Kolkata advertisement industry cashes in on Sachin frenzy

KOLKATA: As Sachin Tendulakar got ready to draw the curtains on his glorious international Test cricket career of 24-years, the fervor started building up. And the people who gained the most from this fan frenzy are the advertisers in the City of Joy, who have increased the ad rates by approximately 30 per cent according to analysts.

Interestingly, companies like Allahabad Bank, Century Ply, Exide, Hero, Rupa, Pincon, Ultra Tech Cement among others didn’t have an issue to cough up extra for the cricketer’s 199th match that kicked off at the Eden Garden on Wednesday.

According to sources, Kolkata-based advertising company Sporting Frontier has charged around Rs 30 lakh for a package that includes two billboards and site-screen.

“Advertisers did not mind in coughing up the extra amount being demanded,” said analysts, who think that the interest of the advertising fraternity around the event has been really high.

Arun Sign Service director Ashif Kumar Biswas, said that it may be not be a very good time for the advertising industry but since the viewership has shot up drastically, companies are ready to spend extra. “However, ad rates are generally higher for cricket matches,” he added.

And it’s not just the advertisers, many others too have benefitted from this interest-driven event. Arun Sign Service signed a deal with the Kolkata Police and the Cricket Association of Bengal to put up directional and way-finding signage and road direction campaign in and around Eden Gardens.

Sources have confirmed that for the 50 signage that the company has put up, they have charged Rs 20 lakhs.

Since the analysts believe that Sachin’s last competitive Test match in Kolkata has the same appeal as a world cup match with India in the finals, advertisers in Kolkata have not negotiated much. It seems when it comes to Sachin, money isn’t a big concern

Biswas recalls the condition of Out of Home advertising in Kolkata a few months ago. Most of the billboards were just white spaces with telephone numbers, he said. “The advertising industry suffered because of the subdued economy. Usually, with the onset of the festive season, Kolkata’s advertising business awaits new opportunities. But it wasn’t the same this year,” said Biswas, also bringing to fore how as compared to last year, the clients this time reduced their ad spends by more than 40 per cent because of weak economy.

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