Cartoon Network changes advertising pack

MUMBAI: It's changing its sales spiel in a bid to better its offering to advertisers. Leading kids' channel Cartoon Network has started selling its programmes individually, even as it has been working on building up characters like Tom and Jerry as brands.



As part of its new pitch, Cartoon Network has clubbed its programmes into four broad categories - Blockbuster Toons, Super Toons, Prime Toons and Wonder Toons - based on how many toddlers and youngsters are tuning into them. And it is pushing them at advertisers with rates matching their popularity

"We will do a quarterly update to review the performance of our programmes. They will be shifted to the different categories based on their ratings. The top 10 shows, for instance, will fall under the Blockbuster Toons category," says Turner International India head of advertising sales Monica Tata.



This marks a significant shift from Cartoon Network's earlier strategy of selling to advertisers as a channel. "Programmes like Pokemon and Tom and Jerry are doing well. In fact, we have 70 of our shows among the top 100 in the kids' category. Which is why we shifted to a programme-led rate card," says Tata.

Cartoon Network has also done promotional licensing of its characters. "Our star characters provide a platform for advertisers to carry out various promotional activities," says Tata.



It is not only kid categories which have exploited the opportunity but also tea brands like Red Label which have used Tom and Jerry toys as a give away on purchase of every pack. Kwality Ice-cream is also another company that saw merit in this opportunity.

One set of media planners point out off the record that Cartoon Network is being forced to take this tack because a gradual shift is taking place in viewing with kids channels like Hungama TV and Animax gaining cachet. "The realignment of rates is Cartoon Network's search for a solution, in a fragmented market, which is attractive to advertisers," says a senior media buyer in an agency.

Another media planner emphatically stated that Cartoon Network has built up topnotch successful programmes; hence it has the luxury of being able to club programs into different groups in order to milk more revenue out of them.

Whatever be the truth, clearly the kids' channel segment is turning out to be no longer kids' play.

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