Vice President and Manager of Cartoon Network Latin America, Pablo Zuccarino, spoke exclusively to NexTV News Latam about the challenges and new releases by the leading children’s television network in the region. Zuccarino stressed the launch of their new mobile app Cartoon Network Anything, which will offer various short contents.
– What is your assessment of 2015?
We closed 2015 with excellent news on ratings. Cartoon Network was the most watched among cable channels in Latin America and captured the preference of the general cable audience, as well as with children from 4 to 11 years, an achievement that fills us with satisfaction and confirms that we are going in the right direction in terms of our programming strategy and content quality. During the year, we had varied and successful content propositions, such as the release of the new animated comedy Cartoon Network Studios Escandalosos, which is working very well.
We also managed to connect with the audience through proposals with local flavor, distinctive for each market, which further deepens the relationship we have developed with the audience. In addition, we continue to reach children with a well-developed platform strategy, with shows and characters faithfully reflect our brand identity. We offer a fun entertainment experience, anchored in humor, which is constantly renewed and that is found where they want it, specially designed for each platform.
– What’s new in Cartoon Network in Latin America for 2016?
In April we will have the premiere, highly anticipated, of the new Powerpuff Girls show, one of the most beloved and successful Cartoon Network franchises, with a completely renewed series, with new episodes and a licensing program, to connect with a new generation of children. Later, in October, we will debut the new Ben 10 series with a new image and new episodes as part of the 10 anniversary of our popular superhero boy, beloved by Cartoon Network fans. Besides, we will have new episodes of our favorite shows and other surprises and will continue supporting local content, which is a very important component of our programming strategy.
In addition, this year we will be celebrating our strong connection with the audience. Cartoon Network, rather than spectators, has real fans. So, for us 2016 will be the year of the fan. We will have various initiatives that will put fans in the center of the equation. An example of this is CN Blah!, the mobile app that we launched in late 2015 and that allows children to record short videos, imitating their favorite characters or recreating some part of the shows, and later then can watch themselves on the Cartoon Network screen.
– What is your mobile content strategy in the region?
Another novelty is the launch of Cartoon Network Anything in Latin America, a new destination developed for mobile devices, offering games, videos, pictures, trivia and short and varied content. This new app, which worked very well in America, allows us to extend the entertainment experience and offer a different way to consume the contents of Cartoon Network. With Cartoon Network Anything we continue to expand the multiplatform proposal of the brand and we are confident that the app will be successful in the region.
We understand that the fans of Cartoon Network are curious, restless and are active on multiple platforms. The way they consume content and preferences change quickly, so we put a lot of effort to reach them through our various digital experiences, in our websites and our mobile offering with relevant content. Currently, children receive permanent stimuli and there is a wide variety of content, the offer is widening. The challenge is always to stay ahead, to continue to provide a relevant product.
– ¿How do traditional TV companies adapt to new technologies and content formats?
We have a team that constantly works to identify trends and games that can translate faithfully the Cartoon Network experience on the mobile space. Cartoon Network is not the same on TV as the Cartoon Network experience on a mobile device. Children are often among the first to adapt to new technologies so new platforms have to be evaluated to see if they are relevant and how our Cartoon Network experience translates to those platforms.
In Latin America there is a lot of talent dedicated to developing video games and mobile content. We are currently working with development studios in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, among others. We are constantly looking to partner with the best in each market to produce quality content, to help us maintain the relevance and novelty in the region.