Digital to see 25-30% hike in ad spend during festive season

Advertisers are spending on digital to run branding campaigns in addition to sales driven performance campaigns.

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Festive cheer is in the air and brands are leaving no stone unturned in tapping into the positive sentiment of the festive mood. This three-four month window between Ganesh Chathurthi and Christmas accounts for around 30-40 per cent of the year’s ad spend. This is now beginning to be true for the digital medium as well. In addition, this festive season, marketers have increased digital ad spend by 25-30 per cent over last year, say digital media buyers.  

Typically, television as a medium sees a spike in ad spend from brands targeting audiences through special programming for festivals. Digital too is following the pattern.

“In the past, we have not noticed a big spike in ad spends on digital, but now this trend is changing,” says Gopa Kumar, EVP, Isobar India. He says that digital is now becoming a medium that is used not just to drive sales, but also brand value because of the vast reach of the medium. Therefore, brands are spending on not just performance marketing but also investing bigger monies to build awareness and brand value on digital platforms.

Echoing Kumar’s observations, Kaizad Pardiwalla, President & Chief Operating Officer, The 120 Media Collective, says more brands are visible this festive season on the digital medium. 

Digital is a key part of any media plan throughout the year, but it becomes more important during the festive season to drive sales when intent to buy is high. Digital is important during the festive season because “it gives us more options to customize our creative according to the platform, intent, contextual, and customisation,” says Vinod Thadani, Chief Digital Officer-South Asia, Mindshare. 

Among the platforms available to digital marketers, OTT is gaining prominence along side Search and Social Media. “As brands are looking at digital as a brand building medium, spends on OTTs is increasing,” points out Kumar. 

Explaining how brands are using digital this festive season, Thadani says, “To drive awareness, brands are sticking to the traditional passion point platforms with the regular brand communication. Over and above this, most brands look at a festive approach by creative festive packs, gifting solutions to appeal to the festive shopping audience – here they look at non-traditional reach platforms like e-commerce and Zomato.” 

Thadani further adds that it’s more of video this season and that platform-wise, creatives are beginning to emerge from some brands that understand that this is hygiene now. Marketers are also using influencer-driven campaigns this season to drive sales on the ultimate destination -- e-commerce, says Pardiwala.  

Pardiwalla feels that brands are beginning to take the regional approach through digital and that’s sure to have a better impact. “For example, Tanishq has done a great job with the ad for its Utsava Collection where it explores the various ways in which different communities celebrate the same festival.” 

The usual suspects -- e-commerce, auto, retail, and consumer durables -- are once again leveraging the medium and its myriad formats and platforms to reach the consumer. Both Amazon and Flipkart ran high decibel ad campaigns for their recently concluded five-day festive discount sale. If Amazon went vernacular to increase user base with its Hindi app, Flipkart launched an innovating tech innovation that allowed consumers to bargain with a bot for the price of products on their wishlists. 

While none of the digital media marketing experts we spoke to could think of an interesting or innovative digital technology driven campaign that stood out this festive season, they said we may see some path-breaking work over the next couple of months. 

 

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