The entrance of new players in the kids’ segment has led existing players to think of unusual ways to increase brand salience among the kids’ TG. Even as leader in the segment, Cartoon Network, has innovated on ways in which it can speak to the kids, Disney Channel, too, is showing aggression on this front by partnering with various companies to offer propositions intended to engage kids.
Speaking on the conscious attempt of the channel to identify and lock in such partnerships, Tushar Shah, Director, Marketing, WDITV, said, “In all our partnerships, we have been mindful to associate with brands in such a way that allows a perfect integration of brand philosophies for both brands. It is important to engage kids by encouraging active participation in a complete storytelling experience and we ensure this in all our marketing initiatives.”
Such partnerships come in addition to the presence that Disney already has on mass channels due to its recently announced deals, which gave it branded blocks on these channels.
Disney inked yet another deal with STAR, when it took the rights of ‘Karishma Ka Karishma’, originally designed by UTV for STAR Plus. Shah explained that apart from this, Disney had partnered with a number of brands for various innovative marketing initiatives on its standalone channels – Disney Channel and Toon Disney.
“One of the most recent ones is the Microsoft partnership to present ‘Start your story contest’ for kids across India,” said Shah, adding, “Through this partnership and the contest, we offer Indian kids a platform to express their creativity and imagination.”
Another example of such a partnership was Kim Possible Operation Code Tod on Disney Channel, where Disney executed an extensive marketing drive with Dabur Real Fruit focussing significantly on interactive viewing on Indian television.
“Kim Possible Code Tod was one of the most expansive 360-degree marketing promotions undertaken to date in the kids’ space in India. The channel gave away 11 lakh goggles free to aspiring young secret agents looking to participate in the campaign through TV, Web, SMS and school activation programmes. The channel also distributed nine lakh spy goggles through 2,000 schools across 13 cities. The balance two lakh goggles were distributed through direct mail and viewer response fulfilment,” informed Shah.
He further said, “Our presenting sponsor, Dabur Real Fruit Juice, distributed another 11 lakh goggles free at retail with every purchase of a 1 litre Real fruit juice pack along with limited edition trading cards featuring games centered on six Disney characters and Real fruit juice flavours. Associate sponsor, McDonald’s, also cross-promoted the Kim Possible Code Tod, driving kids visiting their restaurants to sign up as secret agents. McDonald’s also launched a ‘Kim Possible Happy Meal’ in July.”
Besides these initiatives, Disney also partnered with brands like Doy Princess and Camlin for on-air contest and School Contact Programmes. “The objective has been to entertain and involve kids while nurturing kids’ creativity, talent and encourage them to achieve their aspirations by providing a unique gratification each time and the response from all our partner brands has been quite encouraging with good rub-offs on sales figures,” divulged Shah.
Yet another initiative that will be seen on similar lines is with Nerolac, which Disney is in the process of finalising. Even though the channel officials are tight-lipped on the details now, more will be heard on this by January 4, 2006.