With consumer sentiments positive, TV looks at 60-70% AdEx increase in festive season

Industry players look at a substantial growth in ad revenue compared to the April-May-June period

e4m by Sonam Saini
Updated: Aug 31, 2020 9:19 AM

With the country emerging out of the COVID-19 scare and embracing the new normal aided by the cheer brought in by the festive season, TV industry players have predicted a 60 to 70 per cent recovery in festive season adex.

The Pitch Madison report has also estimated that adex in H2’2020 should grow by 60-72% compared to H1 ’20 and grow by 6-13% of H2 ’19.

“The adex during festive season is expected to come back to Jan-Feb-March level depending on the consumer sentiments during Diwali. It's difficult to predict what will happen post October 15 but as of now the sentiments are looking positive,” shared Ashish Sehgal, Chief Growth Officer- Ad Revenue, ZEEL.

He further added that every month is better than the previous month and by September-October TV advertising should come back to normal or pre-COVID levels.  Sehgal further said that the revival will first happen on television.

“There are some categories which will start advertising during the festive season. For instance, online education, gaming categories, pharma and healthcare have started advertising on TV. During Diwali, the real estate category will come back. The category is completely absent right now, real estates should come back, may be not completely but will show some signs. Auto, consumer durables, mobile handset and telecom are expected to start advertising September onwards.”

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 in the second half of the year has just added cheer to this festive season for the broadcasters but let's not forget that this is the time when we also see tentpole properties like Kaun Banega Corepati (KBC), Bigg Boss, Nach Baliye and the new launches in the fiction category will together boost the adex during festive season. With consumers expected to resume spending, advertisers surely would not like to miss this opportunity.

Rohit Gupta, President, Sony Pictures Networks India, says GECs, movies and sports are big properties which contribute nearly 60% of adex and they need to fire large for the industry to do well.   

He further added, “Festive season is expected to be good because a lot of brands have been absent from the media for a very long time. Festival is a time when everybody comes back and you can’t be media dark for very long because in these categories your competitors are active then you have to be active. Also, the economy looks back on the revival. I expect it to be good but how good is it going to be I can’t say but it will be a better festive period than what we expected two-three months back.  Diwali is in November this year so we have the whole of September and October and so it's difficult to predict a percentage rise in terms of festive season revenue.”

Pawan Jailkhani, Chief Revenue Officer of 9X Media, predicts that the festive season is likely to grow 60-70% on TV as compared to the first half of the year.  “The first category that will fuel the growth this season will be FMCGs. I am also confident that around Diwali e-commerce will come back in a big way. Automobiles will jump too during the festive season and the fourth category is likely to contribute as digital product companies. These are going to be the four pillars for growth for the next four-five months on TV.”

As per the TAM report, the month of August witnessed over 450 new advertisers on board and over 650 brands on television which indicates the positive sign of recovery.

“Compared to a muted H1 that witnessed 25-30% overall drop over 2019 H1, the second half of the year should bridge the gap lower to single digit drop vis-a-vis 2019,” shared Kishan Kumar MS, Vice President, Wavemaker India. “We expect Diwali to bring in a lot of cheer into the AdEx. Not just because IPL is part of this year's Diwali dhoom, but because consumers need to celebrate after a majorly depressing 6 months of 2020,” he added.

On the categories he opined that our outlook says that Diwali strong categories like retail, auto, durables, ecom and lifestyle will be active this festive season. There will be a lot of newcomers like EduTech and gaming that are expected to add to the fervour. Add other categories like media, OTT, financial sector will be participating. Needless to say, FMCG will always have its share of the pie. Kishan Kumar said, “Personally I feel that any brand that can bring on relevancy and cheer and help consumers to celebrate has a huge opportunity.”

Many companies must rethink their strategies as a result. Generally the festive season contributes around 30-40% share of total ad revenues in a given year. This year has already been at its lowest level where we have seen a contraction of around 50-60%. “In terms of pure ad revenue, this festive season will be 20-30% lower than the previous years, largely because we are still seeing lockdowns imposed in many bigger cities of India. We can expect an increase of 60-70% in the festive season compared to the last few months of lockdown (April-May-June),” said Mohit Gyanchandani, Director Offline media & Strategy, DCMN India.

Gyanchandani too believes that IPL could be the biggest growth driver this festive season, giving many brands have an opportunity to break their silence and showcase their marketing strategies in these tough times. “Many ecommerce players would be driving growth as buying gifts and shopping at bricks-and-mortar stores is not easy as before, hence the popularity of these platforms will be significantly higher. Categories like gaming, e-retailers and edutech have benefitted the most during this lockdown, so it would be the perfect opportunity for them to continue riding this wave. On the media side, lockdown has significantly increased overall viewership in genres like news and movie, but going forward news will be the only genre to occupy maximum share of revenues because, due to the halt of production of new movies, no new titles will be available this festive season,” he added.

Vinita Pachisia, Senior Vice President, Carat feels that this year the festive season is unlike any other year due to the pandemic. “The April-June quarter saw a huge slump in spends across mediums. We witnessed a slight revival of Adex from Jun-July onwards, however, still lesser than the pre-Covid levels. Since Apr-Jun this year reached the lowest in terms of spends, a lot of hopes are on the festive season for this year’s revival. Also, this festive season is coupled with IPL which in itself will drive the revenues and will probably take festive spends closer to last year. GECs are making a comeback with the Big format shows so this genre should also see an increase in revenues in the last quarter of this year. Print will also hopefully see an increase in advertising volume this festive season.”

“The consumer sentiments are still not big on shopping non-essential items, hence advertisers will have to understand current consumer behaviour, re-strategize their spends and come up with unusual ideas to entice the consumers this festive season,” she concluded.

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