Everyone knows Nickelodeon isn’t just a TV network. The multi-national conglomerate has eased its way into every aspect of a child’s, and for that matter their parents, every day life. Nickelodeon’s brand is everywhere you look. From the snack food isle in the grocery store, books in bookstores, gadgets in electronics stores, clothing and shoe stores, to the toys that overflow every chain and mom and pop toy store, and the list goes on forever. Nickelodeon wants you to spend your time watching their TV shows and movies, and spend your money on all their products.
Big Kids on The Block gives you a snapshot of the Nickelodeon company.
In the May/June 2011 issue of Retail Merchandiser, the article Catering To Kids interviews the head honcho, Mannuel Torres, of Nickelodeon’s Consumer Products. He stated, “Putting kids first in everything we do is the overall philosophy at Nickelodeon, and it permeates everything that’s done in every division of the company. In the consumer products division, it’s out job to build the conversation between the great storytelling that takes place in our television shows and the products associated with those shows and characters that kids will want to buy”. The article also reports that Nickelodeon generated $5.5 billion in retail sales worldwide, despite the downfall the economy took in recent years. Torres’s remark was, “When you’ve built a strong emotional connection with viewers, price becomes less of an issue”. As of now, it seems kids are concerned with only a few things: watching their favorite TV shows, and buying what ever displays their favorite TV show characters.
Nickelodeon is huge, but it continues to grow and expand. The article Kids Business Looks for Grown-Up Boot reports that the corporation is even widening their advertising market and increasing their spending. “Some on the sales side think the market could add several hundred million in new spending, topping the $1 billion mark for the first time. We think ’11 and ’12 is going to be Nickelodeon and Nick Toon’s best year ever,” says Jim Perry, executive VP, 360 Brand Sales, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family group. Perry points to last year’s healthy kids upfront and scatter market that has been robust for five quarters, which prices currently 25% to 30% higher than they were in the upfront for inventory in some in-demand weeks.” (In this quote, “upfront market” refers to purchasing ads months in advance, where as “scatter market” refers to purchasing ads closer to air time. Upfront ads are less expensive than scatter ads. This quote is basically saying there is a lot of money being spent on advertising) The article also says Nickelodeon is increasing their advertising revenue by including markets such as insurance and travel industries. The Youtube.com clip below shows a commercial break on Nickelodeon that includes the usual suspects, toys and snack foods, but also includes an ad for Tavelocity.com. Now kids will be nagging for expensive toys and elaborate vacations!
- Should companies, like Nickelodeon, be only concerned with making a profit off of parents and their children? Or do they have an obligation to societies welfare by not advertising directly to children and not trying to overtake every aspect of children’s lives with their products?
- Is this company at all concerned with creating a generation primarily focused on consuming and purchasing power? Are they at all concerned with creating well-educated, informed, socially responsible people?