Harvest festival Pongal was celebrated with pomp and gaiety all over Tamil Nadu and rest of the country on January 13. One of the last big festive seasons of the Indian year, Pongal comes as the last chance for the media and marketers to woo the audience and consumers to go on the festive shopping spree, especially in the South. The economic slowdown has impacted the festivities and the celebrations lack the previous years’ spending frenzy, however, it has not totally dampened the festive spirit, yet.
As part of its Pongal offerings, The Times of India Chennai has quite a few features to pep up the festive sprit. Giving an optimistic outlook, Ninan Thariyan, AVP and Response Head, The Times of India, Chennai, said, “As far as the retail market is a concerned, there is reasonable revenue opportunities as compared to other verticals. I don’t see any strong signs of economic downturn in the retail market in Chennai, from print media perspective. Of course, things would have been better if we had the same optimism as last year.”
Vijay TV has lined up a two-day programme list with celebrity chat shows, star performances and Pongal movie premiers. Sounding confident about the content of the channel, K Sriram, General Manager, Vijay TV, said, “Like in the past, the advertisers have always encouraged and appreciated us for our innovative and unique content. This year as well, the response from the advertising fraternity has been good.” Other TV channels like Kalaignar TV have come out with a similar line-up of Pongal special programmes with star chat shows and movie premiers.
Radio players, too, have tried to get innovative with their programming to capture the cultural and auspicious aspects of the festival. Big FM Chennai is coming out with a programme where they will create an entire village type ambiance of ‘Maatu Pongal’ (a day dedicated to cattle) celebration. Flagging off the celebration, Big FM Chennai will take the cows to different residential apartments to create an auspicious feeling.
Radio Mirchi Chennai played the Good Samaritan and is celebrating the festival by visiting different orphanages. Talking of the setback in the extravaganza around the festive celebrations, Sandeep Sud, VP & Cluster Head, Radio Mirchi, Chennai, admitted, “Certainly there is a sentiment of downturn. The festival has failed to evoke the kind of buoyancy it has offered in other years.”