Need to change to be at par with Gen Y: Nina Jaipuria

15 Oct,2012

Nina Jaipuria

By Meghna Sharma

 

Gone are the days when children had to wait for morning or evening slots to watch their favourite cartoon characters. Today, they just have to browse through the various kiddie channels available to catch their favourite shows and characters anytime.

 

The children’s genre has grown manifold in the past few years with more and more channels launching and bringing international as well as local shows to the Indian living room.

 

So, how does one stay ahead in this race? And the answer is as simple as – move with the times. There is no doubt that the world is moving online. And the latest addition to the digital world are children who have grown up on ipads and smart phones. Hence, kids channels alone cannot survive on television alone. Most of them have a very active online avatar to attract their target audience.

 

MxMIndia spoke to Nina Elavia Jaipuria, EVP & Business Head, Sonic & Nickelodeon (India) to find out why is it important for a channel in the kids genre to be online today, and how their channels are different from the rest.

 

Why is it important for a channel to have an online presence today?

There are a couple of reasons why one should be present in the digital platform. Firstly and foremost, it helps one to engage with its audience beyond television. It also helps the brand to enhance its presence. It gives a touch-feel-play experience so helps the audience know what the brand is all about. And lastly, it makes it a two-way communication wherein the brand can have a dialogue with its TG and know their likes and dislikes which further helps the channel to know and alter according to what the audience wants.

 

For us, staying ahead is important and therefore, an online presence helps us create a ‘cool’ imagine among our TG. One has to keep on changing with time if they want to stay at par with Gen Y which is online almost 24/7.

 

How can a channel benefit from this?

In the past few years, the traffic online has increased and a majority of them are kids/youth. Therefore, an online presence gives us an idea about what children prefer today. Which indeed helps us to create a strong community based on their likes and dislikes. For a channel, it is important to have this two-way communication rather than seeing it as competition.

 

What online activities does your channel indulge in? What is your online budget?

Apart from various (100+) games and videos, we have a lot of contests on occasions like Friendship Day, Fathers Day etc wherein children can win gift vouchers. We also have e-cards as well as paint and print app. For the youth channel – Sonic – we have created a special section ‘TechnoSonic’ which features futuristic gadgets which interests a certain age-group. Also, we have a strong presence on social media where we want to build a strong online community!

 

Most of our marketing budget is spent on BLT activities like school or mall activities. However, online presence is also very important for us. Thus, an appropriate amount is spent on the digital space as well.

 

There have been debates about the need for kids’ channels to be more responsible about the content they show. What is your take?

Yes, I do believe that broadcasters need to be careful about what is shown as children’s minds are easily influenced at that tender age. Therefore, we also believe in gaining the trust of ‘gatekeepers’ ie parents. Most of our children have a moral message like good’s win over evil. Even the language used is very safe.

 

Even online, we monitor what is posted on our websites. For instance, if an offensive word is found, we delete it immediately. And regular offenders are even blocked.

 

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