The general perception amongst the Indian masses is that animation is for kids only. The positioning of Animax as ‘Not just for kids’ and ‘Animation for everyone’ is therefore an interesting one. The entire Indian animation industry stands to gain if Animax is able to get young Indian adults and elders into the habit of watching animation. SET India CEO Kunal Dasgupta with SPTI Senior V-P and international networks Asia MD Todd Miller Read what they have to say on the issue of locally created content MUMBAI: The South Asian feed of Animax, the 24 hour animation channel from the SPTI (Sony Pictures Television International) portfolio was launched in India on 5 July at a media briefing held in Mumbai. SPTI Senior V-P Todd Miller announced the launch of the channel even as SET India CEO Kunal Dasgupta raised a champagne toast to herald the arrival of the channel in India. Also present were SET Discovery president Shantonu Aditya and SET executive vice president, sales and revenue, Rohit Gupta. ‘Brand new world of fun – Not just for kids’. Sporting a tagline that invites ‘everyone’ to join the growing cult of animation lovers, Animax has a library boasting of more than a thousand hours of quality animation. Apart from Japan where it was launched in 1998 the channel currently has dedicated services for Hong Kong, Taiwan, South East Asia and South Asia (covering the entire Indian sub continent). Looking at a dual feed by april 2005, the south asia service of Animax is initially realying 24 hours in English and 12 hrs in Hindi (4 hrs original + 2 repeats). The programming is divided into three time bands – the Kids Hour from 3 to 7 pm, the Youth Hour from 7 to 9 pm, and the Mega Zone from 9 to 11 pm. A special slot titled ‘Weekend Anime’ has also been created to grab eyeballs during weekends. Young cricketing sensation Irfan Pathan has been signed on as the brand ambassador. Speaking at the media briefing, SET India Executive VP Rohit Gupta said that, “Pathan was chosen as the channel’s ambassador due to his popularity with not just kids, but also youth, young adults and viewers of all ages.” 360 degree promotional activities have been planned around Animax which include on-ground, on-air and on-line activities. Also planned are festivals and shows which aim to attract the crowds in thousands. Another interesting aspect of Animax is the Channel Logo and packaging which are very appealing and refreshing. The channel is also in the midst of developing two original characters Quu and Tee, who will be channel emblems. To begin with, one of the heavily promoted shows on the channel will be Astroboy. The main character of the show is ‘Atom’ a robot with a human heart . Bullish on Astroboy, Miller anticipates that, “Astroboy is going to be the next Pokemon in India”. Another show that according to Miller will hit the the bulls eye is Cyborg Kurochan, which is centred around a cat Kuro, who in return for the love given to him by the old couple that adopted him protects their home from break ins.