind of numbers are you generating in terms of viewership and what kind of audiences and from where?

Turner‘s kids‘ network is clearly leading the genre on-air as well as online. Key findings are highlighted below:

POGO at No. 1 (151 GRPs) and Cartoon Network at No. 2 (119 GRPs) - YTD

Cartoon Network at No. 1 (159 GRPs) and POGO at No. 2 (151 GRPs) - Week 23

Cartoon Network, at 159 GRPs, is the maximum in last 5 years - Week 23

At 188 GRPs, Pogo created a new industry record in the genre of the highest GRPs ever for any kids channel in last 7 years - Week 19

(Source: TAM | All India | YTD: wk 1-23 | 4-14 years | All SEC) and are the top two kids‘ websites in the country with a million unique viewers.

What is the competitive landscape like? Who are the main viewers (age, urban, non-urban, etc)?

* Currently, there are 16 national channels in the kids‘ genre. 

* Cartoon Network and POGO broadly target kids across the country between the age group of 4-14 years, across all SECs.

What are the initiatives and plans you have to promote merchandise along with highlighting the scope for partnering with a retailer? 

The advantage for us is that we are part of a media conglomerate with presence across all platforms such as TV, online, on ground and digital. Apart from leveraging the two channels - Cartoon Network and POGO, we also leverage our predominant position in the market in the digital space. With over 375 unique games on &, we reach out to 500,000 unique visitors monthly. We also have tie-ups with all the major retail chains to provide children with memorable on-ground experience through character meet and greet events and trade activities.

Cartoon Network Enterprises has licensee partnerships across all key merchandising categories such as toys, games, apparel and accessories, publishing, back to school, gifts and novelties, sporting goods, confectionary and home video amongst others. We also have significant business coming in from promotional licensing where we partner with large FMCG companies to offer free character branded give aways on purchased goods. Today, Ben 10 franchise is the number one boys action property in India that has sold over 950,000 units of toys and counting.

Apart from these traditional categories, we have successfully leveraged our business by launching innovative products to keep up with the trends in the market. Some of these include, digital video-ebooks based on the popular Ben 10 series and M.A.D. Let‘s Doodle! School graded art and craft books and M.A.D Live classes based on the successful show M.A.D. (Music Art Dance).

Taking this engagement to a new level, we recently brought an international stage show called ‘Ben 10 Live: Time Machine‘ to India. The show gave kids the opportunity to see their favourite superhero and his aliens live on stage and the audience response was phenomenal.

As far as partnering with retailers is concerned, currently our products are sold across traditional, modern retail channels as well as through school clubs and fairs. We have excellent relationship with individual retail chains built on a solid win-win philosophy. While the retail chains are able to provide the requisite infrastructure, we have the unique ability to create branded experiences and environments to engage with our consumers. We actively do in-shop promotions, retail activations, and meet and greet events.

Juhi Ravindranath speaks on brands that advertise on kids channels, emerging spenders and advertising solutions that Turner International India offers.

How big is the broadcast advertising market and what is the share of the kids‘ genre?

The advertising spends of the broadcast industry were approximately Rs 125 Billion in 2012 (Source: Ficci-KPMG Report 2013) and the kids‘ genre contributed Rs 3 Billion to this revenue.

Which categories spend the most on advertising on your channel? Which companies spend the most money? 

For the kids channels, categories such as chocolates, noodles/pasta and confectionary that primary target kids, are critical for our business. Advertisers such as GSK, HUL, Cadbury, Mattel, Kellogs, Perfetti, ITC are amongst our top spenders.

Are there any new emerging spenders?

For kids‘ brands, we expect to see a rise in advertising by non-traditional categories, as more and more advertisers realise the impact kids have on purchase decisions. We expect to see consumer electronics, mobile handsets and automobiles to show increasing interest.

What does advertising on such channels offer to these advertisers? Any trends and insights you can share for the same?

Our audience comprises of kids as well as their parents. ‘Cartoon Network New Generations 2012‘ shows a majority of parents watch television with their kids. After serials, cartoons are their most preferred genre. Even amongst adults, Pogo and Cartoon Network would be within the top 15 most watched channels (All India, TAM).

Kids are the primary decision-makers when it comes to certain categories, like chewing gum, candies etc. Kids form key influencers on other categories. They have a say on almost all household purchase decisions be it televisions, computers, mobiles, automobiles etc. This is apart from regular household consumption items like oral care, ketchup, ready to eat snacks etc.

As a result, advertisers come to the channel to target kids, both as primary consumers as well as key influencers. Apart from this they can reach the parents. A large number of advertisers like FMCG, durables are coming in to target the parent - FMCG for the mothers, durables for the fathers. This is the area of new growth for the kids genre.

At Turner, we believe in selling solutions to customers that can be leveraged across multiple media. Our properties work extremely well for clients on TV as well as beyond TV, and clients increasingly see the benefit of the same. For example:

*With Johnson & Johnson BandAid, we offered a promo licensing deal of Chhota Bheem, the most popular kids‘ character. This deal offered the brand online presence on our websites, sponsorships and was topped off with a school contact program across six cities tapping over 500,000 students.

*HP printers partnered with Rob, the iconic host of POGO‘s M.A.D. show, to conduct customised workshops and an event that was promoted on both kids channel through attractive vignettes.

*GlaxoSmithkline‘s Horlicks continues to partner with Cartoon Network, to create customised exam videos giving children tips on studying for exams. This is the third year in a row that we have been working with them.

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