Festive season gives Print a fillip

Industry players say with brands trying to make the most of the pent-up consumer demand, Print has attracted a fair share of the advertisers’ money

e4m by Dipali Banka
Updated: Oct 23, 2020 9:43 AM

Since the reopening of the markets in July, we have seen Print media picking up pace month on month. And now the festive season is expected to give a further impetus to this trend. Print was one of the most severely affected sectors during the lockdown with both ad volumes and circulation taking a huge hit.

However, the numbers now show a massive growth with circulation at almost 92% of the pre-Covid times and ad volumes at approximately 80%. Festive season is bringing in the required fillip to the sector with Print’s favourite sectors like Auto, Education and FMCG acting as a catalyst in the speedy recovery.

“If you look at it, some print dependent categories like auto, FMCG and education had already started advertising post the lockdown and now the festive season has given a further boost to the spends with both local and national advertisers using print to reach out to audiences. With the current ad volumes at almost 80% of the 2019 festival season, we are hoping a further boost by the time the peak festival season comes in, making it almost similar to the 2019 ad volumes. Though one fundamental challenge remains — of bridging the gap between the price and discount and optimizing yield in a situation where advertisers are also facing similar problems of market demand,” explained Probal Ghosal, Director, Amar Ujala.

Asked about the spends targeted towards print for the festive season, Shailesh Gupta, Director of Jagran said, “One would not know the quantum of spends directed at any particular media, but our markets are oozing confidence and the consumers are up and about in the markets. With active cases going down by the day, there’s positivity, consumer confidence and a buzz in the markets.”

Another reason for advertising getting a much-needed boost is brands trying to leverage the pent-up demand among consumers. “In Kerala, Onam sales used to account for 40% to 50% of consumer durables' annual sales as it provides a great positive sentiment for purchasing and gifting. This year has been particularly important for clients as they are looking at leveraging the pent-up demand post Covid,” says Varghese Chandy, Vice President, Marketing, Adverting Sales, at Malayala Manorama.

Talking about how the festive season is faring down South, M V Shreyams Kumar, Managing Director, Mathrubhumi Group said: “As for our market, we consider ourselves fortunate to experience two festival seasons in quick succession, one being our regional festival of Onam and the other the national festival of Diwali.  Onam was a good indicator for us.  Coming straight out of the peak of Covid, we managed to deliver an exceptional performance during Onam and the trends since then seem to suggest that there’s no looking back.  Kerala always attracts a good share of the advertisers’ money on the print medium, owing to the very high consumption of print.  In fact, Kerala is the only state where overall print reach is higher than that of TV.”

On a similar note, Chandy further said that the Group did experience an uptick in advertising during Onam but it was understandably far off from last years' advertising revenues. “With the festival fervor setting in other parts of the country, the print industry has definitely experienced the positive vibes.”

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