Social govt ads, toilet soaps most advertised during festival

Increase in viewers results in increase in advertisers as well

MUMBAI: While spikes in viewership could be fuelled by unplanned happenings and topical events, there are special events where television plays the role of a common entertainer for the entire family through collective television viewing.

Broadcasters on their part, make these days attractive for the viewers through compelling and clever programming and scheduling. Increase in viewers results in increase in advertisers as well. 

Festivals form a part of India all through the year, but the September to December period is the euphoric period for Indians when most festivals are celebrated. There is Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra, Durga Puja, Navratri and Dussehra celebrated across the country. Also, Diwali and Christmas have an additional bonus of kids’ vacations in most parts of India. There is a culture of buying new things, gifting to family and friends and communication on latest offerings, deals are welcomed by consumers in these festive months. The advertisers love this spending period and loosen their purse strings too. 

Advertising volume during some of the important festival days always have more ads than the rest. Festivals which are celebrated at home with family gain more ad duration than the ones which are celebrated outside of home.

As we step into the festive season, BARC India has launched its report on advertising during festivals that throws light on how the viewers and advertisers have evolved during festivals especially in the high decibel festival season between 2015-2018 for September to December. 

The report shows that television viewership has been rising over the last three years where the average weekly viewership of ads in India is growing steadily each year. From 2016 to 2018, the advertising impressions have increased by a phenomenal 45 per cent from 521 billion to 755 billion with 2018 yet to witness its festive season.

The growing viewership has seen endorsement from the advertising fraternity with average weekly advertising volume clocking 31 million seconds from January to August 2018

The peaks in advertising coincides with planned tentpole events related to sports or national interest topics like budget and elections, or with the festive season.

There is a definite impact of festivals on weekly advertising duration. India is a land of diversities and this diversity reflects in the way we Indians celebrate festivals too. Some are longer, bigger, brighter, high on fun quotient while others are a tad subtle.There are distinct trends in terms of quantum of advertising as well as viewership emergence depending on various factors like the duration of a particular festival or whether it is celebrated indoors or outdoors with family and friends.

Online shopping, auto, telecom and chocolates sector continue to be the mainstays of the festival season where contribution of categories like internet services, jewellery, paints grow over the years and jewellery emerged as the close second category for the 2017 festive season, just below online shopping. 

Online shopping portals now advertise all around the year and hence have reduced dependency on the festive season alone. Consumer durables maintains status quo with not much movement in advertising seconds across all years. 

With more and more advertisers jostling for viewers' eyeballs, mind space and attention the festive season witnesses more and more action across years and the contribution from the usual suspects of festive advertising is reducing over the years.

The broadcasters also strategically use the festive period for announcing special programming, blockbusters, festival omnibuses in addition to the regular programme line up. 

But where does the viewership come from? Hindi! Most of the viewership on festival days comes from major Hindi speaking markets (HSM) across the year where Maharashtra, UP/Uttarakhand followed by Gujarat / D&D / DNH and MPCG and are the biggest contributors to viewership on festival days. Festival viewership is on the rise in 2018 as compared to 2017. For 2018, Holi and Janmashtami viewership in HSM markets have increased by 19 per cent and 29 per cent respectively.

Hindi is the most preferred choice in the Hindi speaking markets on festival days too with over 70 per cent viewership coming from Hindi channels. But with the growing advent of regional channels, improvement in programming quality and television penetration growing in the bottom of the pyramid, there is an increased focus on regional language channels.

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