Disney India’s latest 35-second ad to market its ‘Kids Pack’ has had a mesmerizing effect on the experts.
Broadcasting company, Disney India, launched a new commercial that according to KV Sridhar (Pops), founder and chief creative officer, HyperCollective, will make parents think – “Oh s***! What have we done?” In the ad, a school-going girl behaves in a manner that catches her mother completely off guard in a rather amusing way.
When asked a normal question, the girl speaks in a very melodramatic tone and goes on to deliver a monologue. The child’s attitude points subtly to the kind of TV programs she is exposed to, i.e. Indian TV soaps etc. And in that scenario, Disney comes in with its Disney Kids pack for Rs 10. Having watched the film for the first time, Sridhar’s immediately reacted: “You do not want your children and grandchildren to be like that…”
Disney India’s in-house marketing team conceptualised the film to promote its Kids pack.
In February 2019, the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) rolled out the New Tariff Order (NTO), a regulatory rule where consumers would need to subscribe to the channels/packages according to their choice. After that, all major channels/broadcasters have launched their advertisements to promote their packs.
“Most of the broadcasters started advertising as early as February and used TV/Bollywood celebrities to push their packages. Ultimately, consumers preferred what they wanted. Here, the treatment of the advertisement is so dramatic, it truly stands out,” says Sujata Dwibedy, Group Trading Director, Amplifi, Dentsu Aegis Network, India.
She adds, “The communication that Kids should watch their content and not what’s meant for older people is powerful and has an emotional connect. Unlike other ads where celebrities said they were missing their favourite TV shows or what could be bought in a certain package, this creative takes a swing on a mundane conversation and twists it into drama. It touches two sensitive points – that Kids must watch a different genre and that they imitate what they see.”
But the question is that: Do kids actually watch daily soaps? Yes, they really do. According to BARC India, survey of 2018, Kids made up 15% of the total general channel viewers, the number was 14% in 2017. Children made up the Movie Channels’ viewers as 13% and they even watch Music, Youth and Sports channels. In terms of viewership rate, the Kids genre stands 6%, having fallen below News (7%), Movies (24%) and GEC (53%). On an average, the time spent per every viewer, each day on TV in India, according to BARC, is 3 hours 44 minutes. India has close to 19.7 crore television homes, of which 98% are singular TV households. So it’s affirmative, with single TV households everywhere, Kids are subjected to a lot of TV content.
The Walt Disney Company that now has acquired 21st Century Fox and hence, Star India, entered the scene by acquiring Ronnie Screwvala’s UTV studios. In 2006, Disney primarily invested in UTV to own a 14.9% stake. In 2012, the California-headquartered media behemoth, under the chairmanship of Andy Bird, announced that it acquired a controlling stake at UTV and later rebranded it to Disney India.
The television business of Disney in India remained a niche offering as the network never had a driving GEC. However, it was number one in the Kids genre with a 32% market share followed by Viacom18’s Nickelodeon at 28%, and Turner at 19% (pre-NTO). Discovery Kids, Sun and Sony Yay are also accumulating viewers creating more rivalry in the Kids genre than ever. About 550/- crore of advertising spends on the genre have been done, most of which is during the summer and winter vacations.
Post NTO, according to experts, Disney suffered a decline in its audience. One expert was quoted as saying, “Disney’s leadership position in the Kids genre is under threat as Nickelodeon’s Sonic and Nick junior, because of its distribution muscle, are growing thick and fast.” Nick is the number one channel in the Kids genre currently, followed by Turner’s Pogo and Disney’s Hungama.
Dwibedy feels the film should be promoted on TV (SD + HD) as well as OTT platforms. “The wider it reaches, it would have better impact. OTT brings the incremental reach. If the team does video planning as we do in our organisation, across multiple screens, the best mix with the best ROI can be achieved.” she opines.
She also believes that the children are huge influencers on such decisions, so the ad on mobile would work well. “Video on gaming sites, which kids normally access through Moms’ phones to play games, have high affinity, so that should also be explored,” adds Dwibedy.
It could be a desperate move, but it is a creative one…
Rohit Raj, co-founder and creative chief, The Glitch, says he found the ad to be really powerful in driving the message home. “It mirrored an insight which is every parent’s nightmare – that of their child emulating what they see on TV and picking up habits accordingly. The execution of this insight is really the cherry on the cake that makes the viewer wonder about the impact it has on their child. The price-point coming in at that moment closes the loop perfectly. I found this ad really effective and a great translation of a strong insight,” says Raj.
The ad got Pops thinking about a film director’s television talk that he had recently seen. The director told that he doesn’t have got a TV set at his house as he believed that TV takes children away from books and if kids do not read, their imaginations will not develop.
Pops also believes that the content aired on GECs have lost the values they used to retain in TV’s early days. “We watched Ramayan, Mahabharat and other entertaining shows which were not offensive, did not have abusive language and so there was no harm in watching TV for an hour a day… today it is different. Kids and older folks do not have anything to watch on TV and they are mostly compromising as per the preferences of housewives and husbands,” he says.