TV ad volumes up; next challenge is lag between inventory & advertisers

Digital to continue challenging for ad pie

NEW DELHI: Battling through a rough quarter with, television advertising is once again gaining momentum. As per a recent TAM AdEx data, the month of June 2020 witnessed an uptick of 46 per cent in ad volumes as compared to May 2020 and even the advertising duration picked up by 8000 hours as compared to the last month. While this looks like a positive trend indicating a better future for the TV industry, industry insiders feel that the medium has to still battle certain issues to get back to its older glory.

Grapes Digital COO Shradha Agarwal shares that this increase in ad volumes is also because of the reason that certain slots for the spring-summer category were pre-booked by brands and those took up the ad slots as new programming began on certain genres. 

“I have one client who had invested around Rs 2 crore for a big-budget campaign on television but before it could go on-air the lockdown happened. Now, as per the advertiser, they could not get their TV campaign cost back but instead got an option to put the campaign on hold, and that can be run later,” she notes. 

As per mPlan CEO Parag Masteh most of the investments that television is enjoying today is from new investors and certain categories like healthcare and FMCG while big brands have still their marketing budgets slashed below 50 per cent. 

“The current growth can be attributed to panic buying by certain categories and eventually digital is going to come up as a big challenge for television,” he insists. 

As per TAM AdEx data, eight out of the top ten categories were from FMCG, including baby foods, vanishing creams, and artificial sweeteners. 

Makani Creatives MD and co-founder Sameer Makani agrees that digital platforms like OTT will come up as a big challenge to television going ahead, “As brands are shifting their modes of communication from offline to online to broadcast, it may take time for TV ads to follow a smooth road. As digital advertising is cheaper as compared to others, it consumes the maximum share of advertising. 2020 has changed the strategies and approach of every advertiser and marketer and has forced them to increase the frequency of advertising.”

The Media Ant co-founder Samir Chaudhary doesn’t think that digital will take TV's place anytime soon but as new shows come up, the medium is going to face big issues with the lag in inventories and advertisers eager to invest into television. 

“As things normalise, other media will start getting their share back, and certainly TV will become stronger. But as ad inventories will go up with new content coming, there is going to be a lag in filling them up as (advertisers’) businesses will take another two to three months time to get back on their feet.” 

He added that the only solution to this problem is what most channels are doing already, slashing inventory prices and offering discounts to advertisers. 

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