Brands focus on toon channels as viewership changes

05 Mar,2012

By Ameya Chumbhale


If you thought Cartoon Network, Pogo, Disney, and Hungama TV were kids’ channels, look who’s watching them – nearly a fifth of those watching these channels are between 25 and 44 years. And nearly four out of ten viewers of these channels are more than 14 years.


Most children, on the other hand, either prefer or are forced to watch what adults are watching on general entertainment channels – soppy serials or reality shows. According to TV viewership data shared by TAM Media Research, only 15 per cent of all children viewing TV, watch kids’ channels. The rest – 85 per cent — watch general entertainment channels (GEC).


Needless to say, this has become a big opportunity for advertisers, especially those who try and reach out to parents through their children. “Parents are increasingly looking at children as representatives of the new world and latest technology. Consequently, children between 10-14 have a considerable say while buying a car or a gadget,” said Santosh Desai, chief executive officer at Futurebrands.


In fact, for Turner International India, which runs Cartoon Network and Pogo, nearly 35-40 per cent of their advertisers last year came from what would seem like “non-traditional categories such as auto, consumer electronics, finance and telecom,” said Monica Tata, general manager for entertainment networks at Turner in India.


Chairman and chief creative officer at ad agency BBDO India Josy Paul, while explaining the rationale behind these channels attracting non-traditonal categories of ads, says that brands don’t want to miss out on any opportunity of talking to the mother who is the anchor of the house. Traditionally, one would expect kids’ channels to air ads by ice creams, chocolates, F&B, and toy companies.


Insurance major Aviva India is a case in point. Aviva spent 5 per cent of its advertising budget on kids genre in 2011 and had run the ‘Aviva Young Scholar Hunt’ contest between July and October 2011 on Pogo. The impact was telling. “Of all the insurance plans sold by Aviva, the share of child plans went up from 2-3 per cent in 2010 to 11-12 per cent in 2011,” said Gaurav Rajput, director of marketing at Aviva India.


Sony tablet computers and Hewlett-Packard printers too are advertising across all kids channels these days. In fact HP, which launched its printer campaign across kids channels two weeks ago, is something they have done after several years.


“My target group for the campaign is parents of school-going children, so the kids channels were a natural fit,” said Ayesha Durante, country manager for marketing HP India. For Anuradha Aggrawal, senior VP for consumer insights at Vodafone India, whose team spends a lot of time researching the dual viewership (kids and adults), says it helps in choosing their icons — the pug and the ZooZoos, which connect with children, actually help to build an early brand association with these young consumers.


Mr Desai cautions that this could be a long-term strategy which only sectors like telecom can afford as they have “cash to burn”. He further added that in a one-TV system, everybody has his/her time slot to watch TV. Therefore, if a child is watching a kids channel, the parent has no option but to watch it.


For the genre, this means big business. The Disney channel has more than doubled its ad revenues last year while Hungama TV’s revenues rose by 35 per cent, said Vijay Subramaniam, business head at Disney Kids Network India which runs the Disney channel, Disney XD and Hungama TV in India. Disney enjoying highest share of viewership at 22 per cent among kids aged between 4-14, according to TAM.


Subramaniam says that the return on investment is not proportional to the viewership as kids genre corners just over 1.6 per cent of total revenue of the television industry against the over 6 per cent share of viewership.


According to the 2011 FICCI-KPMG report, the TV industry is projected to grow to 33,700 crore by 2015 from the current 14,400 crore (2010) at a CAGR of 17 per cent. And the kids genre gets the maximum in terms of viewership after GECs and movie channels, which lead currently.


Source: The Economic Times

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