No kidding! Kid's TV channels get serious about Diwali

MUMBAI: It’s that time of the year again when television channels in the kids’ genre go full throttle to appease their tiny tot viewers.


With a viewership of 7.3 percent of the total television audience in India, kids’ channels enjoy advertising revenue of 3.8 per cent, which is predicted to hit Rs 6650 crore as per FICCI’s Industry report 2015, which expects the total ad spends on television to be Rs 17,500 crore in 2015. A major chunk of this revenue is generated during the third quarter, thanks to a sudden increase in viewership.


“During Diwali northern states and the western parts of India have holidays so naturally viewership on kids’ channels goes up. Therefore there is a spurt in investment in kids genre as well,” says a veteran media planner, who adds that though there is a definite increase in viewership from last year, it is hard to put that into figures as TAM and BARC ratings use different mechanisms of viewership measurements.


Kids channels’ look forward to the third quarter as it generates the highest viewership for them after the April May June time which is usually when schools have summer vacation. With this surge in viewership, advertisers too plan in advance to make the most of their television spends through these kids channels.


It is needless to say that channels heavily invest to promote their existing shows and also grab eye balls with new exciting content, and 2015 is no exception.


From new show launches to extensive on ground activities, kids channels have pulled out all stops on whatever services they have at their disposal, be it on the marketing front or content. Keeping in mind the excitement surrounding Children’s day, some are conducting city wise on ground promotions, while others have brought in fresh local content to appeal to urban as well as rural viewers.


For the same reason, Turner International India’s kids’ channels Cartoon Network and Pogo planned week-long celebrations with new movies, specials and contests to make the most of the holidays.


Cartoon Network has celebrated the birthday of one the network’s most popular character Kris from the Roll No. 21 series with a week-long stunt in a special program titled Kris ka Dhamakedar Birthday from 9 to 14 November at 10.30 am.  Following which the channel airs Lights Camera Roll No. 21: Kris in Bollywood, a brand new movie featuring Kris making his Bollywood debut, on 14 November 2015 at 10:30am.


The channel has also organized a special promotional contest to win an invite to Kris’s birthday party.


Pogo’s Diwali week ending in 13 November saw back to back Chhota Bheem movies and specials that aired throughout the week from 9am onwards and a brand new movie titled Chhota Bheem: Dinosaur World at 12pm on 11 November.


The genre’s leader Nickelodeon hasn’t been complacent with its number one rank and has invested heavily in on ground promotions for this year’s Children’s day. The Viacom 18 owned network will bring down their toon stars to interact with children in Delhi and Kolkata on D Day, with Shivaji and Ninha making special appearances on the venue.


“In Delhi, there will be dedicated games that would be played at the set-up, including a Squap integration with toons giving them away to lucky winners over and above Nickelodeon merchandise that would be distributed,” reveals Viacom18 EVP and business head – kids cluster Nina Elavia Jaipuria.


“Kids in Kolkata get a chance to not only meet Motu Patlu but also engage at the carnival with loads of games. The entire City Centre mall will get the look of Furfurinagar and kids will get a chance to win super cool Motu Patlu merchandise as well. This has been promoted though ads, TV astons, radio and online,” she explains, adding that the initiative is a joint venture between ABP and Viacom 18, with TeleKids as partners in the event.


The channel also plans to take these promotions digital in order to reach out to as many kids and mothers as possible. At the same time it will reinforce their merchandising stronghold in the market.


“This Children's Day we're unveiling the new look of Squap, that is, Squap 2,” shares Jaipuria excitedly, “The wittiest and the funniest comment on the new Squap will be a cool way to Squap,” she adds.


Commenting on the importance of this quarter in terms of ad revenues, Jaipuria further adds, “October November and December is as busy as April, May and June for us. This is the time when kids’ channels see a lot of traction both in terms of viewership as well as ad revenue. Our viewership as well as ad spends increase by 29 to 30 per cent during this time.” She also adds that there has been considerable increase in ad rates this year.


In terms of programming, Sonic will air a movie special featuring Pakdam Pakdai Doggy Don Vs Billiman at 7:30pm on 14 November, while Nick will celebrate children’s day with Motu Patlu Kung Fu King Returns at 11.30 am.


The network’s biggest offering to their little viewers this season is undoubtedly Shiva, their third home grown animated series which went on air on 9 November, and has already garnered positive reviews.


Another channel which is out to win new audiences and treat old viewers with fresh content is Discovery Kids with their brand new show Luv Kushh that also went on air on 9 November.


 “Discovery Kids continues to entertain kids with its variety of programmes and genres, endearing characters and exciting storylines. The new series, Luv Kushh will take kids back to the era of gurukuls and recreate the age-old traditions of the student-teacher relationship,” said Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific EVP and GM, Rahul Johri on their new show.


Given the timing for the launch one can wonder if the move was deliberate on the part of the channels to go head to head to competition for viewership. Either way, this quarter looks busy, exciting, and content heavy for the kids’ entertainment channels.

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