Cartoon Network has seen timely growth in India since it first arrived in the country. From number seven position three years ago, it rose to number three last year, and then to number two this year in the channel share ranking among the 4 to 14-year band of cable and satellite homes. In tune with its growth in popularity, Turner Entertainment has decided to sell its spots, in accordance with individual programmes rather than separate time bands. And judging by the words of Monica Tata, Sales Head, Turner- the proposal ought to generate positive responses from both the advertiser and the media community.
Tata asserts, “We are getting into the market with the new proposal this month onwards and are categorising all our shows into four categories – Blockbuster Toons, Super Toons, Prime Toons and Wonder Toons. The Blockbuster Toons garner the most in ratings while the rest follow. While Megatoon movies and Pokemon would fall into the first league, Scooby Doo, Looney Tunes, Jumangi and Richie Rich fall in the second category, Powerpuff Girls, Tom and Jerry and Dexter fall into the third category and shows like Tweety and Mask fall in the fourth. We will be reviewing the various categories, on a quarterly basis.”
She adds, “All the mass entertainment channels sell individual programmes in place of time bands. So, why shouldn’t the same rule apply to kid’s entertainment as well? There are shows like Pokemon, Power Puff Girls, Johnny Bravo and Scooby Doo which continue to deliver consistent value for Cartoon Network in terms of ratings, and in the top 100 kids shows across channels, 70 of the shows belong to our channel. With time bands, the advertiser doesn’t have much of an idea of where he’s placed and in this case, he is in a position to avail the most out of the top slotted shows. In the same breath, it must be said that all our shows continue to deliver value for us, though the performance may differ in varying degrees.”
And what has the initial response been like from the media and advertiser community? Tata responds, “Well, we are just beginning with the entire deal and I’m sure that the advertisers as well as the planners would know where we are coming from. It just makes the entire procedure of buying slots a lot simpler and uncomplicated and making it a lot more clearer, the kind of value that you are getting for your money. Keeping the varying budgets in mind, we are slotting the shows under various caskets so that the advertiser can plan accordingly. You are buying shows that validate your needs in terms of ratings and there are no ambiguities involved. Whatever feedback we have received about our proposal seems extremely positive.”
One of Cartoon Network’s successful divisions is Cartoon Network Enterprises (which deals with promotional licensing). Tata asserts, “This has been one very successful extension of Cartoon Network and we have had a number of promotional licensing deals with brands as varied as Nestle, Kelloggs, Cadbury’s, Red Label, Pantene and Citibank. Along with the rate for our specific shows, we also have a separate rate card for licensing opportunities with regard to the characters within these shows. What I am talking about is a holistic 360-degree association, starting out from buying space within individual shows to online opportunities to licensing deals to on-ground activity and school contact programmes. The advertiser can take his pick and go beyond conventional advertising.”
The channel would review the ratings of the individual shows every quarter and chart them across categories. The move, as Tata expects, would ensure genuine value for money.