How cryptocurrency & fintech brands are driving BFSI AdEx growth

The brands in these categories need to build a customer base and for that they have to advertise aggressively, say industry experts

e4m by Sonam Saini
Published: Mar 4, 2022 8:56 AM  | 4 min read

While the last two years have been a difficult period for most of the businesses, there were several categories including e-commerce and education that saw an increase in advertising and promotional spends on media. The Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector also saw substantial growth in AdEx mainly because of the entrance of new fintech and cryptocurrency brands to the category. 

The BFSI category ranked sixth among the top categories that spend on advertising across traditional media, as per the recent Pitch Madison Advertising report 2022. The category spent Rs 1910 crore on traditional media in 2021 against Rs 1300 crore in 2020. 

This was also the time when not only new companies spent huge on advertising but existing ones also increased their total spends on media. For instance, brands like Phone Pe and Upstox with spends of Rs 500-600 crore each, CRED with Rs 450-550 crore, Policybazaar with Rs 250-350 crore, CoinSwitch Kuber and Coin DCX with Rs 200-300 each become the new advertisers joining the bandwagon of top 50 advertisers on media. Meanwhile, legacy brands like Life Insurance Corp Of India increased its spends to Rs 450 -550 crore in 2021 against Rs 250-350 crore in 2020.  

According to Karan Taurani, SVP, Elara Capital, BFSI AdEx growth is primarily driven by fintech, cryptocurrency, and broking companies. He said, “These categories are not niche but mass in nature and to reach out to the mass audience, they have to advertise on traditional mediums. That's one of the reasons they are heavily investing on these platforms. They really need to build a customer base and for that, they have to advertise aggressively.” 

Taurani feels that ad spends in 2022 are likely to increase. “It's just a start now. I think crypto is going to explode from hereon. Last year, we saw the emergence of gaming platforms, and this year it is going to be about fintech and crypto within BFSI.”

As per the report, BFSI increased its share on TV from 2% to 3% on the back of new-age fintech companies and cryptocurrency players. “For the first time in many years, BFSI has shown a massive growth of 70% in TV Adex,” stated PMAR. The category spent Rs 913 crore in 2021 against Rs 537 in 2020.

Meanwhile, on print, the category spends went 26% up to Rs 769 in 2021 versus Rs 611 crore in 2020. With a 13% share, BFSI continues to be the one among the two largest categories with high ad spends on Radio. In 2021, the sector's AdEx on radio grew by 51% to Rs 229 crore against Rs 152 crore in the previous year. Additionally, on OOH, it grew by 67% to Rs 281 crore against Rs 169 crore.

There are various micro and macroeconomic factors that play an important role here. People at large have realized the importance of savings and investments due to the series of pandemic waves. That, coupled with the roaring influx of crypto and the Web 3.0 ecosystem, has led to the numbers we are witnessing today,” said Robin Thomas, Strategic Partnerships & Growth, White Rivers Media.

He further added, “Although the Russia-Ukraine war has made the markets volatile in the initial part of this year, with time, it will stabilize and even lead to compounding effects as the year progresses. So, the growth will not only continue to happen in 2022 but may even surpass the numbers of previous years."

Speaking on the media mix, Thomas shared that a lot of the new-age brands are digital-first brands, where the digital implications take primacy in the overall journey of a brand. “Hence, their media mix is largely dominated by new-age digital channels like influencer collaborations, Twitter & Instagram marketing, video-led communication, etc. Although offline mediums like TV, hoardings, and others, still have a fine role to play in the overall communication of these brands, their inclination will always be towards digital."

On condition of anonymity, an industry observer said, "I believe BFSI will continue to grow overall, and with fintech and cryptocurrency players within the sector, the spends will only increase this year. And not just for BFSI, we are predicting AdEx growth across all sectors. A lot of spends are coming in for TV, digital, print across mediums."

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