MUMBAI: Summer leaves a lot of time for kids to enjoy and bury themselves in fun activities. Activities that could include going to a park, seeing a movie or going to a beach.
So while they do this and more, for the kids channels, this is the time they want to engage the kids with their programmes. And with this in mind, kids’ channels, Disney and Hungama TV had this summer, designed a special summer programming line-up. This proved to be a jackpot not only for the kids but for the channel as well. Both Disney and Hungama TV have proved to be front-runners across age brackets and the kids’ entertainment genre.
With new format shows like Captain Tiao and Arjun: Prince of Bali on Disney and Pokemon on Hungama, the Disney network has seen a nine per cent growth in viewership, this summer.
Since its launch, Hungama’s prime play slot (Weekdays, 1pm) ranks number one in total TV among all kids (CS 4-14 ABC) and younger boys (CS M 4-9 ABC) in HSM. Viewership during the prime play slot has strengthened by 15 per cent, post the launch of Pokemon (In comparison to the previous four weeks before launch for the same slot) among all kids (CS 4-14 ABC) in HSM. Moreover, the show reaches out to 35.8 million audiences (CS4+) across All India of which 16.9 million audiences are kids (CS 4-14) across all play.
“We are always on the lookout for content that resonates with kids. We listen to them and understand the entertainment expectations kids have today,” reveals Disney India director, programming, kids channels Devika Prabhu.
Disney consciously also looked at scheduling short format series this year, which has also added to its success this summer. For example, the channel featured the Mickey Mouse short series which was well received by the channel’s target audience. “The mix of long form and short form formats brought great results for us. It kept our viewers surprised and we also offered something unique, innovative, and novel and it really kept our audiences engaged with the channel,” reasons Prabhu.
Besides this, Disney’s Jet Set Go three campaigns also received an overwhelming response. “This time we had experimented something new, and that stuck the right chord for us,” reveals Prabhu.
On Hungama, shows like Ninja Warrior continued to do well for the channel, but the breakaway hit was the Pokemon series. “What was heartening to see was that it was launched as a daily, and for a daily to get that kind of traction across that slot is very encouraging,” asserts Prabhu. “The response to the Pokémon series on Hungama TV has been phenomenal and the success of it is testimony to the fact great content packaged with interesting elements can definitely excite the kids of today.”
Prabhu says that re-launching the series was a right move. “Pokemon is a series that is a blend of action, comedy and fun. It truly celebrates the spirit of childhood as it captures a child’s imagination, playfulness and a zest to be adventurous. The internationally popular series, which embodies Hungama TV’s philosophy of enthusiasm, fun, adventure, and friendship, brings in moments of unexpected adventures and entertainment as it captures the escapades of 10 year old Ash Ketchum who starts his action packed journey with his first Pokemon, Pikachu. It connects with Hungama TV’s proposition and takes this position forward and so it was a perfect fit to showcase the series on Hungama TV,” explains Prabhu.
To reach out to the greater audiences, the channel launched a few innovative on-air campaigns. For the launch of the Pokemon series the channel had a campaign that showcased the distinctive elements that brought out the exciting nature and characteristics of the world of Pokemon. From a Pokemon rap song with lyrics around his masters, and the power of the Poke Ball to a special Poke Ball stunt. The on air campaign had a series of fun elements that engaged and connected with kids of all ages.
“The great thing is, we don’t really need to woo the audience on the channel because we are the top channel when it comes to viewership. It is more about giving them reasons to stay engaged with us,” informs Prabhu.
Dream Theatre founder and CEO Jiggy George who represents Pokemon for content syndication, licensing and merchandising in India is excited about how well the show has done. “This is Dream Theatre's first foray into content syndication and kudos to the Hungama team on the superlative launch. We have always believed in Pokemon's timeless value and it is very gratifying to see a new generation take to Pokemon with such gusto.”
Moreover, Dream Theatre is also working on mega Pokemon consumer product launch in January 2015, which will see a slew of licensed Pokemon products in stores for its millions of Indian fans.
Surprisingly, the kids genre viewership has remained unaffected by the IPL. According to the data received by the TAM subscribers, kids genre which had a 15.6 per cent share prior to IPL among all kids (CS 4-14 ABC) in HSM held on to its viewership.
“This summer too, we’ve been happy to present to them yet another mix of memorable stories and wonderful characters and in a short span of time they’ve been exceedingly well received. Our focus will always be to ensure we stay connected with our audience by offering new forms of storytelling, that seeks to entertain and inspire them, all executed with quality of the highest caliber,” concludes Prabhu.
The network has received tremendous response from the advertisers as well. In addition to the ratings, the network has seen positive response from categories such as organized retail, apparels in addition to FMCGS and more across the network. Moreover, categories in consumer durables such as water purifiers, cooking oils, printers have come on to the channel as well.