The 26th annual Kids’ Choice Awards, set to air on Viacom’s Nickelodeon in the U.S. this Saturday night, have been drawing a record number of votes from international territories.
Latest data seems to prove that Nickelodeon has been successful in globalizing the awards and deepening foreign viewers’ engagement with the event by offering more regional honors that children can vote on. This also marks the first year that the network is doing an international pre-show that will be localized to specific markets.
Overall, the long-running awards show on the kids network has generated a record of more than 300 million votes globally to date, up from over 220 million in 2012. Nearly half of this year’s votes have come from fans outside the U.S., the highest-ever foreign tally for the event.
International votes stood at around 132 million as of Tuesday, more than three times the total number of international votes in 2012, with voting still ongoing this year. While the network didn’t share data for different regions, it said Latin America, Asia and parts of Europe helped boost the participation in foreign markets.
"The unprecedented number of international votes — ex-U.S. — around the 2013 Kids’ Choice Awards is a direct result of Nickelodeon’s extensive globalization of the show," said Pierluigi Gazzolo, COO of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN). "Nickelodeon and VIMN have long been at the forefront of content globalization — through aligned global and local programming strategies — to create deeper connections with audiences around the world. This is why the KCAs is the world’s biggest night for kids’ entertainment."
Some international regions had done local voting in the past. But since 2010, Nickelodeon has integrated such local voting into the main U.S. show.
Fans in international markets can vote for their favorites in the 22 U.S. categories of the Kids’ Choice Awards. But children from around the globe also have the opportunity to vote in 22 local and regional awards categories — such as Favorite Asian Act and Favorite U.K. TV Show — with nominees including big stars from their respective regions.
There are more local categories this year than ever before. For example, Australia has five local categories this year, up from one in 2012.
The 2013 Kids’ Choice Awards are using 15 localized voting sites, 11 localized Facebook pages and a global Twitter integration, according to Nickelodeon.
"Through this ‘glocal’ approach, we are able to leverage and extend the sheer scale and excitement of the U.S. show and create deeper, more relevant experiences for kids around the world by integrating local award categories into specially produced local broadcasts," said Gazzolo.
Among the celebrities, TV shows, films and songs vying for awards this year across the various categories are Adele, Justin Bieber, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lawrence, Maroon 5, One Direction, Michael Phelps, Taylor Swift, Venus and Serena Williams, iCarly, The Avengers, The Hunger Games, “Call Me Maybe” and “Gangnam Style.”
Nickelodeon said the Kids’ Choice Awards will be seen in more than 350 million households around the world and in more than 25 languages. Fans in Poland and Russia will get a chance to see the awards show for the first time this year.
Within hours of airing live in the U.S. and Canada, the show will roll out internationally across various regional and local Nickelodeon channels. The global rollout is happening "faster than ever," according to the channel.
Ratings for the 2012 Kids’ Choice Awards, hosted by Will Smith, whose 10 honors at the show over the years is a record, were up double-digits year-over-year in international markets. The show was the top-rated program on a kids’ network in its time slot in such markets as the U.K., Italy, Spain, Mexico and Singapore.
Viacom’s sister network MTV drew record worldwide ratings late last year with its European Music Awards, which reached nearly 40 million people, with 184 million votes cast for the awards.
This year’s Kids’ Choice Awards host is Josh Duhamel (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, New Year’s Eve). As every year, kids vote for their favorites in film, TV, music, sports and other categories.
The awards show, which honors entertainers and others with its orange signature blimp, launched in the U.S. in 1987. It first aired internationally when the U.K. showed it in 1995. It is known for showing celebrities getting slimed with green slime.