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Motu Patlu defines Nick’s success

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MUMBAI: ‘Humour is pretty much the key to kids’ relaxation and that’s what we do at Nickelodeon (Nick),” says Viacom18 EVP and business head kids cluster Nina Elavia Jaipuria.

She has not only understood the changing perception of kids in their growing age but also has got Nick from being one of the low ranking kids channel to one among the top players. And, even though this may not have been an easy task, she has made it appear like it is a child’s play.



If we go by the TAM TV ratings, it has been growing steadily in terms of viewership and has topped the category. In week 37, it reported 209 GVTs, 221 GVTs in week 38, 225 GVTs in week 39 and 247 in week 40 of TAM TV ratings.



On the other hand, in the week 40, other kid’s offerings in the space garnered – Hungama with 225 GVTs, Disney with 211 GVTs, Cartoon Network with 207 GVTs and Pogo with 163 GVTs.



One of the reasons Jaipuria states for the channel’s success is its own IP heroes who have won hearts of children - Motu and Patlu.  Apart from television series, the channel in the past had created three movies based on the characters. Titled Motu Patlu in Wonderland which was released on 7 July 2013 which generated 414 TVTs, Motu Patlu Mission Moon that was aired on 25 December 2013 which garnered 386 TVTs and this year in May it aired Motu Patlu Deep Sea Adventure which observed 528 TVTs.



Now, come Diwali, the channel is looking at expanding its portfolio with its fourth movie christened Motu Patlu in Kung Fu land.



She reasons the insights of growing the franchise from the perspective of doing series and moving into movies as well. Jaipuria believes that kids’ preferences have moved on from watching the usual movies that they get to watch on general entertainment channels (GEC) or movie channels which is Bollywood. But the preference has actually moved to watching movies of their own favourite characters. “Children are in love with the characters of various channels, whether its Chota Bheem or Motu Patlu and the preference in terms of viewing is also about watching a movie where the story is around that favourite character,” says Jaipuria.



She further goes on to say that kids love things which is outside of the usual environment and goes into various aspects of live, adventure, action etc and such shows is what Nick offers. “That is where the category is moving and we want the franchise to move as well because slowly and steadily the franchise has occupied a very large place on the channel and the characters have won the hearts of kids across the country,” she adds.



Another factor she highlights is about the character engagement with kids. “The past launches of the movies, from the title itself, each one of them has a different setting and stories to say and that is what kids expect. Every movie we do, we believe in bettering ourselves.”



The 100-minute movie will have all the elements of comic, relief, humour, action, adventure, good over evil and more. She confidently says that characters like Motu Patlu are here to stay now and contribute in terms of viewership also to the channel. “It is really about investing in a franchise and creating enduring characters. The beautiful part is these three movies have been on-air since a while, but in week 37 and 38 of TAM TV ratings, Motu Patlu in Wonderland and Motu Patlu Mission Moon topped the kid’s category chart,” elaborates Jaipuria.



Interestingly, the channel launched the franchise in October 2012 and 8 per cent ratings came from it. Today, Jaipuria reveals that in September 2014, the same franchise delivers about 40-45 per cent of the ratings. “We have really come a long way, but we still believe we have a long way to go.”



So what has been the reason of success? Jaipuria highlights that research has played an integral role in knowing kids’ changing preferences, likes, dislikes, viewing pattern etc. It continues to do research on kids on a regular basis with the help of Ormax. The channel has a bi-annual study across different cities in the country which talks about kids’ changing viewing patterns and a lot more.



Unlike GECs, Jaipuria believes she is luckier. “Kids seem to be watching us through the day.” She goes on to say that across the country, kids’ go to schools at different timings. For the channel, 12 to 2 pm slots are as fertile as 6-8 pm slot. “The afternoon slot and the evening slot deliver maximum viewership.”



Nick is on top of the charts in terms of reach as well. It has about 14 million kids on the channel from the TAM perspective and reaches out to over 58 million households. In terms of stickiness, it delivers close to 100 minutes every week.



On the advertising front, Jaipuria reveals that it has grown its top-line manifold and has seen a growth in advertisers as well and is in a happy position. “Usually, we are over booked. I think the battle is on the front of having higher rates and better monetisation because the kind of investment we put in and for the kind of purchasing power and influencing power the kids have; I think this category is yet usually under indexed,” she points out.



The channel has observed 15 per cent ad rate increase. “We are looking to better that as we go forward and deliver top notch content and top notch ratings,” says Jaipuria.  She states a couple of reasons for growing ad rates. “The channel is at number one and the fact that there is limited inventory now. Therefore with that limited inventory, the only way to better our monetisation is with the ad rate,” states Jaipuria.



Closer to the end of the year, it will launch its fifth movie. “Going forward, our plan is to make the Motu Patlu franchise larger than life not just on television but outside as well, in terms of promotional licensing and product licensing,” she concludes.

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