"Nobody globally has screened Kids Choice Awards in the metaverse"
Nickelodeon India has established itself as a thought leader by being the No. 1 franchise in the kids’ category with a household availability in about 120+ million households across 7 languages. The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards has also been growing with innovation and has successfully become one of the most prominent IPs in the kids’ category today.
After six successful editions, which incorporates one virtual edition, the Kids’ Choice Awards is back with another exciting virtual edition to entertain and empower the dynamic audiences. With an objective to provide kids with an opportunity to express their opinions and voice their choices, the Kids’ Choice Awards has built itself to become a one-of-its-kind noteworthy IP in the kids’ category.
Adgully spoke to Sonali Bhattacharya, Head - Marketing, Kids Entertainment Cluster, Viacom18, to know more about the 2022 edition of the Kids’ Choice Awards, the new innovations that they have done, how Nick is engaging with the kids and more.
Elaborating on the response received for the Kids’ Choice Awards, Bhattacharya said, “The Kids’ Choice Awards (KCA)is the marquee property of Nickelodeon. It is a very well established global property, which we have successfully migrated to India as well. We are one of the few countries that has our very own version of Kids’ Choice Awards India, which it itself is testimony to the success of KCA in our country. I think one of the biggest reasons it does so well is because it keeps kids at the core of the messaging, the communication, and it actually gives children the freedom to choose their favourites and to make decisions and cast their vote for their favourite celebrity, actor, dancer, video gamer, rapper, whoever, and we just kept increasing categories year on year.”
KCA started off as a very big on-ground property with A-list Bollywood stars performing at the awards function. “We have had actors like Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, you name them and they have performed at the KCA,” Bhattacharya said, adding, however, when the pandemic hit two years ago, they had to reimagine and rethink the manner in which they would bring this property to life to the audiences. “That’s when we decided to completely pivot and go virtual and multiscreen. We decided that the pandemic will not stop us from entertaining kids and we will be true to our promise of always being there for kids, no matter what the season, no matter what the external circumstance is. We took this leap of faith, where we transferred everything, which was so big on-ground, onto multiscreen and virtually,” she further added.
KCA garnered the highest number of votes ever last year, which was 1.5 million. Speaking about the votes and brand collaborations, she said, “We have garnered a similar number this year, which is also a very big feat for us. Brands have been interested. We’ve had sponsors like Perfetti and Horlicks in the past, we had Lego last year. We culminate KCA on March 27 with over 14 screen simulcasts.
Nick will also foray into the metaverse, which is a huge innovation and nobody in the category has done it. Nobody globally in KCA has screened the episode in the metaverse. So, we are taking many first mover steps in this direction and we hope we will get the love and admiration of the kids, which is what drives us more than anything else,” Bhattacharya added.
Influencer marketing is a very important part of any marketer’s campaign these days. And it’s only going to grow. There is so much of a boom in video content now that these are the right kind of enablers who help put the brand message out effectively to the kids. Speaking of this, Bhattacharya said, “Unlike what it was in the past, content is no longer linear, even though you may be primarily in broadcast, but content has purely cut across screens spikes, and it is getting more and more platform agnostic. So, you need to curate your message for any possible medium where the child is available.”
When asked about if there is a change in the format of KCA this year, Bhattacharya said, “The uniqueness of KCA is the fact that kids choose everything about it. It’s an award show of the kids, for the kids and by the kids. And that is what gives it the kind of popularity, not just with the kids who are the primary audience, but even their parents and even the A-list celebrities. So, you have celebs like Deepika, Shah Rukh, who are overjoyed to receive the Kids’ Choice Award. So, we will not change the form. Every time we roll out KCA, it will be for the kids, of the kids and the kids will choose and the kids will vote. It is their vote that will count.”