Soon to be playing in the kids’ space on Indian television, Animax is planning to create a buzz. The new kids’ channel is likely to follow the same pattern in India as it does in other Asian countries. “But we are more than a kids’ channel,” urges Gregory Ho, VP, Marketing and Creative Services, SPE Network Asia. “We are more of a youth channel.”
Explaining more on the target that the channel looks at luring, Ho explains, “We have programming that is clearly targeted on two kinds of audiences, the 4-14 age-group and then the 15 to 24 age-group and that is the kind of audience that Animax is drawing elsewhere.” The animation channel has already made its mark in other Asian countries. In India, the channel is still trying to complete its distribution activities.
Speaking more on the channel, he explains that while the content is sourced from Japan, the programming team that will schedule and localise the content will be based out of Singapore. Placed on the One Alliance platform, the marketing of the channel would be handled by SET India, “There are overlaps between AXN and Animax as far as the senior positions of the channel are concerned but there is a dedicated team in place to care for the channel,” informs Ho.
The channel has planned two levels of communication activities – one for the trade community and the second for the consumer. “We will get the trade-related communication rolling next week itself. The activities will be on a low-key initially. The idea is to help advertisers, cable operators and other sections of the media converse with the product; the need to know the programming, the nature of the product and the potential that it holds in the market,” he elucidates.
Ho explains that the second level of communication that will target the consumers will roll out only after the channel goes on air on July 5, 2004. “It doesn’t make sense to educate the consumer on a service he cannot avail at that point in time,” he observes.
However, does he believe that the channel can actually lure in loyal eyeballs from the kids’ audience and the youth audience for a product like animation? Ho replies, “Take the example of movies. Isn’t a ‘Kill Bill’ or a ‘Finding Nemo’ equally famous in all kinds of audiences? Sony, as an international brand, has proved that it can provide people services, they didn’t think they need, and it has worked for them. Animax will get audience right from the Cartoon Network to the MTV.”