Digital AdEx set to overtake TV: How are advertisers keeping pace? 

From tweaking media strategies to seeking out hybrid planners, ad agencies are planning to leave no stone unturned, say industry observers

e4m by Kanchan Srivastava
Published: Mar 4, 2022 8:32 AM  | 8 min read
Digital adex

Industry predictions over the last few quarters about digital advertising surpassing TV are close to coming true this year. This has been further substantiated by numbers in the latest PMAR report that says digital AdEx will surpass TV in 2022 with 30% growth, adding Rs 33,070 crore to the total AdEx kitty of Rs 90,000 crore. On the other hand, TV AdEx is set to grow by 14% only and thus likely to add up to only Rs 32,100 crore, nearly Rs 1,000 crore less than digital. 

In 2021, digital grew by a phenomenal 50% taking the digital advertising expenditure to Rs 25,438 crore with a share of 34% in the total AdEx. Digital was just four percentage points lower than TV - the largest medium. 

While TV AdEx registered a higher spend of Rs 28,151 crore compared to digital, the overall growth in the segment was 25% in 2021, just half the rate of digital’s growth. 

Interestingly, the report shows that digital’s growth in 2021 stood at 50%. The percentage was the same for 2012 but the revenue added was considerably lower. While in 2021 almost Rs 8,500 crore was added to the AdEx kitty, in 2012 it was Rs 750 crore. In the last 10 years, digital has grown at a compounded annual growth rate of 27%. Although ad spends were slashed across mediums during the pandemic, digital has continued to grow by 10% contrary to the rest that saw a de-growth.

A vertical-wise break-up shows video has contributed highest with a total share of 29%, followed by social media and display at almost 20% each. E-commerce and search contribute 16% each to the overall digital pie. Almost all digital spends in India are on Mobile with the latter commanding a 96% share. 

Ecommerce advertising has also crossed Rs 4,100 crore in 2021, mainly on the back of Amazon and Flipkart. The report credits this growth to traditional brands that are adopting ECommerce as well as establishing their own online (D2C) systems. 

The report quotes Sam Balsara, Chairman of Madison Group, as saying: “I would advise the advertisers to take advantage of the evolved digital infrastructure for distribution and advertising to prepare for the future growth and to invest in building their own D2C channels.”

Is digital eating into other media?

Sharing key insights, Vishal Chinchankar, CEO - Madison Digital & Madison Alpha, told exchange4media: “Digital marketing is something that cannot be ignored. The pandemic has made people even more connected to their devices and obviously resulted in digital medium attracting more dollars.”

On the question of whether digital was eating into the share of other media or gaining new advertisers, Rahul Vengalil, Managing Partner of Isobar, a Dentsu group company, noted, “It’s actually a combination of both.” 

According to him, “During the pandemic we saw a huge increase in digital adoption from smaller brands in urban as well as semi-urban markets. They directly get onto Google and Facebook using their credit card to run ad campaigns. I personally know of a franchisee in Thrissur (Kerala) that has been advertising only on Google and Facebook for the past couple of years.”

Vengalil further said that traditional advertisers have also increased their digital spends over the past few years. “This is eating into the share of other traditional platforms like TV, Print and Outdoor. Therefore, while there is growth across mediums, digital is getting the highest share.”

As for Vishal Jacob, Chief Digital Officer, Wavemaker India, “Digital as a medium is well-suited to meet the needs of start-ups, SMBs & D2C companies as even the major digital platforms allow advertising at very low ad budgets. They have a huge pool of readily available and targetable digital users.”

“That’s why for each TV advertiser, there are 5 advertisers on digital. One should note that every medium has got its digital extension. Connected TV/OTT has become the preferred medium of entertainment for some consumers, reducing the dependence on TV or cinema. Similarly, audio streaming sites and podcasts for radio and news sites have grown considerably reducing the need for print etc,” Jacob noted. 

Advertisers tweaking media strategy? 

