The fear of a looming slowdown may have gripped markets elsewhere, but Kerala remains happily insulated. Here, the buoyant demand for consumer durables and automobiles is fuelled by the soaring prices of cash crops, and the steady flow of NRI money. Not to mention, the annual Onam bonus giving the affluent Keralite more reasons to splurge, ensuring that it is business as usual in this marketer’s paradise. So ‘if it is guaranteed returns you are looking for, Kerala is where your brand should be’, thus goes a Malayala Manorama ad soliciting brand custodians to place their ads in the newspaper. This is one of the hundreds of creatives done by TBWA Cochin for the Malayala Manorama Group during the past one month.
Onam, the biggest festival in God’s own country, falls on September 12 this year. Almost all the big agencies work overtime during this period as most of the businesses in Kerala meet their annual targets during this season. The workload for some of the top agencies in Kerala almost quadruple, which means big bucks for the agencies too.
“Onam is the biggest shopping season. The next big activity happens for Christmas, followed by Vishu. Almost all agency guys work extra hours during these times. I personally have worked 14 hours straight, back to back for two full weeks. Even Sundays are not sacrosanct. Ad agency guys pool in because we know the time and meeting deadlines are important for smooth functioning of the Onam promotions,” said Sneha Mathew of TBWA Cochin.
According to Biju, Branch Head, Maithri Advertising, Cochin, the workload during Onam festival surged 20-30 per cent. It could be even higher if the client was a retailer, he added. Alapaat, Kalian and Mathrubhumi are some of the major clients of the agency. Besides advertising, Maithri also organises lot of road shows and displays.
Apart from mainline advertisements, Onam is also a time for several BTL activities. Brands like Malayala Manorama organise several events in Dubai, Delhi, Kerala and several other places during this season. So for the agencies working on Manorama brands, apart from new initiatives to be launched and regular brand communication work, these promotions have to also be planned, conceived and executed.
Like any other time of the year, the print media takes the lion’s share during this festival season, followed by television, radio, direct mailers and other BTL activities.
Branch heads of Mudra and Stark Communications were so hooked on to their work that they hardly had a time to reply our email. But then we do understand that Onam is certainly keeping the ad agencies in Kerala on their toes.