End of the year: Viacom18 marketing manager – children’s TV channel Sonali Bhattacharya talks about Nickelodeon’s marketing campaigns and reveals plans for 2022
As the pandemic disrupted various plans, marketing teams had to adapt new techniques in a short period of time to continue to cover new ground and face unprecedented challenges. One of the leading children’s broadcasters in India, Nickelodeon, has launched many interesting and innovative marketing techniques to stay in touch with children even in times of crisis.
In an interview with AnimationXpress, Viacom18 Marketing Manager – Children’s TV Network Sonali Bhattacharya shared the various challenges they faced, how the channel promoted its shows during the pandemic and gave details of its various marketing initiatives. .
Speaking about the challenges the marketing team faced during the pandemic, Bhattacharya said: “In one night, half of our marketing plans had to be scrapped because they couldn’t be implemented because none of the touchpoints were down. ‘no longer existed. We had to rotate our plans overnight, think multi-screen, and reach for different platforms. We started to organize our content to connect with kids on any possible screen they’re connected to, as it was a huge and unique source of entertainment for kids when it comes to kids. ‘they were inside.
She added, “Escaping into the world of their favorite cartoon characters has given children a great sense of respite, relief and positive energy. During the closings a lot of the stuff we did was crafts and collaborated with a lot of influencers to get kids to engage and participate from their own homes. We launched #Nicksaysdance, #Sonicschoolofpool where Sonic Toons gave kids plenty of tips on digital and tech hacks, and shortcuts that helped them perform well in school and virtual classrooms. We have tried to make screen time so meaningful to the child by keeping it extremely positive. As a leading brand, we always keep children as our first priority. As things become normal and open up, we hope we will reconnect on the pitch again, but as we know reality is changing every day. “
Bhattacharya believes that while marketing content for children, the child marketer should keep the safety of the child in mind, and the content should be light and humorous which best suits the children. “Nickelodeon always empowers kids and gives them a platform to express themselves. These are the most innocent and at the same time very dynamic target groups, ”added Bhattacharya.
As children and families were confined to the home during the lockdown, Nick worked with various food brands like Belgian Waffle, Smoking Joe’s and New York Burrito Company to get food to children in Nickelodeon branded boxes with their stickers. show. Commenting on the collaboration with food brands and the reaction of children and families, Bhattacharya explained, “During the lockdown, children and families are locked inside and there has been a huge increase in home deliveries as people couldn’t go there. go out and eat their favorite foods. We have seen a massive increase in the way Swiggy and Zomato have delivered food. We were challenged with how to reach people and children during the pandemic as we weren’t allowed to do the field activation that we typically follow to engage with children. We have had to think outside the box and innovate to see how to reach children in a positive and effective way. Next, we thought about partnering with food brands and giving Nickelodeon a twist and fun on waffles, donuts and pizza, which are favorite foods for kids and families. Food products and packaging were organized with cartoon characters like Golmaal Junior, Chikoo Aur Bunty, because children share a great bond with Nicktoons. It has worked wonders for our partners, because partnering up with prominent cartoon characters who have a strong bond with children is a win-win solution for them. It was a huge success for both, the innovation we tried paid off very well.
Nick has always taken a step ahead in keeping children entertained, engaged and connected with their friends and peers. The channel has launched various digital campaigns like #toastyourdost, #beaherotoyoursuperhero, #nostressexpress and many more. “A lot of partnerships have happened through online calls and missed calls because kids are now digital natives and for them, going online and entering a contest is something they love to do. One of our campaigns – #toastyourdost – was launched during Friendship Month as the friendship underwent a big change during the lockdown. Even though the kids weren’t in school and only met in the playgrounds, they managed to stay connected virtually. We wanted to give them a platform and an opportunity to celebrate and toast all the kind of friends they have in the group, whether it’s a bukkad dost, a chippo dost or a lateef dost. We always look forward to giving kids a voice and again this campaign has turned out to be the best as there have been so many conversations taking place on social media and some amazing anecdotes being shared with friends. It worked well for Nick, ”explained the marketing manager.
Along with launching new shows and episodes to keep kids engaged and entertained, the broadcaster has kept toddler health in mind and has partnered with SARVA Yoga Studios to bring yoga closer to its little fans and educate them on the enormous benefits derived from yoga. Nickelodeon introduced yoga to their audience in a cooler and more fun way through a unique interactive yoga workshop with Nicktoons Shiva, Rudra, and happy.
In an attempt to redefine the Ludo craze through kids’ most favorite characters, making the game more fun to play, Nick has teamed up with Google. Speaking of the success and achievement of the Nicktoons Ludo achieved, Bhattacharya said, “We never imagined it would be such a success. Nostalgia turned out to be a really big book for the public during lockdown. Everything that was popular a few years ago suddenly came back with a huge front seat; whether it’s mythological content or a parent sitting and watching Motu Patlu as a stress reliever with children at home. Games like Ludo, Carrom, Snakes and Ladders were played by children and parents when locked up at home. So we thought about giving classic games an incredible new twist. We approached Google to support us in this initiative. The beauty of the game was that it was personalized with Nicktoons Motu-Patlu, Rudra-Rangeela, Shiva-Reva, and Happy-Pinaki. We have also hosted games like Snakes and Ladders with happy and Pinaki and Carrom with Chikoo Aur Bunty. This initiative was appreciated and well received by the children because the bond they share with Nicktoons is phenomenal.
Projects for 2022
Revealing Nick’s licensing and merchandising plans for 2022 and how they have adapted to digital creation methods by curating GIFs, AR filters and Nicktoons stickers to make children’s digital experience more interactive, Bhattacharya said: “Merchandising is an ongoing process because kids want to have a connection with characters they love so much; whether it’s a school bag with Rudra on it, or a water bottle with Shiva above, or a notebook with Dora above. It won’t end until the kids share their unique friendships with their favorite toons.
We have a lot of projects in mind, and as things open up, it will get better and better in the years to come. We are integrating new brands and our current list of toons is entering much deeper product categories; from consumer goods, clothing, to electronics and we are also moving towards a virtual space which we do not characterize as merchandising and licensing, but it is a creative marketing engagement that we make with the public through our Nicktoons GIF, stickers, emoji which is all about entering the digital space and giving that link to our kids.
Looking forward to 2022, a hopeful Bhattacharya said: “In 2022 we will continue to offer a lot of entertainment and we have planned a lot of marketing campaigns where we connect with children on multiple screens, organize content. by involving many popular influencers. . We continue to empower, to make children smile. We are planning many new launches. As things open up in the coming months, you can see our marketing campaigns take on a bigger scale beyond screens. We are looking forward to 2022 because there is a lot going on in the pipeline! “