Cartoon Network's 'fruitful' innovation for Perfetti's Center Fruit

By Sapna Nair , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | August 12, 2010
Cartoon Network has partnered with Perfetti Van Melle for in-animation placement of the Center Fruit brand

Kids' channel, Cartoon Network has created a unique in-animation placement for Perfetti Van Melle's gum brand, Center Fruit. The brand has been integrated into the movie, Balla Bowl, co-produced by Cartoon Network and Animasia.

The animation film, which will be aired on the channel on August 29, centres on a bunch of kids who dream of making it big in cricket, and the problems they face in their endeavours.

The channel's research suggests that cartoons, as a format, are extremely popular among kids; and animation movies rate really well too. Hence, the channel has leveraged these two propositions.

Rohit Sarma, executive director, network ad sales, Turner International India says that this is a step up from advertiser-funded programmes, or merely packaging the brands around the show. "We wanted to first lay down the script and then approach advertisers who fit the script. We got Perfetti to buy into this idea at the scripting stage itself," he says.

Cartoon Network wants to increase the amount of Indian content on the channel by getting more 'desi' toons. Feature films and series are steps towards that.

Talking about the placement of the brand in Balla Bowl, Sarma says, "We have taken those parts in the script, where the viewer intuitively is looking for an advertisement. Places such as the cricket stadium -- boundary walls, cricket ground, branding the fours and sixes, the trophy. So, it's a seamless integration into the storyline, and not over-the-top and in your face."

Sameer Suneja, managing director, Perfetti Van Melle, says, "We are always looking at different ways of reaching out to our consumers. There's a perfect brand fit for Center Fruit in the movie. Center Fruit stands for mouth-watering taste, and that has been brought out in a compelling way."

The first airing of the feature film will have no commercial breaks. The channel will look at building in breaks during the repeat telecast. Although Sarma does not divulge the nature of the deal with Perfetti, he explains that the channel has worked something out, which is partly linked with the movie and partly to the larger campaign. The film will be promoted through the channel's internal network.

Cartoon Network has a strong line-up of 'desi' toons that it plans to launch in the year. Thus, several such partnerships could be underway.

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