Turner banks on ‘Beyond TV’ strategy; join hands with Zapak to expand reach

Turner banks on ‘Beyond TV’ strategy; join hands with Zapak to expand reach

Author | Preeti Hoon | Friday, Nov 26,2010 7:31 AM

Turner banks on ‘Beyond TV’ strategy; join hands with Zapak to expand reach

In their bid to reach out to a wider audience, Turner International India and Zapak Digital Entertainment have formed a strategic content partnership. The partnership allows Zapak to market and distribute Cartoon Network’s Multiplayer Online Games (MOGs) and in turn, Turner will manage games and provide regular content updates to Zapak.

Explaining the idea behind coming together with Zapak, Benjamin Grubbs, Executive Director, Turner Entertainment Interactive Media and General Manager, TurnOut Ventures Ltd, said, “Extending already popular characters to games such as Ben 10 makes it easier to promote the games. The anticipation and buzz for a known property to a game is far greater. The protagonist of the game is already a hero and extension of their character and story to gaming is a natural brand progression as it adds another touch point for the brand/ character and helps increase brand conversations/ interactivity.”

Kids genre on television usually extends out to niche audience consisting viewership primarily from children. And capitalising on the popularity through multiple tools of communication, apart from television, gives an edge to the channel.

Grubbs talked on similar lines and stated, “Cartoon Network is aggressive about its ‘Beyond TV strategy’ and is surely and steadily extending and creating as many touch points across platforms (such as mobile, gaming, online, retail, on-ground events, etc.) for its popular characters as possible.”

As the exclusive marketing and distribution partner for these Cartoon Network’s games, Zapak will provide significant ongoing support to ‘Ben 10 Omniverse: Rise of the Heroes’ and Toon Football via promotional activities, gaming tournaments and customised retail promotions across Zapak Gameplexes and the private cafes across 35 cities. The two games will be heavily promoted on Zapak.com.

On expectations from the tie-up, Grubbs said, “India is a priority market for us and often achieves the highest game plays for Cartoon Network games. These two games are already enjoying huge success – for Toon Football, India is already a proven case and for Ben 10 Omniverse we’re seeing positive returns in terms of engagement with viewers returning to the game regularly and spending 40 minutes on an average time per gaming session. So, we are extremely positive and excited about these two new offerings.”

Zapak will also act as a premium payment partner integrating the games into payment channels, including credit and debit cards and electronic coupon purchase in Zapak gameplexes.

According to company officials, kids aged 15 and below contribute to over 20 per cent of traffic on Zapak.com and the gaming company is expecting 100 per cent rise in it. Rohit Sharma, CEO, Digital Business, Reliance Big Entertainment affirmed, “Currently, Zapak.com witnesses 20 per cent traffic from kids and by launching these games, we expect this number to double.”

Zapak will also support the launch first-of-its-kind ‘CN Coins’ game cards, a form of toon currency designed for the youth gaming space in India. CN Coins will be available at more than 100 Zapak’s gaming café networks – Zapak Gameplex along with 500 other private cafes across 35 cities in the country for gamers to access these games.

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