Nickelodeon takes its toons outside TV

MUMBAI: There are no second thoughts when we say that India is a significant player in the ever growing consumer products and brand licensing market.  Reports peg the brand licensing market globally at close to $ 150 billion at retail, while India contributes $450 million. And banking on this is Viacom18’s consumer products business which sees a massive growth in kids’ merchandise and products space.

While ramping up core categories like toys, apparel, footwear, back to school, eyewear, publishing and accessories for its Nick brands, Viacom18’s consumer products aims to accelerate and build its toons outside broadcast through promotional licensing model. Reason: the network aims to leverage Nickelodeon’s popular kids’ brands to support the promotional requirements of client brands that typically have mothers or families as their media audience and kids and tweens as end consumers.

To kick start this strategic thrust, Viacom18’s consumer product business has partnered with Domino’s, the fast food chain in the country, to launch the first ever ‘Junior’s Joy Box Meal’, to cater to kids’ taste buds and their love for toys alike.

As part of the partnership, families that order ‘Junior’s Joy Box Meal’ for their kids from the nearest Domino’s Pizza outlet can take home Nickelodeon’s popular Nicktoon and SpongeBob Squarepants merchandises.

Priced at Rs 99 per meal, the box includes a slice of pizza, a few breadsticks seasoned with oregano, a rainbow sprinkled custard desert and a mango based beverage.

So why did the network lock the deal with brand Dominos? “Dominos is the number one QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) in its category. Given its reach and popularity we chose to partner with it. We wanted to go beyond the broadcast space while Dominos wanted to associate with a strong and reputed brand like Viacom18,” answers Viacom18 Media head - consumer products Saugato Bhowmik.

According to him, Viacom18 is very selective while partnering with a brand. “The network’s internal preference was Dominos,” he adds.

The three-month deal which was rolled out in May 2014 will be on till September. “Kids loved this since apart from the customised ready meal they are getting an attractive figurine of SpongeBob,” says Bhowmik.

According to him, SpongeBob was a natural fit for the choice of merchandise, because of its happy, cheerful and optimistic characteristics. SpongeBob Squarepants is an extremely popular toon amongst both, kids and adults, “Hence this partnership with Domino’s is set to gain much traction,” hopes Bhowmik.

The association is being supported by 360 degree marketing campaign. This partnership brings two brands together to deliver a product that can be enjoyed, not just by the kids but parents as well.

The network has taken the route of mass marketing to promote this deal starting with a TVC that is being aired on all its channels. Going forward, they are also looking at meet and greets with the children and the toons across India.

According to Domino’s Pizza India VP marketing Harneet Singh Rajpal, Junior’s Joy Box as a product was created to broaden the full meal options for kids, who are already a part of their consumer base. “With our new product, we are also giving out SpongeBob Squarepants as a package during the launch phase.”

Rajpal believes that tying up with Nick gives them an added advantage as it creates higher level of engagement and attraction amongst kids.  

For Bhowmik the deal has helped them go beyond television and bring the famous toons closer to kids. Moreover, the network claims to have achieved three times more business targets that it had even aimed at.

The network has a global partnership out of its international office in the US for ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ which is available with the McDonald’s Happy Meal.

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