In the 90s, Cartoon Network had an impressive line-up for kids with shows like ‘Swat Kats’, ‘Popeye’, ‘The Flintstones’, ‘Whacky Races’, and so on, and then ‘Pokémon’ ruled the hearts of Indian kids and now ‘M.A.D.’, ‘Ben 10’ and ‘Roll No. 21’.
Past top shows have been completely taken off air by the channel except a few like ‘Tom & Jerry’, which have been extremely popular among several generations. The channel has now decided to come up with some fresh content for kids in India.
Sharing the reasons behind the removal of old shows, Monica Tata, General Manager- Entertainment Networks South Asia, Turner International India Pvt Ltd, said, “Although shows like ‘Swat Kats’, ‘Speed Racer’, ‘Popeye’, ‘The Flintstones’, ‘Wacky Races’, etc., were popular with kids once upon a time, their preferences have now changed. Hence, we have retained some of our classic shows like ‘Tom & Jerry’, ‘Scooby Doo’ and ‘Powerpuff Girls’, but in order to ensure that we don’t fatigue kids with old content, our strategy has been to keep providing new and locally relevant content that will entertain kids and ensure repeat viewing.”
The top performing shows are ‘M.A.D.’, ‘Ben 10’ and ‘Roll No. 21’. Tata divulged, “On Cartoon Network, we continue to focus on promoting our most popular international shows like ‘Ben 10’ and local shows like ‘Roll No. 21’.”
Commenting on the upcoming shows, Tata said, “We are also working on increasing our portfolio of blockbuster movies that are extremely popular with kids. Apart from this, we continue to focus on launching new shows like ‘Johnny Test’, ‘Chaplin & Co.’, etc., which help to maintain interest and affinity for our channel.”
Commenting on marketing strategy, she said, “On-ground activities and events continue to be a focus. We recently undertook Toon Cricket, Cartoon Network’s signature event that combines kids’ favourite toon stars with India’s favourite sport – cricket, across Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. We reached over 1.5 lakh children through School Contact programmes, adding another year of success to this legacy.”
Commenting on focus areas for 2012, Tata added, “Our overall focus for 2012 is to measure our success in the kids’ genre as a network and not as individual channels. We aim to deliver premium quality content that resonates with our viewers and thereby, regain our leadership position as a network. ‘The Amazing World of Gumball’ and ‘Chaplin & Co.’ on Cartoon Network that will encourage kids to keep coming back for more. In the coming year, we also intend to further explore different programming as kids already consume a wide cross section of genres that include action, comedy, drama, movies and game shows. Through these promotions and programming strategies of new and continuing shows, we hope to drive reach of our networks in 2012.”