Print, Outdoor and Radio have turned into a primordial mode of advertising during the pandemic. Most advertisers and agencies are already investing in digital media strategies on top-funnel (branding), middle funnel (engagement) and bottom-funnel (performance).  

However, with a change in scenario they might take a fresh look at their overall media strategy to cash in on digital growth, industry leaders say. 

FMCG clients have been focusing a lot on videos for the past three-four years that suit both TV and digital, Vengalil says. “Influencer marketing has also gone up. So, there may not be any significant change in the media strategy of ad agencies. However, since digital advertising requires multiple levels of campaigns to attract and retain consumers, advertisers will have to deliver a bouquet of digital ads frequently.”

Another area where digital advertising has seen an exponential increase is Connected TV (CTV), mainly users among the urban population of the country. The user base of CTV has gone up to six to eight million in India. Experts see a corresponding growth in OTT advertising this year. 

“OTT ads will increase now. There may be a little shift in offline advertising as well that often takes place at cinema halls, malls and colleges due to increased digital activation in urban and rural areas,” Vengalil further added.

Lloyd Mathias, Business Strategist and Marketing Expert, says, “For a host of advertisers who were used to TV and Print as being the dominant mediums this represents a whole new reality.  For one they now have little choice but to think digital-first. Typically, many advertisers would use digital to amplify creative or for retargeting. Now with Digital AdEx expected to overtake Television, using digital as a secondary option may not work.”

Hinting at the need for corresponding changes, Mathias says, “For both advertisers and creative agencies, this means having your best teams working on the digital – unlike historically when the creative superstars were those who did the TV commercials.”

Now, advertisers prefer engaging with TV and Digital media. Even between the two, the choices are now being made on factors like audience composition, platform consumptions and investments where digital often wins, says Shradha Agarwal, COO & Strategy Head, Grapes. 

“The advertisers have started building media plans in a more coercive manner so that TV and Digital media are observed under ‘collaborative media planning’,” she said. 

Hybrid Planners: Need of the Hour

Industry leaders admit they may have to upskill their workforce to leverage the growth of digital and even might go for requisite talent hunt that is already in short supply due to a surge in demand. 

“Hybrid planners are the need of the hour. Agencies understand the need to build talent by retaining and upskilling them. Talent hunt continues to be ongoing due to demand in the digital medium,” says Vishal Chinchankar. 

Sharing more on this, Vengalil said. “We need experts who can work effectively on both - traditional and digital media. Many people are still not comfortable with the digital technology. Hence, upskilling the current workforce is a must. Since it is an evolving medium, leaders will have to upskill themselves with the help of online tutorials offered by Google, Facebook and YouTube to remain updated.”

Sarvesh Raikar, Regional Creative Officer, Lowe Lintas, says: “The state of readiness has to be 100%. The upskilling has to start now, it’s always better late than never. But at the same time there is so much talk about ‘let’s get young people for digital’, and it’s a bit biased because we are not reposing enough faith in the experienced folks. If our grandmas can rock insta reels, so can our agency folks. 70+ year-olds are paying bills online and updating their DPs with so much ease – it’s a matter of plain evolution. Yes, even in the world of advertising. So let’s stop overreacting and instead expose the creative teams to the best practices around the world.

More Churn on Cards

The rise of digital advertising during the pandemic had already led to a massive reshuffle in the advertising industry in India and abroad in the last two years. 

“More churn is expected now as there is a significant gap between the demand and supply,” Vengalil says. 

According to Chinchankar, “Digital has already led to poaching of talent at every level, leading to a high churn. This is mainly because digital-first businesses and start-ups attract huge funding and are hiring galore. Secondly, ad agencies have been poaching employees from other ad agencies due to demand.”

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Clear Premium Water ropes in Hrithik Roshan as brand ambassador

The packaged water brand seeks to elevate itself as a brand with this association

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 20, 2023 2:13 PM   |   1 min read


Clear, the packaged drinking water company, has roped in Hrithik Roshan as their brand ambassador.

