Just as the competition in the Hindi general entertainment genre increased, and the market changed from being a single absolute leader market to ‘three on top’ or the emerging of the ‘big boys’ league’, as many from the industry refer to STAR Plus, Colors and Zee TV as, the week-on-week hype around channel GRPs also increased. The top 50-on-50 is not referred to as much now, when channels tom-tom their figures to indicate leadership status.
The last few months have seen channels like STAR Plus and Colors take various steps to increase channel GRPs and this included airing a significant number of break free movies and even airing primetime content with few ad breaks.
However, the custodians of the advertiser’s media spends have a different view on what a fair currency should be. All media planners and buyers that exchange4media spoke to for demystifying this genre agreed that the parameters of C&S 4+ in the Hindi speaking markets was a fair gauge for this genre, but the commonly used currency of channel GRPs is not.
Anything but Channel GRPs
In a conversation with exchange4media, Anisha Motwani, Executive Vice President – Marketing, Max New York Life Insurance had explained that the overall channel GRPs seldom made any difference to an advertiser, since at the end of the day, it was only the placement of the advertiser’s spots that mattered for that piece of advertiser communication.
Divya Radhakrishnan, President, TME elaborated, “We are buying advertising time, and we are not really concerned with what the channel delivers on an overall basis. Strictly speaking, for that, we would have to have commercials equivalent to the channel logo presence, which is unviable. From an advertiser, and hence a media planner and buyer standpoint, show GRPs matter more than channel GRPs.”
Basabdutta Chowdhury, CEO, Platinum Media, too is of a similar view on the subject. Bringing some more points to the discussion, she said, “Channel GRPs are at such an overall level that they do not matter at all when you are looking at the selection of channels in a media plan. There are many other aspects like channel loyalty, stickiness and even percentage drop in break TVRs that one keeps in mind. Channel GRPs have no sense from a planning perspective.”
A Basket of Shows preferred instead
For media planners and buyers, it is not one great performing show but a number of good shows that tilts the decision in favour of any particular channel. Radhakrishnan explained, “When you buy shows on a Hindi GEC, you typically end up buying a certain number of shows. From that viewpoint, it is the number of shows that make a difference. The big thing for a media planner is that the post should match the pre, which is to say that what is finally delivered matches what is forecast, and there is a difference of at least 12 weeks before he or she knows it. This is one reason why media services are more comfortable looking at things that are stable.”
Media planners and buyers refer to last eight to 10 weeks of data to arrive at a probable combination of what channels should make it to a media plan. For Radhakrishnan, GRPs is only for channel valuation at one level. Chowdhury brings one more point of view here. She noted, “Channel GRPs is a convenient tool only for channels to get a quick feel of the ranking. Also, channels use overall GRPs to decide on the pricing and positioning of the channel. Whether that really takes-off though depends ultimately on the individual transactions between the media seller and the media buyer because even in that the discussion boils down to the costs of the properties that the advertiser or the media agency would want in a plan.”