Shweta Mulki
Media

Nickelodeon to launch local animated series and new channel Nick HD+

'Shiva', Nickelodeon's third made-in-India animated series, falls in the high octane action-comedy genre.

Viacom 18's kids cluster, Nickelodeon India, has new launches up its sleeve. This includes a new local series, a HD channel and the shift of its hit series 'Oggy and the Cockroaches' from Nick to sister channel Sonic.

Nickelodeon to launch local animated series and new channel Nick HD+
Nickelodeon to launch local animated series and new channel Nick HD+
Nickelodeon to launch local animated series and new channel Nick HD+
'Shiva', Nickelodeon's third made-in-India animated series, falls in the high octane action-comedy genre. According to the channel, it is the story of a nine-year-old 'brave, fearless and intelligent' boy who stays in Vedas city, and saves it from various incidents and threats with cool gadgets like the super bike developed by him. The show is set to launch during Diwali.

Nickelodeon will also launch the first ever HD channel in India for kids - Nick HD+. It will have a mix of popular local and international shows, and the team says it will soon be available on most cable and DTH platforms.

Nickelodeon is currently the market leader in its genre and has been doing well among its primary TG (4-14 yrs) in the last year and this year as well (as per TAM ratings earlier, and BARC data currently).

Talking about how the business has been in the green, with overall reach having gone up significantly, Viacom18's EVP and business head, kids cluster, Nina Elavia Jaipuria, says, "Endearing characters, path-breaking content and pioneering initiatives have scripted Nickelodeon's leadership and success story. The launch of Nick HD+ and 'Shiva' are significant milestones in the category."

On 'Shiva,' she adds, "We have complete IP rights including the syndication rights of the show, which helps create better revenue, and is also good for free-rein audience engagements. Also, instead of the earlier shorter formats, with 'Shiva' we will be doing full-fledged 22-minute episodes, as the series needs the length to establish the story, the conflict and then the resolution." The show is scheduled for an evening prime slot.

The current production phase will see 26 episodes, and will evolve as per viewer and advertiser feedback. For 'Shiva' , research was also done using Ormax's True Value model, where a couple of episodes were screened across five cities for children between 8 to 11 years of age, and it gained top score alongside the existing series 'Motu Patlu.'

When asked if the series has garnered any advertising yet, Jaipuria informs, "We are working on that, and there is good interest. We will start with zero advertising in the initial episodes to let our audience absorb the characters and get to know the show well. For shows like these, it's all about the build-up. Generally, it takes about a year for good shows to climb up to the top, as in the case of 'Motu Patlu' earlier. If you are running a kids category, you have to be patient."

There have been new categories of advertisers on the channel, the likes of Vadilal, Flipkart, Honda, Eureka Forbes and Airtel. There have also been innovations for advertisers like Colgate and Pidilite, where, for instance, the channel's characters have been incorporated for specific campaigns.

The channel also conducts regular engagement initiatives with the audience. In a recent contest called 'Hero Hunt', the channel created 'animated versions' of the two winners, which will be incorporated in the shows.

Jaipuria says, "Our tie-up with Tiger biscuits that had 'Ninja Hattori' branded bicycles as prizes was a big hit, and there was a huge demand for those bikes." Popular characters also have seen a decent amount of merchandising. For 'Shiva', the channel looks to follow the same route. Jaipuria adds, on a lighter note, "It is very exciting to see your merchandised products in the grey market - imitation products are a good indicator of the popularity of our shows."

Nick is also shifting its hit 'chase' series 'Oggy & The Cockroaches' to Sonic Nickelodeon, a move that allows focus on 'Shiva' and consolidates Sonic's action-adventure line-up. In a similar move last year, Sonic's current chase show 'Pakdam Pakdai' was imported from Nickelodeon.

A high-octane marketing campaign is being planned for 'Shiva', extending across television - beyond the Viacom network - on-ground activities, radio, movie theatres, malls, retail stores and digital and social media. The show has been created and produced by Maya Digital Studios which is based in Mumbai.