Cartoon Network has had a run of a wide range of advertisers including the unusual ones such as BPCL, Samsung, Citibank, All Out and Haldirams.

Latha Venkatraman

Mumbai, Feb. 17

THE slow upturn in advertising revenue in the broadcasting space is seen as good news for kids' channels in the backdrop of children's pester power in buying decisions in Indian homes.

Kids's channels could be the big gainers of the upturn in advertising revenue as advertisers are wonted to put their money on this genre of channels which has possibly a major chunk of decision makers in consumer goods buying at home.

Kids' channels have possibly not lost as much advertising revenue as other genres would have in a slowing market. The estimated ad sales, which stood at Rs 54 crore in January 2004 has risen to Rs 140 crore in January 2005. In three years this number is seen rising to Rs 500 crore.

According to Mr Purnendu Bose, Chief Operating Officer, Hungama TV, the fact that Indian cable and satellite homes are largely single television homes explains the children's power on the remote as well as buying decisions. Quoting a global survey conducted by Synovate, an international market-research firm, Mr Bose says that 42 per cent of the respondents in India agreed that their choice of car was entirely dependent on their children's wishes.

This has prompted a number of non-traditional advertisers to come aboard kids' channels. Cartoon Network, which has been around for nine years, has had a run of a wide range of advertisers including the unusual ones such as BPCL, Samsung, Citibank, All Out and Haldirams.

Financial services company and a feminine hygiene brand are some of the atypical advertisers on children's channel indicating that this genre of broadcasters space has gone beyond children. Among those unusual advertisers on Hungama Tv include Ad Pens, Linc Pens, D'Damas, ICICI Pru Life, HPCL, and Asian Paints.

At Animax the process of advertising sales has just commenced. Having allowed its target audience to sample the channel, Animax is now creating an awareness of its own brand by organising workshops on animation for children, says Mr Rohit Bhandari, Assistant Vice-President - Marketing and Sales, Animax.

At present, the channel is in talks with large advertisers.

While most channels continue to look at day parts for advertising sales, Cartoon Network has restructured it around programming strength. Instead of day part sales, it has four main blocks - blockbuster toons, prime toons, super toons and wonder toons. Programmes with the highest TVRs fall under the blockbuster category. "But the programmes in each of these categories are not for ever. They could be shifted from one block to another depending on their rating. We will evaluate this every quarter," says Ms Monica Tata, Vice-President - Advertising Sales.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 18, 2005)
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