Kids’ channel Pogo aims at creating shows that are relatable, dynamic, and speak the language of the audiences, says Abhishek Dutta, South Asia Network Head for Cartoon Network and Pogo. He said Pogo is truly local in spirit with world-class animation and stories that reflect contemporary Indian flavour.
Dutta’s comments came in the backdrop of the channel strengthening its home-grown IP library with a new show ‘Smashing Simmba’, inspired by Bollywood director Rohit Shetty’s ‘Simmba’. The movie’s character Simmba has been transformed into an animated series for young fans. The series is produced by Rohit Shetty Picturez in association with Reliance Animation, a part of Reliance Entertainment.
Speaking about the idea behind the show, Dutta said, “Within the diverse genres of home-grown animation, Bollywood has emerged as a theme widely appreciated by young fans. When Indian cinema’s most popular characters are presented in animated universes with relatable stories, kids absolutely love it. We are excited to associate with industry stalwarts Rohit Shetty and Reliance Entertainment for this unique venture, and Diwali is the perfect time to celebrate this partnership.”
“Following the recent launch of Titoo, Pogo has been strengthening its offerings of popular and premium home-grown kids’ entertainment content. ‘Smashing Simmba’ is exactly the kind of locally made and relatable show that will delight our young viewers. I’m sure kids will extend the same love to our new hero, Simmba, which they have for all our shows and characters over the years,” he added.
Speaking at the launch of the show, Dutta said the year has been exciting for them as Pogo stands on number two in the genre. He said even Cartoon Network has grown significantly compared to last year. He said viewership of children’s entertainment is generally expected during vacations but this year the growth came early due to the lockdown.
Speaking about the advertising sentiment on both channels, he said recovery is in sight due to the festive season. “Due to the ongoing pandemic, most of the industries had subtracted on the advertising but with the festive season coming in, we are already seeing things improve substantially,” he said.
Dutta said they have a 360-degree marketing plan for the new show, which includes brand integrations, branded content, digital promotions as well as on-air ads. To further engage the fans, they are launching a Simbba-themed game.
He said slapstick, action-adventure, slice of life, and a new genre Bollywood are the genres that work for kids’ categories. “Out of these, the slapstick genre has done really well. Simmba is centred around the hero vs villain theme and it is a combination of Bollywood and slapstick comedy,” he added.