Television

Non-traditional advertisers flock to Turner’s kids channels

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MUMBAI: The year 2015 was an exciting one for kids' television, what with several new shows being added to popular time bands and channels going the original way for content. From the perspective of advertising expenditure too, 2015 spelled as a fruitful year for the kids category on television as it managed to attract several non-conventional advertisers.

Giving an insight on the facts and figures for the year's performance in the genre, Turner International India vice president ad sales -  South Asia Juhi Ravindranath says, "The ad spends in 2015 were largely driven by categories like autos and e-commerce, which are not the conventional advertisers in the kids’ genre. FMCGs have performed really well. The overall estimate for TV has grown by over 14 per cent while the kids’ genre has also seen a decent double-digit growth."

Turner International rode this wave successfully and kept up with the pace of Indian entertainment market as well. "Pogo and Cartoon Network have received newer advertisers and categories coming on board, and their dependence on non-kids advertisers is also growing. Currently, nearly 60 to 65 per cent of the inventory on the kids’ genre is from non-kids' brands. The channels have advertised with non-conventional advertisers through the conventional vignettes, brand integrations of the content messaging, creating co-branded promos, etc," Ravindranath informs.

On the brand integration front, channels have offered several new initiatives. "One of the key highlights for the year was the brand integration with Kellogg's & Chhota Bheem. Another creative brand integration included: Perfetti in the animated movie series Sholay on Pogo. In addition to this, Perfetti Alpenliebe Juzt Jelly will join hands for the upcoming telefilm, Kris Ka Scooba Dooba Ajooba on Cartoon Network," she says. 

With advertisers from the non-kids category and FMCG brands coming onboard, the network's content strategy for 2016 is also expected to ramp up.

Turner International, executive director and network head - kids Krishna Desai adds, "Original content is key to us in fulfilling a long term and sustainable content pipe. A very large majority of all the content on CN comprises Cartoon Network Originals. On Pogo, large chunks of our pipe are either co-productions or from our sister company Warner Bros. Making content locally relevant is crucial – be it in the form of dubbing or home grown content."

With original content being the key focus, the channels will soon work on their line up for the year. "Turner International India will slowly bring in local content on the channel Toonami, along with the super hero shows. The second movie of the series Chakra that was worked along with Stan Lee, will be premiere in a few weeks," informs Desai.

However he asserts that good stories with universal themes told in a language understood and preferred by the audience, makes the differentiation between local versus international and irrelevant one. "Ben10 on Cartoon Network is as Indian as a Chhota Bheem as they have always seen him talk in Hindi," he adds.

Years ago Cartoon Network was the sole ruler in the genre. However, things changed as more and more new kids channels made their entry in the country. Although the channel continues to hold its place in the top three positions through the year, it is no longer the most watched channel in the category.

When asked if Turner International India will strive to reclaim its number one spot in the category, Desai says, "The portfolio share makes us the number one kids portfolio in India. Our endeavor is to grow this share and also have leadership in the individual channel ranks. Our strategy is based on putting the consumer at the center of everything that we do."

With more and more kids content being available digitally, channels must also buckle up to retain their audiences. Desai says that offering app based services and experiences are one way to tap in the changing dynamics in kids content. 

"Our kids brand digital offerings are transitioning towards being more 'app' based. The applications CN Watch and Play and CN Anything will be launched soon in India while Pogo channel’s website will shortly migrate on a new and much responsive platform. Kids love playing games than watching videos. CN Watch and Play app lets you do that at the same time," Desai points out. 

The network is also building shows that have a specific digital strategy, which may mean that they get premiered first on the digital platform.

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