Sony YAY! is all set to explore new dimensions in the ever-changing kids’ entertainment domain and welcome 2021 with a bang
Leena Lele Dutta, Business Head, Sony YAY!
Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) Kids’ Genre gives an inside scoop into the journey so far shares her vision for an action-packed 2021.
Sony YAY! is the first-of-its-kind kids-only entertainment segment by Sony Network Pictures, India started in 2018, beloved by millions of kids across the country gained a meteoric rise in a short time span.
Adapting to the new normal
The kids’ entertainment genre witnessed massive transformation as kids got more time to view content during the pandemic, thus, tremendously increasing the demand for fresh content. The kids’ category witnessed this shift in consumption pattern and quickly adapted to it to entertain our young audiences by delivering fresh programming line-ups that had innovation and engagement. The fact that kids are extremely loyal to the shows and characters that they’re fond of played an instrumental role in kids’ entertainment channels being able to sustain and increase viewership, during the lockdown. The kids’ genre churned out original content as well as launched new offerings when most channels broadcasted reruns of old shows.
The New Year will witness Sony YAY! leading on innovation and generating indigenous content for its young viewers. The channel is all set to offer a programming mix, set apart from the competition. Welcoming 2021 innovatively and compellingly, Sony YAY! is all set to start the year with more enthusiasm to entertain young audiences with an array of new episodes and movies. Adding the Happy to the New Year with new content and friends, the channel is all set to leave kids in splits with new adventures of the ghostly trio — Thakela, Pakela, and Bhoot Boss, in Paap-O-Meter along with Backkom, a show themed around the antics of Bernard, a polar bear, setting a niche from itself in the kids entertainment category.
Since the kids’ entertainment industry is undergoing a paradigm shift, especially in the new normal, we took to change into our stride and also added a host of new shows to our kitty to keep our young audience engaged and excited for more. Innovation and new content will continue to be at the core of our 2021 vision.
If you have seen a kid wearing their mother’s dupatta as a cape and calling themselves superhero,then you have been introduced to character affinity.
Children are pure and pretty straightforward with respect to what they like and don’t like which makes them a true-blue loyal audience. Sony YAY! has penetrated this liking barrier and witnessed a great deal of affection for its characters, especially the cat duo Honey Bunny.
To be No.1 in our young viewers’ hearts, we plan to intensify our efforts into strengthening their bonds with their favourite characters. Our shows are available 24/7 and broadcasted in vernacular languages like available in Hindi, Bengali, Gujarat, Malayalam, and Kannada etc. for the regional audience.
The 2021 plan of action is to bring them into the Sony YAY! Toon Universe where they will be able to relate to their favourite characters and access them at any point of time and place. From shows to interactive on-ground and virtual activities, our aim is to create a toon ecosystem where our children can catch their favourite characters in a place beyond television. The New Year will witness one of the most popular cult classic characters on TV, all set to be presented in an animation avatar, by their favourite channel. Following this, towards the later half of the year, the kid’s favourite channel with also present another original show, slated for October 2021.
Synergy in Brand associations
Experiential storytelling is the name of the game. Brand synergy can help achieve this by offering the ground for children to enjoy experiences they can see, touch and feel. Such realistic approach can do wonders in helping the kid entertainment sector to grow.
One of the most famous examples in McDonald’s Happy Meal where young buyers can get their favourite characters in real-life! The kids’ entertainment sector needs to create such life-like experiences and the YAY! ecosystem has set its eyes on creating such experiences for the children in the upcoming future. Sony YAY! wrapped up 2020 by creating an innovative Honey Bunny thematic desert in partnership with JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar. The channel looks forward to developing such like-minded synergies to offer the channel experience in newer formats on a sustainable basis.
Going Beyond the Conventional
Entertaining a child is no child’s play. With children and their active imaginations to keep seeking more, the kids’ entertainment sector has a sizable effort cut out for it. We at Sony YAY! have learnt that diversity is key. We merged two beloved shows and brought a marquee lineup of ‘The Honey-Bunny Show with Kapil Sharma’ that left the audience across ages and preferences in splits! In addition to this fun blend, 2020 also earmarked novelty content in the form of mythology and comedy along with 60 hours of fresh content.
We also conceptualized and successfully executed various campaigns like Heroes Behind the Heroes, World Music Day, World Cat Day. In addition to this, the YAY! ecosystem was expanded to cater the fans with special Honey Bunny-themed games, interactive Instagram filters and extensive outreach for relevant influencers of the community. The channel also built a thriving digital influencers community platformBuzzCrew and introduced, YAY! Dekho, yet another digital fun &learning initiative, Sony YAY! created multiple platform-agnostic touchpoints with a slew of many such initiatives. Adding many feathers to its cap, the channel offered a diverse array of engagement touchpoints with unique campaign innovations, delivering a unique experience of the programming line-up.
2021 looks bright with tech-infused content that will make our shows more-lifelike and within the reach of our audience, irrespective of their device.
Building on the momentum created this year, we will strengthen our ecosystem and content portfolio in 2021 ensuring that kids are always connected with their favourite YAY! Toons. January is slated for new releases while the summer season is booked for iconic characters making their way back to the screen in a new avatar!
Staying true to our vision to go beyond television, we will upscale our social media presence by adopting a 360-degree digital outreach approach and ignite our offline efforts as well. This will be demonstrated via on-site campaigns, brand integrations & associations which will take YAY! to malls, favourite hangout spots and schools etc.