Right time for young parents to introduce their kids to 'Ben 10': WarnerMedia’s Abhishek Dutta

The executive talks about bringing back a ‘localised’ Ben 10 on Cartoon Network after six years.

Mumbai: As one of the biggest beneficiaries of the swell in content consumption during the pandemic, the kids genre witnessed a sea change in terms of formats, time bands, and content themes. The heartening news is, even as kids return to school and exaggerated patterns stabilise, the segment is stabilising at a higher threshold than before. This indicates "a positive movement ahead for the genre," according to WarnerMedia South Asia network head for Cartoon Network and Pogo Abhishek Dutta.

While some recalibration in strategies to address the pending rationalisation was expected, the pandemic agnostic rise in demand for homegrown content is unanimously acknowledged as ‘here-to-stay,’ and hence a top priority, by heads of all channels. But that does not take away from the charm of international classics that are universal and timeless in their appeal. This understanding led Dutta to bring back the action-comedy show "Ben 10" on Cartoon Network in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu after a gap of six years.

A timeless proposition

Dutta believes that now is the perfect opportunity for the next generation of kids to experience the ‘Ben 10 phenomenon.’ “Many youngsters in the 2000s are now parents, and can introduce their favourite show to their kids to enjoy as a family,” he says alluding to the emerging trend of co-viewership on kids’ channels.

The concept is enduring. A boy finds a watch that can transform him into a whole load of aliens with an assortment of special powers to combat bad guys from outer space…what’s not to love? But it’s also got plenty of humour and heart – Ben’s connection with his family is a critical component. Dutta asserts that “Ultimately, it’s an iconic superhero action show featuring alien transformations with an energised style and plenty of visual gags that have kept young viewers hooked over the years. It doesn’t go out of style.”

The journey of 10-year-old Ben Tennyson’s adventures with the Omnitrix watch started with "Ben 10" (2005-2008). It was followed by "Ben 10 Alien Force" (2008), "Ben 10 Ultimate Alien" (2010), "Ben 10 Omniverse" (2012), "Ben 10 Ultimate Challenge" (2013), "Ben 10 With Bentuition" (2016), "Ben 10" (2016), "Ben 10 Express" (2017) and "Ben 10 Challenge" (2017).

As per Ormax Brand Health Study 2021, "Ben 10" is among the top-10 shows watched online. “Ben 10’s popularity has never faded and has transcended age groups with the evolution of its stories and characters. Its appeal on television has played a significant role in driving the channel viewership,” remarks Dutta.

Sharing an understanding of its brand potential he adds, “Ben 10 has been one of the highest-grossing Cartoon Network properties for our Warner Bros Consumer Products business across any kind of category imaginable. Over the years, kids have played with Ben 10 toys, worn Ben 10 clothes, and even tried out Ben 10 adventure rides at theme parks.”

Going local with international content

In 2020, a year after Dutta took charge, the channel launched an all-new version of "The Tom and Jerry Show" with ‘thought-over commentaries’ in regional languages that became an instant hit among fans in India. For "Ben 10," it is bringing back the entire series with dubs in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu to give young fans and families an opportunity to relive the magic of Ben 10’s multiverse and understand the evolution of the series.

The show has consistently featured multiple times among the top-10 slots of the kids category week-on-week since its launch on Cartoon Network in March. In the latest week, it occupied the top slot of the genre in urban India, claims Dutta. He further tells that Cartoon Network and Pogo’s Indian viewers are looking for relatable and engaging stories, resulting in an increased demand for localised content.

“We identified this trend a while ago and have been focusing on developing unique native IPs and localising international content to suit the preferences of our young fans. Our localisation strategy ensures that our fans understand the nuances of the storyline and indulge in the content and quirks of the show. To achieve this relevance we focus on adaptation in our regional feeds instead of literal translation of the international shows that we bring in,” notes Dutta.

Latest Reads
Colors Tamil is all set for the world television premiere of RK Nagar

Mumbai: Entertainment channel Colors Tamil has announced the world television premiere of "RK Nagar" on 3 July at 2:00 pm. An entertaining tale set in a world of crime is here to grapple audiences by exploring plots around politics, romance, and buckets of drama and humour.

Television TV Channels Regional
Zee Media CEO Sudhir Chaudhary quits to pursue entrepreneurial venture

News broadcaster Zee Media on Friday said its chief executive officer Sudhir Zee Media CEO Sudhir Chaudhary quits to pursue entrepreneurial venture.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
TCH 2022: Language no barrier to consume South content, only quality

Mumbai: The unending reservoir of talent emerging from the South across languages like Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada indicates that language is no longer a barrier in the consumption of content, only quality. Experts discuss the implications of the South content market boom at Viacom18...

Television TV Channels Viewership
TCH 2022: How can Indian content woo the world?

Indian cinema and entertainment has been gradually gaining a share in the global market, with audiences around the world being more receptive to Indian content now than they have been in the past. Spurred, no doubt, in part due to the increased accessibility of the content on online streaming...

Television TV Channels Viewership
NDTV elevates Parimal Dutta to senior vice president

Mumbai: NDTV has elevated Parimal Dutta as senior vice president. He has been associated with the company for over 11 years. He leads the brand solutions team at the news broadcaster. During his career spanning 23 years, Dutta has been associated with The Times of India, Star India, CNBC and...

Television TV Channels Viewership
Colors Tamil to telecast new fiction show 'Pachakili' on 4 July

Mumbai: Exploring marital values, familial bonds and sibling relationships, Colors Tamil, is all set to premiere Pachakili, a brand-new fiction show, starting 4 July.  Based on the life of a naive village belle Pachakili (played by Actor Monisha Arshak) and Adithya (played by Actor Kishore), the...

Television TV Channels Regional
Cosmos-Maya to invest $50 mn to expand into Europe and North America

Mumbai: Indian animation company, Cosmos-Maya, is planning global expansion and aims to grow five fold in the next three years. The company has drawn up a blueprint to scale up in new geographies with an investment in the range of $50 million, expanding in the Europe Union and establishing a...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
TCH 2022: Will the 2020s decade drive an insatiable demand for content?

The world is undergoing a fierce transformation courtesy the pandemic, streaming services, new content forms and formats and changing work and entertainment consumption habits.

Television TV Channels Viewership
Khatron Ke Khiladi returns for Season 12; Colors on boards 5 sponsors

India’s most awaited stunt-based reality show Maruti Suzuki presents Khatron Ke Khiladi Charged by Thums Up is set to return on Colors with a blazing new season. Host and renowned filmmaker Rohit Shetty will challenge 14 daredevil contestants with exhilarating stunts as they navigate through their...

Television TV Channels Viewership