"Clear is already a well-established national brand, but I am confident that the association with Hrithik Roshan will boost our aspirations to emerge as a pre-eminent brand," said Nayan Shah, Founder and CEO of CLEAR PREMIUM WATER.

Commenting on the association, the actor said, "I am excited to join CLEAR, one of the country's most preferred and premium water brands, in its journey to encourage people to drink safe and mineral-rich water. Together, we will promote a healthy lifestyle with CLEAR's premium products while working towards greater concerns like sustainability and environmental conservation."

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Parimatch Sports brings in Dinesh Karthik as brand ambassador

The cricketer will collaborate with the brand for creating an apparel line

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 20, 2023 1:42 PM   |   1 min read

Dinesh Karthik

Parimatch Sports has announced that Dinesh Karthik will be its brand ambassador. The wicketkeeper-batter, who plays for the Bangalore`s team in the IPL, will collaborate with Parimatch Sports to create an exclusive line of apparel for the Indian market, to be tentatively launched during the competition.

Commenting on being appointed brand ambassador, Karthik said, “I’m thrilled to be associated with Parimatch Sports, which I am confident will soon be sharing space with the known names in sports attire. Because it’s an upcoming and youthful brand, it’s the perfect fit for me, for I feel I still have a lot to offer the game and to my team-mates. I can’t wait to be in the dugout again for The Premier League, and to show others that age is only a number.”

The Parimatch Sports is a sportswear brand dedicated to all sports enthusiasts passionate about top–quality athletic clothes. Those who strive to take their sports experience to the next level and express their champion identity through clothes Parimatch Sports brand that represents unparalleled style, exceptional comfort, and strong winning spirit.

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PUMA has always had a digital strategy much before COVID: Abhishek Ganguly

Ganguly, Managing Director, PUMA India, and South East Asia, lets us in on the sportswear company's strategy to ahead in the time of digital disruption

By Tanzila Shaikh | Mar 20, 2023 1:38 PM   |   4 min read


PUMA entered the Indian market in 2006, much later than competitors like Nike and Adidas did. However, within a decade, the sportswear brand captured the market, giving rivals a run for their money. 

In the digital era, when brands are pulling out all stops to stay relevant, PUMA is also trying out different marketing tactics to cater to the shifting needs of the new-age consumers, especially those hailing from tier 2 and tier 3 cities. In an exclusive chat with e4m, Abhishek Ganguly, Managing Director, PUMA India, and South East Asia spoke about staying ahead in the time of digital disruption.

The edited excerpts from the interview 

How has Puma been keeping its business relevant?

There is not one answer to this. There are various ways to keep up with the relevancy. First and foremost is the marketing funnel, one needs to appeal to the consumers in a language that they find relevant, and the time of putting the product in front of the consumer to buy has gone. One needs to have a story and a narrative around the brand. We have not come up with a campaign that is just copy-pasted because we are a global brand, as connecting with the Indian audience always requires the language that they understand. 

To be relatable, the channels also play a very important role whether you walk into our stores or it is online. Digital is not just a convenience medium today it's quite so that one needs to create the right experience for the consumer. 

How is PUMA connecting with the GenZs?

Every generation comes with different expectations or behaviour, their approach is very different. The young audience wants to express and be a part of a community, brands that are able to provide a platform where consumers can come in and exchange an expression and connect and build community, and in that process and delivering a message works well with the younger audience.

This audience is are also looking for a purpose around social causes our environment resonates a lot with young audiences. Convenience is also one of the factors today The E-Commerce mechanism as well as the payment mechanism has made life so much easier and young audiences today are starting with convenience. So Genz consumers seek relatability, being a part of the community, are inclined towards purpose-driven brands, and expect convenience.

With Anushka Sharma and now Harmanpreet Kaur as brand ambassadors, what is the messaging that PUMA wants to convey?

