India Brand Conclave: TV will close the year at around Rs 42,000 cr in ad spends: Experts

A panel discussion chaired by Ashwin Padmanabhan, Head, Trading and Partnerships, GroupM, had media buyers from across top brands who said advertising on TV & digital go hand in hand

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Nov 30, 2019 11:35 AM
Ashwin Padmanabhan Panel 3

It may look like the growth in digital media is killing television advertising but that might not be true entirely. The attention span on a digital ad is often less than for a TV ad as digital comes with a ‘skip’ option but TV doesn’t.

Media buyers across top brands in the country also say that advertising on TV and advertising on digital go hand in hand, complementing each other.

“All you need is innovation. Multimedia is what we look at, not just TV or Digital,” said Neel Pandya, Head of Marketing, L’oreal India.

According to Pandya, digital doesn’t make TV advertising redundant, the right amount of innovation will make the medium thrive and grow alongside digital. He was speaking at the India Brand Conclave 2019, Mumbai chapter, in a session chaired by Ashwin Padmanabhan, Head, Trading and Partnerships, GroupM, and attended by several other media buyers for key brands.

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Experts on the panel were unanimous that TV advertising is still the most preferred platform for brands looking at mass reach.

“Our estimate this year is that TV will end this year at about Rs 42,000 crore to Rs 43,000 crore, while digital will close the year at Rs 20,000 crore when it comes to ad spends. While the 30% growth in digital ad spends cannot be ignored, it is also important to understand that TV continues to be as relevant as it has always been. Only our expectations from the medium are changing,” said Padmanabhan.

Talking of expectations and pointing out the primary reasons why brands take to television advertising, Dhaval Shah, Founder, pharmeasyapp, said, “Digital cannot scale beyond a point; TV gives you mass, scale, trust. Brands are on TV to tell the world they have arrived, tell consumers they are reliable and here to build long-term relations.”

Rajiv Dubey, Head of Media, Dabur, had a different side to the whole story. According to him, it is content that powers the customer. “Our brands are present in 65 lakh outlets in the country out of 80 lakh outlets. The point I am trying to make is if you are a mass brand and also available in the rural market then TV is the answer. Having said that what is important is brands should chase the content and not the platform in general. TV has 800 channels and more that 90 per cent might not be relevant for the brand. One has to look for content that has the reach to tell the story of your brand. For example, a show like ‘Bigg Boss’ has the capacity to garner unparalleled viewership,” said Dubey.

Citing an interesting example of how growth in TV ads is in line with growth in digital and vice versa, Pandya said, “In a cross-media study when we saw the results of contribution of a brand’s presence on a platform for sale, TV was contributing x and digital y, but what was interesting is customer’s brand awareness is not in isolation and they depend on multimedia. So if TV is taken off, the digital numbers would be y-x and vice versa.”

Yatin Balyan, SVP and National Head, Investment and Enterprise at Omnicom Media Group also reiterated Pandya’s thought on the idea. “For a mass reach, we need TV and for targeting any particular segment we need digital. So it is not about an individual platform. It is the right mix of multimedia that works best for brands,” he said.

But is TV ready for targeting? According to Anurag Kumar, Chief Communication Officer, Tata Sky, targeting is something TV has introduced in the recent times. “Idea of addressability is important and with evolution of technology we have the ability to target every single set top box with a command from a central place. This way every set top box can receive a unique message. This can be used for advertising as well,” he said.

Elaborating on how Tata Sky has worked on targeting customers, Kumar further said, “When our customers switch on the TV they are on our landing channel and while they browse through the electronic programming guide there is an advertising that plays in the background which brings in assured viewership for brands. We can target customers at this level and show ads relevant to them because now we have measurability and consumption.”

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