Nickelodeon intends to make hay while the sun shines, literally

With the heat waves hitting the Indian sub-continent it is the most fertile time of the year for broadcasters to dish out new programming and that is precisely what Viacom18’s kids’ mainstay Nickelodeon is planning. “Summer is all about fun and excitement and we are leaving no stone unturned in engaging the kids at a time, place and screen convenient to them,” reveals Viacom18 EVP and business head – kids cluster Nina Elavia Jaipuria. The network is setting the tone for the summer with the inclusion of new shows, engaging its fans with innovative on-ground activities and pushing the envelope on digital innovations. From new shows to new seasons of the ever-green hit shows, brand new movies and a whole host of interactivity, the franchise has something for everyone from tots to teens drawn out. Programming Slate On Nick, viewers will get to see all new episodes of the home-grown hilarious chase comedy Pakdam Pakdai along with all-new episodes of the awesome-twosome Motu Patlu. “We have three main shows – Pakdam Pakdai, Motu Patlu and Ninja Hattori – that contribute majorly to our ratings. It was a great risk we took with both Pakdam Pakdai and Motu Patlu, but I can thump my chest and say it has paid off well,” beams Jaipuria. Nick also intends to launch Rabbids, a new show that will show rabbits cause a lot of mischief and yell BWAAHHH. And to add to the exciting line-up, the channel is all set to launch the third instalment of its home production Motu Patlu titled Motu Patlu Deep Sea Adventure. The movie will be aired on 18 May, 2014 at 10:00 am and will have the funny duo land in a shipwreck. She adds: “The idea is to keep on adding fresher episodes and along with that try to dish out at least two to four feature films on the characters. This is the first movie for this year and we are really pushing it so that it can live up to our own expectations.” According to the FICCI Frames KPMG report 2014 a 30 minute animation production in India gets a channel pay out of anywhere between Rs 2-3 lakh. Speaking to Maya Digital Studios, media & broadcast relationship head Aruna Kumar says: “We are really glad to have associated with Nick for Motu Patlu and they have really supported us. Our work speaks for itself and thus we have already begun delivering fresher episodes along with this movie.” “Over 400 artists worked on Motu Patlu Deep Sea Adventure and it took nearly three months from scripting to final execution. It’s a 70 minute feature and we are already working on the next film which will be shown post August,” she adds. With the entire nation occupied with the elections fever, Nick has made sure that the kids are not left behind. It will make elections fun and quirky for them, as the two most popular shows will compete with each other for the first time on television. ‘Nickelodeon Comedy Elections’ is a one-of-its-kind campaign in which kids get a chance to vote for their favourite shows – Motu Patlu and Pakdam Pakdai. If their show gets the maximum votes, they stand to win goodies like mobile phones and PSPs. To participate, kids have to watch Motu Patlu and Pakdam Pakdai between 6:00 and 7:00 pm daily and SMS their preference to 56882 or go the IVR way by dialling 5056882 from Vodafone, Aircel, Airtel, Idea, Reliance, Tata mobile and Airtel landlines or 1255568 from BSNL landlines, mobile & MTNL mobile or can even vote online at “Nowadays kids are very much aware of all that goes on in the country and around them, thus we felt this will give them a chance to voice their opinion and at the same time stand to win goodies. And trust me, kids have their opinion on each and everything in today’s day and age,” Jaipuria expounds. Sonic – the channel where one gets to experience real action – is all set to give kids a power packed holiday with new shows likePower Rangers Mega ForceKoni Chan and Naruto Rock Lee SD. The channel will also air a television special titled The Turboosters, an action movie for fanatics of adventure and science fiction. The Turboosters, that recently won two FICCI BAF Awards, is yet another addition to showcasing local content via the Nickelodeon franchise. Nick Jr. will engage toddlers and parents with the launch of all new episodes of Dora the Explorer and new shows that include Peter RabbitMax & Ruby and ‘Tickety Toc’. A leader in the pre-school segment, the channel will continue to help tots learn and develop new skills in a way that is entertaining as well as warm and caring. “According to the Millennial Study, which the global Nickelodeon group conducted in 2012 with a sample size of 6,200 children in 32 countries, Nick’s programming strategy is very much on lines with what today’s kids want,” says Jaipuria. She further adds: “With digitisation too picking pace, we have managed to add Sonic to the Chennai market now and hope to further reach out to more markets that have been missed out on.” Digital Plans “We are very focused on the digital front across our four channels – Nick, Sonic, Nick Jr. and Teen Nick – we are pushing the envelope with the summer slate,” Viacom18 VP and business head – digital media, Rajneel Kumar exults. “There is the Nickelodeon Cricket Academy, which will run for four weeks featuring our popular characters Motu and Patlu on” The games will feature different aspects of the sport like – batting, bowling, fielding and wicket keeping – and will a new game every week. “On Nick Jr. we will be conducting a ‘Summer Selfie’ contest, where we will ask mothers to click a fashionable summer themed pic with their child and upload it via an app on Facebook.  The most liked pics will win exciting prizes,” he adds. The network has also recently launched an app on iOS & Andoid called NickWorld and now it will be available for the Windows and Nokia X platform.  The app was designed internally and created with the technical support from Robosoft Technologies to really engage its fans with its brand of diverse content. Kumar adds: “We have an in-house development team that works on the design and content bit of the applications and we then pass it across to our global partners for the execution of the app. NickWorld has over 26 hours of content and we will keep updating it.” Coming soon is also a game featuring the popular character ‘Keymon’ for the iOS & Android platforms. Sonic will continue to keep the online audience busy with the ‘Kung Fu Panda – Watch-n-Win’ contest this season. Fans have to log on to, watch the Kung Fu Panda videos and answer simple questions to win exciting goodies. On-ground Activations and Promotional Drives A robust 360 degree marketing campaign is underway targeting kids through cross channel promotions, on-ground mall activities across Delhi and Mumbai and a digital campaign. In order to target popular touchpoints frequented by kids, numerous mall activations and meet and greet with Motu Patlu are being planned in leading malls of Mumbai and Delhi. The channel is also partnering with leading retail outlets like Hamleys. Jaipuria reveals: “We are recreating ‘Furfuri Nagar’ at the Phoenix Market City between 16 May and 1 June. In Delhi the same can be seen at Select City-Walk mall.” Sonic will further keep kids at the edge of their seats through a fast paced interactive campaign. Starting 19 May, the ‘Sonic Action Mania’ will invite fans to watch their favorite shows – Power Rangers – Mega Force, the planet’s newest defenders, Idaten Jump, a popular series that revolves around a young boy Sho Yamato and his love for mountain biking and Supa Strikas, a series about the world’s great football team everyday from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and win exciting prizes.The initiative will be given wings through an all-encompassing marketing plan that will be brought to life through a cross channel TV promotion, van activations across multiple cities, strategic on-ground alliances and a comprehensive online campaign. Since summer holidays and gaming consoles go hand in hand, Sonic has also planned an exciting gaming championship in partnership with Funcity. “Quarter one and three are the most lucrative period for all broadcasters and I am sure Nick too will be leveraging this period well, though the kids’ genre has always been the most undervalued. It qualifies for only 2-3 per cent of the broadcast advertising pie, though kids’ is only second to the GEC and Movie genres,” says a media observer.