We are very focused on having the right kind of opinion leaders, especially women opinion leaders associated with us like a partnership with Mary Kom. Off late we’ve signed up more as a brand which is becoming larger we are trying to stay relevant with the various consumer segment. We want to provide a platform for women to come and express especially in India, for example, in our campaign Proper Lady well women came and expressed themselves breaking gender stereotypes. For years cricket has been called a gentleman's game and now it is changing, we are trying to enable this change to become faster. 

How did PUMA navigate the post-covid era in terms of business?

Before Covid, we have been in India for as long as 13 years. In the last three years including Covid time, we have doubled the sales seen during pre-covid times. We have always had a digital strategy not just during Covid times but for the last 5-7 years. 

How are you leveraging the tier 2 and 3 markets?

We are opening more stores and we will continue to do that for accessibility. e-commerce is obviously helping us to penetrate the market. In the last 3 years, we have grown about 4% point of our share from the non-tier 1 markets. We have almost 490 stores and a lot of them are in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

How much is the online and offline business in these figures - segregation in percentage?

56% of the business comes from physical stores, whereas 44% comes from various digital platforms.

Who has been more impactful for PUMA --  micro or macro influencers?

The truth lies in between as both are very important; it also depends upon your business scale. A very solid influencer strategy other than the selection and execution and the kind of content that goes out is to check credibility. Credibility should be really standing what your brand stands for. 

What's the marketing strategy lined up for the year?

Our choice of channel will be digital and given the kind of demographic profile of our market, it is very important for us to be there. We are going to every channel which is relevant right from search platforms to OTT platforms even news platforms, and sports platforms.

Check out more by clicking here to watch what Ganguly said about Indian audiences and sports.

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Infectious Advertising appoints Ashish Naik as Executive Creative Director

Naik has earlier worked with agencies like Ogilvy, FCB Ulka, and Saatchi & Saatchi  

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 20, 2023 1:32 PM   |   1 min read


Ashish Naik has joined Infectious Advertising as Executive Creative Director. He has spent a large part of his career with Ogilvy, Mumbai. He has also had stints at FCB ULKA, Everest, Contract and Saatchi & Saatchi.

Naik has created campaigns for brands like Cadbury, Perfetti Van Melle, Fevicol, Amul Macho, Gujarat Tourism, Hindustan Pencils, Fiat, Castrol, Franklin Templeton, Essar, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Hindustan Times, among others.

Speaking on his appointment, Naik said: “I look forward to creating some spectacular work with Ramanuj, Nisha and the team. I believe I will be working with the best at Infectious.”

“Acquiring top talent is the simplest growth hack. We are fortunate to get a creative leader like Ashish in our team. Apart from being a super talent, Ashish is an affable and warm personality who shall surely create work that will be Infectious. We wish him every success at Infectious,” added Ramanuj Shastry, Nisha Singhania and Siddhartha Singh - Managing Partners of Infectious Advertising. 

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PNG Jewellers signs Madhuri Dixit as brand ambassador

The actor will be with the brand for two years and feature in the brand’s ad campaigns, starting with Gudhi Padwa

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 20, 2023 1:13 PM   |   2 min read


PNG Jewellers has announced the signing of Madhuri Dixit as its brand ambassador for the next two years. Madhuri will represent the brand globally and across India. She was previously the brand ambassador for PNG Jewellers for a two-year period.

Madhuri will feature in PNG Jewellers' upcoming advertising campaigns, social media content, and other brand promotional activities, starting with the Gudhi Padwa campaign.

"We are delighted to have Madhuri Dixit as our brand ambassador, and we look forward to working with her over the next two years," said Saurabh Gadgil, Chairman and Managing Director of PNG Jewellers.” Our association with Madhuri goes back a long way. She and her family have been our customers for many years. She is still India’s sweetheart and a dancing diva beyond competition. Her values are aligned to ours as well. This association will help us to strengthen our brand's image and consolidate our position in the Indian and global jewellery market. Her presence in our ecosystem is an invaluable asset as we move into the next phase of growth. PNG Jewellers will be launching at least 5 more stores in the next financial year."

