Viacom18 puts marketing might behind summer shows across three kids’ channels

MUMBAI: Summer is here and that means it’s that time of the year when channels and brands alike go all out to woo their favourite consumer – the kids!


Nickelodeon for one is all set to entertain kids across the country with exciting offerings across its four channels namely Nick, Sonic, Nick Jr. and Teen Nick.


Building on its unparalleled leadership story, Nickelodeon has unveiled its detailed plans for the summer, which includes a robust programming line-up along with interactive campaigns on-air, on-ground and online. From power-packed promotions to new shows, new seasons and more, Nickelodeon is geared up to engage kids across age groups this summer.


Nick: The undisputed leader of the kids’ genre


To consolidate the leadership position, which the channel has been enjoying for the last couple of months, Nick has set the stage for its flagship show Motu Patlu by launching a campaign called ‘Motu Patlu Hero Hunt.’


As per the data released by BARC for week 16, Nick maintained the lead with 61,287 GTVTs (Gross Television Viewership in Thousands) followed by Pogo, which had 58,473 GTVTs and Cartoon Network with 39,495 GTVTs.


Viacom18 - kids cluster EVP and business head Nina Elavia Jaipuria avers that the channel’s viewership grows by almost 15 per cent during the summer months. “We are making sure that we are out on the front foot entertaining and engaging kids with our best content and best promotions,” she asserts.


Keeping in line with the changing and ever evolving preference of children, Jaipuria believes that it is imperative to understand the current fads and trends in the kids’ space.


For the Motu Patlu Hero Hunt, Nick will give kids an opportunity to get animated alongside the two characters. “Kids love to be on television and if they are in the animated avatar, there’s nothing like it. So based on that learning, we will run a contest on the channel wherein kids can answer a simple question and win a chance to feature on the Motu Patlu show in an animated avatar,” informs Jaipuria.


“This kind of promotion merits a great marketing plan because we need to give it surround sound and create enough awareness about the promotion,” she adds.


To give wings to the campaign, Nick will roll out a 360 degree campaign across the country, which will include cross channel television plan, print, ambient, digital and a whole host of experiential touch points to engage with kids wherever they are.


As part of the on-ground promotional activity, Nick has also planned tons of games and fun activities for kids in malls across Mumbai and Delhi.


Through augmented reality, kids will be able to see their animated avatar talking to Motu Patlu on the screen in the mall. “With this initiative, we will see how augmented reality actually converts kids into an animated avatar,” adds Jaipuria.


The network has also partnered with 26 Pantaloons outlets in the country where the retail chain will hold a ‘Junior Fashion Week’ and conduct auditions in their outlets with finales being held at Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta and Bangalore. In these cities, Motu Patlu will also be the part of the fashion show and walk the ramp with children.


In order to generate awareness about the promotions, Nick has also tied up with almost 25-30 McDonald’s outlets in the north and west.


No promotion activity or marketing campaign these days is replete without a digital presence. Nick is creating a micro site - nickindia.comfor the iconic characters, which will have a whole lot of videos and promotional material. Additionally, the channel has also loaded the website with as many as 15 games, which kids can enjoy playing. “The whole play factor comes into place here and kids can play with our characters because they love them so much,” Jaipuria says.


Nick will also be milking the consumer products segment in order create the required euphoria for Motu Patlu. “While we had the apparels earlier, this season we are focusing on ‘Back to School’ as soon the kids and their mothers will start buying new stuff for school. Some of the branded products we will be launching are bags, water bottles, lunchboxes and zippers amongst others,” informs Jaipuria.


Adding to the summer excitement will be the launch of Motu Patlu’s sixth exclusive ‘made-for-television’ movie, Motu Patlu Kung Fu King Returns, which will be released in June. The channel will also launch all new episodes of the show this season. This will be preceded by the launch of the latest SpongeBob adventure: The SpongeBob Movie – Sponge Out of Water, which will release across India on 8 May, 2015.


Sonic: Selfies & new shows


Nick’s sister channel Sonic is taking a different route in terms of promotions. According to Jaipuria, being a smaller channel, the summer months helps Sonic grow by getting in new viewers, which leads to drive a better reach of the channel.


Riding on the selfie wave that has swept adults and kids alike, Sonic has launched a summer campaign with the tagline ‘Selfie Kheecho Prizes Jeeto’ to drive engagement with the digital savvy generation.


The idea is for the kids to watch Sonic’s show Pakdam Pakdai, take selfies with Doggy Don and send it to the channel. Winners stand a chance to win smartphones and tablets. The selfies will also be uploaded on as videos and gags.


For Sonic, Viacom 18 is focusing on smaller cities and has launched van activations in 15 cities across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.


Sonic will also connect with kids across multiple retail touch-points such as Funcity across 12 cities and numerous McDonald’s outlets pan India.


Further building on the Pakdam Pakdai franchise, the channel will be launching all new episodes of the action packed chase-comedy show this summer. Sonic has also launched two new shows called Hubert Takako and Mini Ninjas.


“With all the marketing this summer, we want to make sure that the advertisers are also happy with the kind of viewership and promotions we have,” adds Jaipuria.


Teen Nick: New shows


Realising that kids are watching international shows online on YouTube, Viacom 18 brought those shows on its channel Teen Nick. The new shows that will be aired on Teen Nick this summer are Marvin Marvin and a sitcom called Nicky Dicky Dawn.


Nick Jr: Dora takes the lead


Dora leads the pack on Nick Jr this summer. On 14 May, the channel will celebrate Mother’s Day with Dora and Gelato in four cities namely Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Bangalore. Kids and mothers can walk in and enjoy free scoops of ice-cream. On the consumer products front,Dora continues to have its back-to-school goodies.


With the new shows on-board, Jaipuria reveals that the channel will stick to its five-seven hours of original programming. “We don’t play the 24-hour repeat but play other repeats so kids don’t feel that they are watching the same episodes again and again,” informs Jaipuria.


Happy Advertisers


New advertisers have flocked to the channel ever since the network achieved its leadership position last year with Nick. Viacom 18 has advertisers across categories like food, FMCG, automobile brands like Honda and Hyundai, as well as brands like OLX, Micromax and Whirpool to name a few.


Advertisers who get active in the summers months are Rasna, Tang, Horlicks and Mother Dairy amongst others.


Jaipuria reveals that it has been a good year in terms of ad sales growth and hopes that the quarter continues to grow even further. In terms of ad sales, the Nickelodeon franchise has witnessed a growth of 33 per cent. “Most of that has come through increase in our rates. We are happy to note that we are in the right trajectory, the shortage in inventory and our heroes – Motu and PatluNinja and Pakdam Pakdai have made it happen for us.”


The leadership position has helped the network monetize better thus making ad sales rates growth by 33 per cent, informs Jaipuria.


Talking about the 10-sec ad rate, she says, “We saw the growth coming in Nick last year because of the leadership position and with our delivery being good, we were able to command our increase right. Summer observes a shortage in the inventory as well and therefore we would obviously like to give it to advertisers, who will pay us more because of the inventory shortage.”


In ad rates, last year the Nickelodeon franchise witnessed a growth of 25-30 per cent and Jaipuria is hoping to keep it at the same rate this quarter as well. The network will continue the rate hike through summer as it has consolidated its leadership position and also advertisers are interested in their 12-minutes inventory.


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