Second year in a row, brand advertising on Raksha Bandhan remains subdued
Brands seem to be in the process of writing of Raksha Bandhan as the kick-starter of the festive season. Past two years have witnessed dwindling advertiser interest in the festival. Considering festive advertising is huge in the country, brands don’t seem to be interested in this particular festival as much as they are in other festivals like Dussehra or Diwali.
Raksha Bandhan, which has seen some aggressive marketing and TV ad campaigns by brands such as Cadbury, Archies, Idea, and Fevicol in the last few years, was a lot subdued affair this year as far as brand activity on television, print and OOH is concerned.
Continuing the approach from last year, brands are focused more on digital, rather than the otherwise popular mediums like TV and print. There were no jacket covers in national dailies, no ‘Cadburys’ or ‘Tanishqs’ wishing readers. TV, too, saw subdued advertising, as against ads seen until two years ago.
Brands like Amazon, MakeMyTrip and Videocon have been going big on digital promotions, however, the weekend was expected to host a lot of other key brand campaigns. There were a lot of brand promotions by digital players like Snapdeal and Flipkart, but only on their websites—not much over advertising.
Key players like Cadbury did their courtesy campaigns during the week, however, the print medium saw extremely bland reception in terms of brand advertising.
Even though it is too soon to find out actual spends on advertising during the festival, P M Balakrishna, CEO, Allied Media & EVP, Percept Media, “This is a very tactical campaigning. In terms of overall size of spends, it won’t be too large, but within that if one were to look at a loose percentage breakup I would think it would be around 70 per cent on print and 30 per cent on digital, the only reason being print would be a bit expensive.
“It is more online brands which are doing a lot more because they are desperate to figure out various ways of interacting with the consumer. I am sure the Amazons and the Flipkarts in the business will go crazy on this day. These online companies might not digitally promote it so much but on the website there will be more offers. So I think it is equally the same for brick and mortar and online brands which will be busy giving special offers.”
According to Atul Sharma, General Manager Communications Planning Strategy at Lodestar Universal, brands were not looking to spend much on the festival. “There are few brands which would be spending on it and maybe it would depend on what kind of brand you may have. Cadbury’s might be interested in doing something and all gifting categories would possibly do something or the other and even retail, but not every brand would spend on it.”
“I think radio should be the one which would be getting high spends during this time. It is not an important thing for anyone, it is a tactical spend. It is not like a benchmark which you will have like a Dhantheras or a Diwali. If they are spending on Raksha Bandhan, it will a tactical spend, not a strategic spend,” he added.
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