Madhuri Dixit said, "I am honoured to be associated with PNG Jewellers, a brand that is synonymous with craftsmanship, tradition, and elegance. I have always admired PNG Jewellers' stunning jewellery collections, and I am excited to be part of their journey once again. I look forward to representing the brand and connecting with PNG Jewellers' customers worldwide!"

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Tata AIG hands over social media mandate to Social Panga

The Mumbai unit of the agency will be handling the social media management for Tata AIG

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 20, 2023 1:04 PM   |   1 min read


Social Panga has won the integrated marketing mandate for Tata AIG.

The agency will be handling the creative communication for social media for the Tata AIG brand.

Riaan Rodrigues, Senior Vice President - Digital Business & Marketing, at Tata AIG said “As a company, we understand it’s important to have an insurance cover to mitigate one’s risks. We believe that creating a deep engagement with our customers over the digital platform is vital to ensure they understand the various insurance solutions that we offer. We want to strengthen our positioning while emphasizing on creative standards and have found a good fit with the Social Panga team. We are confident that our partnership will help us both create a positive, long-lasting brand image for us in the coming years.”

“There is so much scope to make Insurance as a category an interesting one & we are going to make an attempt towards the same. Super excited to work with Tata AIG to make the conversations around insurance a little more fun and impactful for people. While keeping ourselves aligned with Tata AIG's tone, Social Panga will work to make content in a more fun and palatable way.” said Himanshu Arora, Co-Founder, Social Panga.

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Yatra says 'Bindas plan kar' in new campaign with Delhi Capitals stars

The digital marketing campaign will include 3 digital video commercials featuring popular faces of the Delhi Capital – Shafali Verma, Shikha Pandey, Taniya Bhatia, Alice Capsey and Tara Norris

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 20, 2023 12:15 PM   |   2 min read


Yatra Online Limited ("Yatra") has rolled out their latest campaign - 'Jab Yatra hai toh kaahe ka dar, #BindaasPlanKar' to offer stress-free travel to its customers. The campaign is focused on the cancellation protection feature available on which ensures a smooth yatra for travelers despite any pesky disruptions or unconfirmed plans. Cancellation protection is an insurance policy offered by ‘Liberty General Insurance Ltd’ for the customers of Yatra booking flight tickets on Yatra’s website, mobile site, and mobile app. This product facilitates customers to claim the reimbursement of flight ticket cost applied in the event of cancellation of the flight ticket.

To back this latest offering and drive adoption, this digital marketing campaign will include 3 digital video commercials (DVCs) featuring popular faces of the Delhi Capital – Shafali Verma, Shikha Pandey, Taniya Bhatia, Alice Capsey and Tara Norris. All three DVCs focus on apprehensions that travelers have in booking their travel in advance and how the feature of cancellation protection addresses the concern.

Travel planning can be stressful, especially with the unpredictability of circumstances. Yatra Online Ltd aims to address this pain point by offering a solution that allows travellers to plan their trips without worrying about end-moment cancellations.

Commenting on the cancellation protection feature and the digital films, Dhruv Shringi, Whole-time Director and Chief Executive Officer, Yatra Online Limited said, “We understand that travellers want to explore the world, but unforeseen circumstances can lead to cancellations. With a cancellation protection feature and #bindassplankar, we aim to provide a safety net for our customers, ensuring that they can travel with confidence. The expression of our campaign is a portrayal of our continued dedication to offering a carefree experience to our consumers. Travellers have evolved preferences and we are excited to introduce a flexible, comfortable, and cost-effective feature for their travel planning.”

The #bindassplankar campaign can be a game-changer for the travel industry, providing customers with a unique and valuable feature that has the potential to set apart from its competitors. The cancellation protection feature is available on for all domestic flights. The #bindassplankar campaign intends to make travel planning stress-free and convenient for all Y

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