Nickelodeon, one of the leading players in the Indian kids’ market space has always been a step ahead in providing power-packed entertaining contents with the new IPs and immersive storylines. And now, the Viacom18 owned kids broadcaster is all set to launch its 11th home grown animated IP Chikoo aur Bunty, a show that is based entirely on the sweet-sour and inseparable relationship between siblings.
Produced by Mumbai and Kolkata based Hitech Studio and the lyrics written by legendary Gulzaar Saab, the new show is all set to take kids on a journey of unparalleled tongue in cheek comedy and the tug of war between siblings, starting 18 October, from Monday to Friday at 10:00 am only on Nickelodeon.
Chikoo aur Bunty will bring forth sibling rivalry between the two brothers. A story of every household, the show is set in a middle-class home where the duo lives with their parents and a playful and intelligent dog Barfi. The 11-minute episodic series will bring alive the fun, sometimes sweet and sometimes sour banter, and rivalry between the two brothers competing for affection and goodies, while avoiding being reprimanded by their parents for all their mischiefs at home.
With local home-grown Nicktoons such as Happy & Pinaki – The Bhoot Bandhus, Ting Tong, Golmaal Jr., Motu Patlu, Shiva and Rudra to name a few, Nickelodeon has introduced kids to new genres of entertainment. The last IP launched by Nickelodeon, Happy & Pinaki – The Bhoot Bandhus was also a runaway hit amongst kids with the show consistently appearing in the top 10 highest rated slots of the category every week since its launch.
Speaking on the popularity of its home-grown characters and the new IP launch, Viacom 18 Hindi mass entertainment and Kids TV Network head Nina Elavia Jaipuria said, “Nickelodeon has always stayed ahead of the curve by introducing kids to characters that are loved and adored. We have consistently catered to our young viewers evolving preferences with innovative entertainment and immersive storytelling and enhanced engagement experiences. Continuing to lead the dynamic kids’ space is a testimony of our thought-through business and content strategies. With the launch of Chikoo aur Bunty, we will add further width and depth to our portfolio of made in India IPs and provides impetus to our mission of entertaining kids and creating an evolved kids ecosystem.”
On adding yet another IP, Viacom18 creative, content and research, Kids TV Network head Anu Sikka said, “At Nickelodeon, our journey with local content kicked off almost a decade ago. We have always introduced our young viewers to storylines and characters that are relatable, engaging and clutter breaking. The success of our past IPs reinforces our commitment and drive to serve our young audience with content that continues to raise the bar. The launch of our new IP, Chikoo aur Bunty will showcase a realistic representation of the relationship between two siblings who compete for the smallest of things but love each other equally. We look forward to enthralling kids with this unique concept of sibling rivalry and unlimited dose of comedy.”
Speaking exclusively with Animaton Xpress, Sikka shared how the advertising revenues are recovering with the onset of the festive season. She said, “We have been seeing a decline in ad-revenues during the first and second lockdown phase, but it was not restricted only for kids channel in India, but it was faced across the industry. We started to see the turn around from last year September in-between the second COVID wave. Now things are looking good and positive and we are trying to catch-up with advertising revenues for all the setbacks we suffered last year. We are quite confident and hopeful that this recovery will continue and growth will be on track.”
Sikka also added, “The strategy for us is to always ensure that both the channel and entire kids unit of Viacom 18 continue to perform the way it has performed in last few months or rather couple of years. Nick continues to be number one for past eight consecutive years, Sonic has grown exponentially and it ranked number two and Nick Junior is performing really well and today it occupies seven per cent of the category share. From content point of view our effort is always to make all our channels stay at the top. Today, we are market leader not in just terms of Nick and Sonic,but we are a clear market leader in terms of category and viewership share. We hold 33 per cent of viewership today. The major good news for us is the upcoming show Chikoo aur Bunty which already has three sponsors – Pediasure and Flipkart shopsy, and this shows that we are back on track in recovering our revenues.”
The category leaders in the kids space had came up with many local IPs like Motu Patlu, Pakdam Pakdai, Shiva, Rudra, Bhoot Bhandus which were a massive hit. Revealing the story behind creating the successful IPs, Sikka shared, “The concepts are developed in-house. Our team understands the needs and demands of the audience that keeps changing and evolving over the years. We create concepts, characters, storyline which excites children and are easy to identify and remain relatable. We first tried it with Golmaal Junior which is extremely popular and now we are hoping the same with Chikkoo aur Bunty as the relatability factor is huge as the show features sibling rivalry, something that everyone can relate to. Creating stories from the child’s point of view has given us all the success.”
Shedding light on what is the future of kids’ entertainment category, Sikka said, ” Today every big network wants to come up with their own kids’ channel and there are so many emerging OTT platforms whose huge focus is on Kids category. The future of kids category seems to be brighter as there is a huge demand in the content. Kids’ content consumption is not limited. They want to explore new genres and want to see new characters, distinctive storylines. Animation as an industry has also grown exponentially and Nickelodeon is a pioneer of Indian animation. Today broadcasters cannot just survive with acquisitions but they have to showcase the local Indian contents, stories and home-grown IPs.”
On asking why Indian broadcasters are not coming up with any female protagonist shows, Sikka explained, “When it comes to local animation there haven’t been any show with girl protagonist. If you look at the kids category, it is broadly defined from two to fourteen years and segmented between different age groups. In preschool category, Nick Junior is the biggest player and contributes seven per cent of viewership share. Here we have shows like Masha and the Bear, Dora and Butter Bee Cafe that stars girls as lead. I agree for older category we don’t have female centric shows but our preschool category is entirely dominated by female shows. If you look with bigger lenses, then we also have gender neutral shows like Pakdam and Pakdai that features animals and is also performing well. Hopefully sooner or later we will launch a show starring female protagonist.”
As for Chikoo aur Bunty, it has a robust multi-screen and multi-touchpoint marketing plan that is sure to draw equal attention from brands as well as kids. The channel has planned a 360 degree marketing through social platforms , OTT platforms, digital games and regional TV channels to name a few. It has also partnered with Belgian Waffles, Smoking Joe’s and New York Burrito Company to celebrate the unique and everlasting relationship between siblings.