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"Our company is not static: it evolves with the preferences of children"

José María Cendra, Vice President of Nickeolodeon & Viacom Consumer Products Spain


Nickelodeon's big bet for 2013 is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who have returned with new series and an upcoming movie in 2014, as well as with completely renewed looks and stories, as explained by José María Cendra, Vice President of Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products in Spain.

What are the firm's goals for this year?
The "new" property we are launching, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, is a great bet for the company worldwide. In the US, Canada and the UK, the property was launched with a huge success last Christmas and the results have been extraordinary. This fact is encouraging the market in the rest of Europe and specifically in Spain.

In the past two years there has not been a very powerful brand for boys between 6 and 11, as the market has been more oriented toward the world of girls and also preschoolers. We believe that this, combined with a permanent TV exposure, will make this property a success. Also, next year a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film will be released, with the seal of Paramount Pictures (another of the Viacom group companies), directed by one of the masters of Hollywood action film, Michael Bay.

As for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, do you think that the fact that it is a well known brand can help build confidence between licensees and retailers?
Sure. This is a property with history - it was released in the early 80s and has had several come backs over time. But for nearly a decade it has been left without any development. This means that many children who were born during the last 10 years or who were too young for the latest release do not know this four magnificent characters.

It would have been a grave mistake if Viacom would not have invested in creating from scratch a new TV series, due to two key factors - the complete look had to breathe new animation technologies, and the stories had to include equipment and instruments used today, together with the traditional combat tools of the Turtles. Also, the dialogue had to be very up to date. We also took into account young parents (around 30 years) who met the first release of the series – this will surely have a positive impact on their children, as the series will remind them of their own childhood.

Is the goal of Nickelodeon to ensure that Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants  become classics?
Absolutely. The truth is that we are not inventing anything. The SpongeBob series was launched in the US in 1999 and Dora the Explorer in 2000, and are still in full swing in respect of both TV audiences and consumer products. Both brands still have great entertainment value, are fun and reinforce important values. This encourages our company to continue to invest in creating new content to keep alive the two properties.

How does Nickelodeon decide the creation and production of series and characters? What requirements must meet a Nickelodeon series meet?
We have development teams working in close contact with the market, conducting studies on children's preferences worldwide. Our company is not static: it evolves with children's preferences, and we adapt ourselves to the needs and expectations of our viewers. Nick's philosophy is still "kids first", but now we also add "but not only", as family is also very important for new generations.

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