Exclusive | Surge in MTV's merchandising bouquet

The popular youth channel MTV recently announced its plans of foraying into a significant youth category-personal care. MTV has entered into a licensing agreement with Global Fragrance, India’s leading aerosol, perfumes & cosmetic manufacturer, to launch MTV range of body sprays (deodorants) & eau de toilettes (EDTs) for men and women. The channel has already made its presence felt in a variety of consumer categories like footwear, lingerie, eye-wear, bags, stationery & paper, debit cards, mobile phones. These are only some of the categories that MTV caters to.
Adgully caught up with Sandeep Dahiya- Senior Vice President, Consumer Products & Communications - Viacom18, as he talks about the channel’s merchandising initiatives.
Speaking on the brand’s recent plunge into another lucrative market, Sandeep said, “We have entered into a licensing agreement to expand our consumer products into yet another exciting category which is fragrances. Global Fragrances will manufacture, distribute and retail an array of deodorants and AGTs around brand MTV for both men and women. The launch is being planned three months from now. Right from day one, the fragrances will be available across more than one lakh retail outlets including the conventional and modern outlets.”
Sandeep further goes on to explain how fragrances is a significant category for the youth; which defines their social interactions. “MTV is a brand that strongly resonates with the youth. We want to make our presence felt in top 25 youth categories in terms of significance in their life.”
MTV is currently present in a multitude of categories ranging from mobile phones to footwear, watches, innerwear, eyewear, laptop, banking instruments etc. Commenting on this, he said, “We look at the top 25 things that play an important role in the life of youth today. We have also delved into unconventional categories recently. In the last six months, we have explored categories like innerwear, condoms and now deodorants.  Off licensing tie-ups are generally unheard of in unconventional categories considering the challenges they pose. But, challenges excite us.  Interestingly, unconventional categories are the ones in which India has taken a lead globally.”
Sandeep exclaimed that MTV also looks forward to launching apparel in the near future; as it remains an untapped category and also a significant one.
Talking about the essence of MTV’s partnerships, he said, “  The needs differ according to the categories we deal with. But, we are always on the lookout for the best players in the category. We seek partners who are open to fresh ideas and who are equipped with the manufacturing and distribution set-up to do justice to the brand. Global Fragrances is a partner who matches these scales and they have an efficient manufacturing setup; producing more than 2-3 lakh deodorants every day.”
 “A lot of research goes into play when you enter a new category. You need to understand what the category is like today and what are the needs of the category. The most important thing to do is to find out if there is a need gap which has to be addressed, ”said  Sandeep.
 Finding a right partner is one of the secret codes for cracking a successful launch. Sharing insight into this, he said, “Groundwork is important while looking for a partner for tie-ups. Meeting up with the prominent players in the field, analyzing the most like-minded ones, recognizing the ones who understand the brand most beautifully and most importantly picking the ones whose distribution setup would do justice to the brand penetration are some of the key steps. Every player that you meet up bring their own strengths to the table.”
Elaborating on how different categories have different distribution needs, he said, “Mochi has associated themselves with MTV Roadies to create an exclusive ‘MTV Roadies Footgear’, which is available only in Mochi stores. However, when it to comes to categories like mobile phones, the reach has to be far and wide. Similarly, when it comes to perfumes; there has to be more penetration. Each category has different distribution needs which need to be addressed differently.”
Sandeep asserts that the distribution would be equal for both metros as well as non-metros; emphasizing the fact that the aspirational level of people living in non-metros is equal to those living in the metros. He also observed that non-metros contribute to equal sales.
Speaking about some of the future plans, he said,” We will be launching Comedy Central merchandise within the next few months, starting with apparel. Ninja, Sponge Bob and Dora merchandise have been growing steadily and will continue to do so. Nickelodeon currently has more than 80-90 product categories. We are also looking forward to explore Sonic in the near future. Besides, we will also be launching adventure bikes.” | By Aditi Popat [aditi(at)adgully.com]

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