BEHIND THE SCREEN: Dec/Jan - ToyNews

BEHIND THE SCREEN: Dec/Jan

I have every understanding with the toy industry.
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The requirement from retailers for ever deeper discounts coupled with financial demands for point of sale support is just the latest in a long list of external pressures making life difficult for the trade.

Over the last ten years, oil prices have tripled, shipping costs doubled and what is about to happen to labour costs in the Far East is anybody’s guess. We media owners know exactly how this feels because we are under a similar number of pressures. Increased programming costs, a sharp rise in the cost of satellite uplinks and reduced subscriber revenues from platform owners to mention but a few.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic then, if one could rely on a supplier whose delivery over that same period has not only remained consistent but actually grown; whose relative pricing has reduced; whose quality, diversity and delivery of product has vastly improved and whose positive effect on your business is beyond doubt?
Three cheers then for kids TV.

Despite a myriad of other media competing for kids’ attention, in the last decade kids TV viewing has grown by over nine per cent (Source: BARB). I’ve read with interest recently the musings of a number of media commentators in the toy press reminiscing about the halcyon days of kids TV where one Saturday morning spot on ITV would give you over 20 TVR’s and a handful of spots would deliver a full campaign. What those same people neglect to mention however was that the cost of that airtime was, on average, over three times greater then than it is now, courtesy of the multi-channel sector (Source: Zenith).

Additionally, that same commercial wasn’t delivered in high definition, with catch-up and on-demand services in a highly targeted show and fully backed up by an ever improving online digital offering.

As always though, the proof of the pudding is in the sales. What hasn’t changed over the years is TV’s ability to deliver fantastic sales results at retail. It’s no coincidence that, over the last two years, amongst the top dozen toy companies there is an almost perfect correlation between those investing more in television advertising and enjoying increased volume sales and those decreasing their activity and seeing a downturn in their fortunes (Source: DDS, NPD).

The simple fact is that despite the current unpredictable economy and massive pressures on every area of your business, kids TV has never been better value.

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