2021 was a mixed year of hope along with a challenge to create new benchmarks. With a kids-first approach, broadcasters have been trying to entertain as well as empower kids at the same time’. Narrating stories that delight the minds and hearts of young audiences by introducing numerous pioneering category first engagements and initiatives is crucial to keep their spirits high. In India, with multiple spoken languages and dialects, engaging kids in a language they are comfortable continues to drive visibility. It is essential to develop an unbreakable bond with kids, in order to bring them closer to stories in a language of their choice to further strengthen the bond. Creating multi-lingual content to drive a deeper connect gives all stakeholders an opportunity to engage in a relatable manner. This target group which is dynamic, requires evolving strategies to reach out to them.
And here are three trends that will be winners in 2022 in order to engage with kids:
Screen agnostic content
The pandemic was an epoch changing event for almost everyone, but it also had a significant impact on children, too. With kids being confined within their homes for more than a year, they were compelled to see the outside world through the lens of a screen. Today, kids are consuming content across all mediums, be it traditional mode or new age platforms. Given the success of the kids’ genre, it is important to ensure that popular characters and stories are present in all spaces to captivate young viewers. In the past few years, we at Viacom18 have been creating content with a screen and pipe agnostic approach and we strongly believe that this will continue to see greater momentum even in 2022. Content is specifically being created for YouTube and other OTT platforms thus amplifying content across multiple screens. This ecosystem of content is evolving beyond television screen and as content creators, offering experiences that are as per screen preference is crucial in today’s evolving times.
Affinity towards home-grown IPs
As content creators, it is of utmost importance to know your audience and their evolving tastes. Kids are a very dynamic group of audience that keep you on your toes. Only if you know your target audience well, can you build a strong resonance value. It is important to be able to create the character which can build a very strong relationship and bond with the child. For a child to return back to your channel, it is important for the child to fall in love with the show, character and the storyline. The kids’ category in India has grown from strength to strength over the last decade with local characters taking centre stage and becoming a part of every kid’s daily life. At Nickelodeon in India, we have been torch-bearers in driving this growth through introducing kids to many iconic local characters that are endearing and have struck a chord with kids. Creating home-grown stories and characters will give an opportunity to create content that kids love and find comfort in. These home-grown IPs will further lead to opportunities beyond the screen through various immersive experiences.
Unique brand partnerships:
Compared to the other genres, the kids’ category is still considered under-indexed when it comes to revenue or investments. But with an increase in the kids’ viewership, brands are now setting their foot in this category at a slow and steady pace. The category is also leisurely gaining attention from different brands for partnership. Engaging kids beyond the screen through immersive and unique brand partnerships will result in deeper engagement with the audience.
Considering the daily changing scenarios hampering routines, kids have managed to stay ahead of the curve. Today, kids have a ‘bring it on’ attitude which helps them embrace anything and everything that comes their way.
(This article has been contributed by Viacom18 Kids TV Network head, creative, content and research Anu Sikka and Animation Xpress does not necessarily subscribe to these views)