Nick heads South

MUMBAI: Viacom18 kids channel Nick is southward bound following in the footsteps of the other kids channels. What‘s driving it there is the fact that the south accounts for more than one-fourth of the total Indian kids‘ TV viewership.
After gaining a firm hold on the Hindi speaking market, the channel is now ready to have its characters speak Tamil and Telugu in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh respectively. While Kerala will air shows in English, Nick will feature a mix of Hindi English and Tamil feeds in Karnataka.

Says Nick India SVP & GM Nina Elavia Jaipuria: "We have consolidated our position in the HSM space by constantly reinventing ourselves and engaging young audiences, our intent is to expand viewership on the national level Also, our advertisers, which currently cater to the HSM market, are keen to address the south market." 
In 2010 (first two weeks only, Tam‘s expanded universe estimation), southern Indian kids accounted for 27 per cent of the all India kids market (42.7 million kids all India).

To begin with, Nick has dubbed Dora the Explorer, Ninja Hattori and Perman in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi while the rest of the shows will be telecast in English.

"Right now we want kids to sample our shows and build awareness. Our soft launch has already generated double digit numbers and we are very optimistic about our prospects," says Jaipuria.

Talking about the challenges it faces from rivals, Jaipuria observes that barring Tamil Nadu - where Sun‘s Chutti TV will provide additional competition - "it‘s the same six players that will battle it out in the other three regions."

"The entry of new players in the South will actually help the genre grow with each grabbing a piece of the ad pie. However, the share of revenues will not grow much but, instead, only get dispersed," says a media observer.

To create direct consumer interaction that will help craft kids preferences in the new region, Nick has plans to take the brand beyond television through various on-ground activities.

The channel is scheduled to host the ‘Horlicks Growth Carnival‘ in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata that will have magic shows, clowns, jugglers, games and meet and greets with Nicktoons Ninja Hattori, Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob Square Pants and Perman.

"We have adopted a 360 degree approach to reach out to the target group. We will create touch points in schools and malls and also have a TV plan in place that will work outside Nick to create brand preference," Jaipuria avers.

If it gets its act right, Nick might well end up licking the competition.

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