How brands bet big on counting day

Advertisers jumped on the moment marketing bandwagon on the counting day to leverage conversations and to benefit from the rub-off effect, say experts

e4m by Tasmayee Laha Roy
Updated: May 4, 2021 9:28 AM

With the news of Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry and Assam dominating the headlines across print and digital media, brands made a run to cash in on the trend. From ads congratulating Didi to memes and jokes on MK Stalin’s victory, the past two days have been quite a departure from the grimness of pandemic related updates. Brands made the most of the election season by choosing their media wisely.

On Monday morning popular Bengali dailies had full-page cover advertisements from brands congratulating Mamata Banerjee on her win and subtly talking about their products in the communication.  As per experts brands spent upwards of Rs 40 lakhs to cash in on the trend and create a recall value.

Another brand that advertised in an English daily popular in Bengal had no mention of the elections but their half page cover ad was in sync with what made headlines on Monday morning. The metal brand said nothing but, “Bharosa Dikhta Nahi Tikta Hai”.

Subtle or otherwise, brands sure made the most of counting day.

“While the entire election season is an important time for advertisers to increase visibility on news platforms, exit poll and counting day are especially important. For newspapers, the following day is also important. Today, the two full pagers on two of the Bengali dailies for instance one from Dabur and the other from Annapurna must have earned the newspapers anywhere between Rs 40 lakh and Rs 50 lakh,” said a media planner.

“Television channels also increased their rates by at least 10%-15% in the election season especially between January and March both for their national and regional offerings. For high impact days like the counting day special rates are worked out according to the programming,” he added.

How does cashing in on news heavy days like counting day help brands?

“Brands who jump on to these moment marketing posts want to ride on the conversations and get the rub off effect. But a brand has to keep in mind the brand values and whether it has any positive effect on the brand,” said Rajeesh Rajagopalan, National Business Head- Grapes Digital.

The entire election season saw ads making the best of the news heavy quarter.

According to some experts, the reduced number of newspaper readers has made the advertisers move to the audience’s next best source of information on the 2021 Elections -- Digital Media and TV. “This serves as a great opportunity for brands to advertise on news channels and websites since they cater to a more male centric audience and an older TG. Some of the brands that I came across were donation ads by Ketto, LinkedIn Business as they are targeting people with higher spending power,” said Tanvi Bosmia, Group Account Manager, Brand Experience at marketing agency SoCheers.

In fact, there was an incremental growth between January and March. As per TAM data, in the month of March 2021, ad volumes on new joiner experience were up by 32% compared to January 2021. While brands were actively using the period to increase their visibility, political ads also added to the AdEX.

During the January 2021 – March 2021 period, Reckitt Benckiser was the top advertiser in the news genre with a 6% share of ad insertions when compared to the three month period before that where HUL topped the list. Overall, the top five advertisers in the period included Reckitt Benckiser, Hindustan Unilever, SBS Biotech, Lalitha jewellery, and LIC of India.

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