After cementing its position as the leader in its space, kids channel Cartoon Network is keen on savouring the fruits of its labour. One area, believe channel
executives, where its leadership position could be put to use is in advertising sales.
The channel, in fact, has set the process in motion by initiating a strategic shift in ad sales. It will now sell airtime on the basis of programmes rather than time bands.
"Earlier," says Monica Tata, vice-president, advertising sales, Turner International India, "the client was offered a four or six hour-band depending on his needs. Now we give him our top-rated shows."
One reason for this shift, says Tata, is on account of the consistent delivery of its shows, which justifies a programme-led approach in sales. "Cartoon Network has 70 shows in the Top 100 list of kids programmes (as compiled by TAM), and the rate card will now justify the ratings," she says.
What the channel has done is divide its shows across four categories including Blockbuster Toons, Super Toons, Prime Toons and Wonder Toons. The first category comprises its highest rated shows and premium properties including Pokemon, Digemon, animation films and big-ticket events.
"The second category has shows such as Popeye, Scooby-Doo, Looney Toons, Richie Rich, Jumanji, Rubber Dubber and so on. Prime Toons has Tom & Jerry, Power Puff Girls, Code Name: Kids Next and Samurai Jack among others. And, Wonder Toons primarily comprises shows that are telecast post midnight," says Tata.
To ensure that the rate card does indeed justify programme ratings, the channel will periodically revisit the categories and update them with relevant shows. "We will undertake a quarterly review to ensure that the categories are up to the mark," says Tata.
Apart from being the leader in the kids space, Cartoon Network also has the distinction of being the second-most popular channel after STAR Plus in the 4-14 age-group (for C&S individuals belonging to SEC ABC).
Sister POGO, which is the number two player in the kids space, has been kept out of this initiative for now. There is of course one big-ticker event coming up at POGO - the channel's Amazing Kids Awards, which will be telecast in December.
"This is the first-of-its-kind in the country and it will be a big event for us," says Tata.
The awards will felicitate a popular actor, actress and sportsman, apart from child prodigies. "Winners will be selected based on the votes cast by children," says Tata.
Interestingly, arch-rival Nick has a similar kids awards in the US titled the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. The channel had organized a contest in India earlier this year, which allowed the winner to go for an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles to attend the star-studded event in April.
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