Magazine article Marketing

ITV Retunes Image for Kids

Magazine article Marketing

ITV Retunes Image for Kids

Article excerpt

ITV is fighting to claw back market share in children's TV, which has been lost to specialist cable and satellite stations.

Last week the broadcaster unveiled a new look for its children's programming, with a revamped logo, new promotional idents and a new autumn schedule.

Vanessa Chapman, ITV's controller of children's programmes, enthuses about the new CITV's future: "We want to make Saturday mornings on ITV 'the place to be'. Not only have we poached two top presenters [from the BBC], but we've given the morning a bright new look and a more coherent structure."

It is no coincidence that ITV has revamped its schedule now. ITV's audience share has slipped from 48.7% in 1994 to 38.6% in 1996. BBC1 has increased its share from 31.7% in 1994 to 33.4% in 1996, while satellite and cable accounts for 15.5% of children's audiences this year, compared with 10.6% in 1994. These are statistics ITV cannot ignore.

Children's TV is an important battleground, not to be overlooked by advertisers. It is the place to nurture both viewing and brand loyalty. As Nick Walford, managing director of J Walter Thompson's sponsorship division, Vision 40, points out: "It's crucial for ITV because these are tomorrow's drama watchers."

With the growth in children's satellite and cable channels - TCC, Nickelodeon, The Cartoon Network - and the imminent launch of The Warner Channel and Fox TV, competition is hotting up.

For advertisers, using satellite TV is more economic. Alan James, TV buying director at Ogilvy & Mather, says: "The price of children's airtime on satellite has been forced down, which has made it attractive to advertisers. …

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