I have always felt that media has not developed in India to the extent it has in the West, for the kiddo market. The kiddo market, btw, has always been a passionate thing for me, a challenge that's a flux, undefined ...
When I started my portal for kids, http://www.kidskhazana.com/indexnew1.html, I wished to re-define the way products hogging the kiddo domain looked at things.
For starters, this portal came out of an event I organized, where I carried over knowledge on another passion I have, cel animation, to kiddos. I held a series of workshops on animation, started with flip book creation, and so on, before i moved onto sketching and animating in flash. Assisting me with the first part, the flipbook and sketch bit, was RamMohan, the evergreen Indian animator ... and Kids did characters and backgrounds and anims for this portal... I just compiled and put it together with a bunch of asp and html guys.
When I started this exercise, I didnt have any money to reach out to kids, travel to them, get a place to be with them, and pass on my skills. I touched base with kellogs, nestle, parle ... you name 'em, i contacted them ... I wanted to pass on my skill to more and more and more children at no cost to them.
One of the things that I thought would interest co's would be an animation by children on their brand ... where the brand gets their adverts from the TG themselves ... getting perceptions, getting ideas, getting to know colors, pack types, shapes and so on ... So I dutifully packed the animation school offering in a flowery presentation where I tried to explain to corporates, that I would hold a product pack ... THEIR product pack, in front of their TG for 40 hours a month, and ask their TG to LOOK at their brand, visualize things about their brand and create stuff for their brand.
I didnt get a single co on board.
They were all committed to airtime on cartoon network or nick (nick had just launched here then), they were all committed to ads in newspapers ... not ONE of them ever seemed to be interested in this branding exercise where THEIR PRODUCT would be not just seen by the TG but IMAGINATED WITH ...
I worked with Hyundai along similar lines. I told them that I would ensure that one of their TG, the pester power audience, would not every confuse a santro with a matiz or any other car !!! they listened, they agreed, and up came the "Golu Junior Mechanic Car Coaching Camp"
With a mechanic from my garage as the master of the event, and me as the chief babbler, and my driver as the technical backup person, I took a Santro to over 40 schools in Mumbai, opened it up, and asked children to touch the blasted carburettor or the piston pump or whatever else they wanted ... I told kids that what they learnt in chemistry or physics or math at schools was what would lead them to understanding a Santro better. This event went to schools at no cost to the schools, at all.
Kids loved it, the parents raved about it, the principals god kudos, I got requests that I could not handle from schools in mumbai. Hyundai, though, for some reason, refused to take this countrywide.
I wish to get back into the kids domain sometime. I think the best when i am in this domain ... for the brand, for my audiences and for myself.
Maybe, one day, Markets will be ready to look beyond spending on just TV into serious value adds like this ... where their audiences get INVOLVED with their brands.
I'll wait ...
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