Nina Elavia Jaipuria, EVP & Business Head, Kids Cluster, Viacom18, is extremely excited about her upcoming property, Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards which returns after a hiatus of two years. The event where kids get to decide who gets to vote across 13 categories (Best Bollywood Movie, Best Television Show and Best Indian Cartoon) will take place on December 5. It’s curated by Nickelodeon India, which has been the number one entertainment channel for 57 weeks since the advent of BARC. Jaipuria tells us more about it in addition to sharing the success story of Viacom18’s kids cluster, brand associations, the year 2016 and leading the category for three years in a row.
Tell us about your success story?
One of our IPs ‘Shiva’ was a big surprise. In the second week it became number one in the genre. After six months of creating loyalty we moved it to Sonic which helped it strengthen its position and increased its reach. The other strategic decision of not sharing our content and exclusively being on one channel has beautifully paid off.
In the Ormax Small Wonders, a bi-annual study, seven of our characters were in top 10 which shows the strength of the characters and asset that we have created over the years. This coupled by the fact that we have done a lot of marketing engagement around the characters. We launched the 3D movie of ‘Motu Patlu’ which also gave it lot of surround sound. With Voot Kids, we now have a digital piece. Here also ‘Motu Patlu’ and ‘Shiva’ are the top two shows. Our number one position is being leveraged in the top line. I have been saying forever that this genre is under-indexed hugely. But it’s coming up. From Oct ’15 to Oct‘16 we have seen a robust growth for Nick whose ad sales have grown by 30 per cent while Sonic’s grown by 50 per cent. We are making sure that the effort we taking we convert it into ad sales which helps us to refuel it back into creating good content. That continues to be a cycle. We make lot of original hours in one year which is reflected back in our investments. We have 80 TVT lead over the number two player.
Viewership is here for us, ad sales are coming up. We are doing activities outside normal vanilla advertising now.
By what margin have you been leading?
BARC launched urban and rural last October. In a year our average annual market share was 22 per cent. Next one was Pogo at 17 per cent. Our strategy to create lot of characters and library for kids to fall in love with has paid off for us because over the years we are not dependent on any one character. We have five big properties contributing to our ratings. That’s been the success mantra.
Even merchandising has been a big revenue stream for you considering the expansion of product category from 25 to 40. How is that doing for you?
Consumer product has become a big revenue stream for us. A lot of merchandising is coming from all our characters. In the kids space, we have got a CAGR of 50 per cent for consumer products itself. We have 40 categories and 59 licenses today. Most of the contribution comes from apparels, accessories, footwear, home and back-to-school. Word of mouth, engagement and play factor are working for consumer products. Merchandising contributes to over 10 per cent to the topline.
How are you leveraging the network? Do brands look forward to it?
For us as a network it’s also about leveraging our own platforms. We have Voot Kids, broadcast and consumer products. Now we are constructing deals that actually work across platforms. In fact we are launching a big property which is popular with pre-schoolers called Peppa Pig, a large property on YouTube as well. We have constructed a deal which includes broadcast on Nick Junior, Voot Kids and launch of consumer products in December. So during the launch we are going to be on all the platforms.
How about the licensing? Tell us about the brand associations.
Consumer licensing is product and promo licensing. Slowly and steadily we are making huge inroads on that front as well. We have brand associations with Prataap Snacks, Choki Choki, Paddle Pop, Mother Diary and Alpenliebe. We also do a lot of school contact problems for which we have partnered with AgroTech and Parle. Even from ad sales perspective we are getting non-kid advertisers (which is 50 per cent). We have lot of FMCG and durables with us now. The usual suspects are Britannia, Perfetti, ITC, GSK, Patanjali, Colgate, LG, Honda and Amul, among others. Lot of brands are coming in for co-viewership since we have young parents watching us. That’s what’s giving us growth in our topline whether it’s licensing, merchandising or the increase of non-kid advertisers or being number one for three year in a row. That’s what puts us in a leadership position which we should leverage on.
Who are the sponsors for Kids Choice Awards?
We have a plethora of advertisers now who are partnering with us not just for vanilla but are ready for brand integrations on IPs. The title sponsors are Dabur Red Toothpaste while Lifebuoy and Choki Choki are co-powered sponsors. Funskool is our associate sponsor. It’s also giving them a big package which includes on-air, on-ground marketing engagement and digital presence.
What marketing initiatives have you planned for KCA?
We are actually going to burn 3000 promos on the network from the time of voting to its airing. There will a big digital and social media engagement campaign once the tune-ins are out. There will be on ground activations at McDonalds, mall activations, numerous touchpoints spanning consumer and trade print, radio spots and targeted promotions through Dish TV. There will be vans going into 30 cities of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
When is KCA premiering on Nick? How are you ensuring maximum viewership for this property?
We will air KCA around Christmas. Post that we are premiering it on Colors, Rishtey, Colors Marathi and Colors Bangla. So we are leveraging the full network to its best ability. Such a property deserves that much viewership.
Your first movie venture for kids ‘Motu Patlu - King of Kings’ has done reasonable business at the box office. How are you planning to monetise on it outside that platform?
The movie has got good box office collections. It’s been very profitable for the studio. We will premiere it after KCA on Nick. This is another opportunity for sponsors to come on board. Movies give us a lot of ratings on the weekends. We will put it on Voot. We have invested on it so much that it deserves more than just a box office collection. Plus, the shelf life of this movie will be almost 10 years like any of our TV movies. Ninja Hattori which gives us 35 per cent of our ratings has been around for 11 years. That’s how much we can monetise and afford to create them. With every episode costing above Rs 25 lakh, the only way to get the return on it is by playing it for 10 years.
What’s the strategy for the year ahead?
We are going to be steadfast in the strategy to create large width and depth library for ourselves. We will continue to create more IPs. We have done that with ‘Motu Patlu’ ‘Shiva’ and ‘Pakdam Pakdai’. The fourth one is in the pipeline and will be launched next year. Also we will optimise the older ones. That as a strategy has made us number one and kept us there. We have to continue to create characters and new stories and ensure that the engagement goes outside of broadcast which includes digital (Voot Kids), consumer products and licensing. All comes together as one big offering from Viacom. It’s a win-win for all stakeholders, consumers, advertisers and network. That’s the direction we will follow.
Your comments on the growth rate of kids cluster? What’s your growth rate?
Kids cluster will continue to be on a robust growth rate of 11-12 per cent in ad sales. They (kids) are the in-house consultants. Brands are going to continue to cater to them. The ad sales for this category is about to cross Rs 500 crore this year. Lot of investment is taking place in animation. New players are coming in; the inventory is growing as well. So more the merrier. OTT will add to that and make it more incremental. About us, we have grown by 30 per cent.