Bombay: The Viacom18 Kids cluster’s month-long Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards (KCA) campaign culminates on March 27. Last year, when the broadcaster held the event virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, it saw a remarkable level of engagement with 1.5 million votes. This year, the network took category innovation a step further by launching a metaverse experience in “Decentraland” where a screening of KCA will take place.
The multi-platform event will air across 14 channels, including TV (Nick and Sonic), social media handles and OTT platforms (Voot, Voot Kids, JioTV and JioTV+). Viacom18 has also partnered with DTH operator Tata Play to stream the event through its Tata Play Fun Learn service.
Speaking about the first stage of the category and the metaverse experience, Sonali Bhattacharya, Head of Children’s Entertainment Cluster at Viacom18, shares, “Users can rent or buy virtual land there and use it as they see fit. We’re the first to launch a Metaverse desktop-friendly experience, so you don’t need equipment like an Oculus VR headset to be part of the projection.”
“Events such as KCA have provided an opportunity for the network to interact with children on the ground, however, even as we emerge from the pandemic, parents remain concerned about the safety of their children. In Decentraland, children could engage in social activities that they couldn’t do on the ground, like jumping on a trampoline or playing in a ball pit, albeit virtually,” adds Bhattacharya.
Since last year, the Viacom18 kids cluster has been very active in social and digital engagement with children, notes Bhattacharya. “There’s a lot of engagement on YouTube and there’s an increase in influencer marketing happening on platforms like Instagram and MX Takatak. We interact with kids regularly and connect with top influencers and the safest in the category. As a responsible brand for children, we take the choice of influencers and bloggers very seriously, because there is a lot of content that is not ideal for children’s consumption, “he explains. -she.
The network collaborates with influencers like Siddharth Nigam, a former child artist who played the lead role in “Aladdin – Naam Toh Suna Hoga”, who creates energetic dance videos that attract a lot of viewers from their target audience, it’s i.e. 8 to 12 years old. old. During the pandemic, Nickelodeon conceptualized campaigns such as “Nick Says Dance,” “Nick Jr Creatively Yours,” and “Sonic School of Cool” to get kids bored at home.
Speaking of the insight behind the campaigns, Bhattacharya says, “Children love to overdo it and we should be promoting that in a safe and healthy way. We realized that the biggest space a child could exercise was in school that was ripped away from them due to the coronavirus. We said let’s do “School of Cool” virtually where our influencers would engage kids like teachers would in classrooms and teach them life hacks in a fun way. This campaign really struck a chord with the kids and even now that it’s over you’re seeing some organic engagement with it.
The network also partnered with food brands such as 99pancakes, Smokin Joe’s and Belgian Waffles, which displayed the network’s popular IP addresses on their packaging. “What has happened is that family time has increased with parents and children staying indoors during the pandemic. There has been an increase in cooking and home delivery to homes. We thought why not partner with food brands, who were more than happy to have our characters on their packaging, and that gave us a channel to reach parents and their children in a meaningful way,” says Bhattacharya.
“We have a big connection in the North that we are trying to expand. The challenge in a country like India is that there is no one size fits all. You have to approach each market differently,” he said. she adds.
For easily distracted, hard-to-reach audiences, category innovations like these are the heart and soul of kids’ channels. Although he is aware that there is a massive audience of children on social media platforms, Bhattarchaya says it is difficult to attribute and measure their engagement with the target group. “Kids can’t even be on social media platforms until they’re past the age of 13, but we all know that a huge amount of consumption on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram is entirely child-driven. Every time we make a tentpole, it’s a 360-degree marketing approach where we harness the power of our channels that reach 52 million kids every day. We leave no stone unturned and use our handles on YouTube maximum for online engagement. Unfortunately, we still don’t have a tool that can determine how much of that reach is from a nine-year-old, or if the engagement is from Instagram versus a other digital platform. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the code is cracked.
The summer months are a critical period for children’s entertainment channels which have one of the highest ratings of the quarter. Children’s cluster Viacom18 plans to release new episodes of its flagship shows ‘Bhoot Bandhus’, ‘Chikoo Aur Bunty’, ‘Motu Patlu’, ‘Rudra’ and ‘Shiva’ accompanied by high-decibel marketing campaigns. According to Bhattacharya, he also has a series of made-for-TV movies that work great with kids.
When asked if the network seeks to take over the initiatives on the ground, Bhattacharya answers in the affirmative. She says, “We want to incorporate on-the-ground activities during the summer months. Fingers crossed that nothing crazy happens. Today in Bombay, Delhi and Tier II cities things seem relatively safer and we hope to return with the full touch-feel-play experience.
“It’s been an exciting journey and Nick has remained the top kids’ channel for eight years in a row,” she concludes.