New Delhi: From the sudden shift of confinement to e-picnics, 2020 has really been a tough pill to swallow in more ways than one, especially for kids! Moreover, digital access has affected children’s right to relax and play, with both positive and negative impacts. To bring back normalcy with some real playtime, Save the Children, a leading child rights organisation, is emphasizing on Right to Play as fundamental to the health and well-being of children and has announced Peppa Pig as their Child Ambassador to promote the importance of leisure time.
Peppa Pig has been one of the most celebrated characters amongst kids and has a strong influence to instil positive behavioural change. In 2019, India’s youngest full play media conglomerate Viacom18, also the official merchandising and licensing partner to Peppa, in association with Save The Children had come together for “Peppa Plays Cricket” campaign to unlock the potential of young cricketers. This year’s edition also saw eOne and Viacom18 Consumer Products engage kids to unleash their creativity by designing Peppa’s cricket jersey as kids were quarantined at home.
This exciting new partnership will see several activities in the next one year, beginning with a collaboration with iconic Play-Doh brand from global play and entertainment company Hasbro, Inc through the ‘Cans of Kindness’ initiative. Over 1000 children from underprivileged communities will receive cans of colourful and reusable Play-Doh for endless hours of fun and learning! With Play-Doh, children can make and create anything they imagine. The aim is to spark creativity, encourage the practice of fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. This first-of-its-kind collaboration between Peppa Pig and Play-Doh will encourage learning, creativity and most importantly – fun! Through a global philanthropic partnership, Hasbro, Inc. is supporting Save the Children’s education programming providing vulnerable children with Hasbro toys, games and learning resources, to inspire creativity and fun.
With early childhood services, playgrounds, schools, and other public spaces for children still closed in India, there is limited access for play in the physical spaces. While playtime is crucial for the growth and development of children, many do not get to enjoy this privilege. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) enshrines the Right to Play (Article 31) and in this new partnership, Save the Children and Peppa Pig will amplify and urge authorities to provide suitable conditions for children to play and #ProtectAGeneration at a time when children are locked up in their houses.
While Peppa has become a global phenomenon, Viacom18 has been instrumental in building a stronger affinity towards the character in India by creating multiple touchpoints through its on-air, digital, merchandise and events verticals. Currently, Peppa PigOn Nick Jr India is amongst the top 3 properties in the pre-school genre, India and amongst Voot Kids pre-school properties as well. Viacom18 Consumer Products also recently announced a range of Peppa merchandise to delight kids while they continue to stay home.
Speaking on the criticality of quality leisure time for children in the current context, Sudarshan Suchi, CEO, Save the Children said, “Play is essential for children as it helps in developing their imagination, dexterity, physical, cognitive and emotion strength. It allows children to conquer their fears and master the world. Undirected play allows children to learn social behaviours, to share, to negotiate and to resolve conflicts. More than anything, play allows a child to experience happiness and joy, which is a fundamental building block to any other right.”
“There has been a groundswell of affection for Peppa Pig after we first launched in India in June 2016 on Voot Kids before making its debut on Nick Jr India in January 2017. We are excited to spread happiness and joy at such a time when kids need it most. We will have Peppa engage in something that is extremely meaningful to kids and, with each activity meticulously planned for every child’s palate, we are looking forward to yet another great campaign,” said Rebecca Harvey, Executive Vice President, Global Brand & Marketing, Family Brands, eOne.
Commenting on the gesture, Mahesh Shetty, Head-Network Sales, Viacom18 said, “While the perils of the pandemic continue to exist, Right to Play is pertinent, especially in today’s times where kids continue to stay confined and are unable to engage, interact with the world around them. We are extremely delighted that Peppa has been chosen by Save The Children to be the Child Ambassador to promote Right to Play. We believe that Peppa has a strong influence on the minds of young kids and will play a key role in changing mindsets and reinforcing the value of play. Since 2016, Viacom18 has created a strong ecosystem for Peppa Pig with forays into broadcast, digital, merchandise and events. We look forward to partnering with eOne and Save The Children on the exciting initiatives planned in the coming months.”
Speaking on the partnership with Save The Children, Bhavesh Somaya, Country Manager – South Asia, Hasbro said, “At the heart of everything we do, lies our commitment to make the world a better place for all families and children. With concerted efforts, the Cans of Kindness campaign is a step towards building the Value of Play in India through creative, imaginative and fun play sessions using Play-Doh.”
Peppa embarked on its journey to advocate right to play with the popular ‘Peppa Plays Cricket’ campaign which focused on the importance of sportsmanship, teamwork and trust which led to heaps of memorable experiences and fun with family and friends! This exciting new partnership will see multiple initiatives in the next one year starting with “Cans of Kindness” which will promote learning, creativity and fun, while the kids are in their safe space.