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IPL, festive season expected to push up ad rev for GECs

GECs have resumed shootings with full force.

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MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: After almost four months of hiatus, advertising spend is slowly inching up on TV, especially GECs, which saw shows resume some weeks ago. Experts suggest that whenever consumer behaviour sees a shift, advertising spends have also adjusted.

Havas Media Group MD--India Mohit Joshi says that growth would have been much sharper if the unscheduled one-off lockdowns in several parts of the country had not happened. He is expecting an overall increase in TV ad revenues in the coming weeks since brands want to make the best use of the remaining five months. Not to mention that IPL is also expected to take place in the last quarter coinciding with festive season.

DDB Mudra Group executive director and OMD Mudramax president Sathyamurthy Namakkal says that August and September will continue to be lower than the previous years, but October-December should witness some positive growth,( as compared to the previous six months), due  to optimism about a vaccine solution for Covid2019 and festival advertising needs. However, he feels that IPL is likely to impact the viewership of GECs across markets.

They are of the opinion that while many GECs haven’t yet matched their viewership numbers pre-Covid2019, there is an improvement in viewership post the revival of original content, a few weeks ago.

Namakkal says, “Many advertisers have moved from negative sentiment to a more neutral sentiment as manifested in the planning process that has been reactivated after a gap of three months.”

As per TAM media research the tally of advertisers on both national and regional news channels increased by four per cent and three per cent respectively during week 29 (12 July to 18 July)  to week 30 (19 July to 25 July)  compared to week 27 (28 June to 4 July) to week 28 (5 July to 11 July).

The data further reveals that ad volume on both national and regional news channels increased by 18 per cent and 15 per cent respectively during week 29 to week 30 compared to week 27 to week 28.

Channels began luring its viewers back to TV after some of them shifting off GECs due to lack of content. Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) chief consumer officer Pratyusha Agarwal says, “Our comeback strategy was planned meticulously with the objective of reinstating the habit of appointment viewing for our audience across our GECs. We harnessed the power of digital and social platforms, PR, outdoor, print and the biggest asset of all, our network strength.”

Zee TV engaged audiences with a combination of artist interviews and behind-the-scenes footage from primetime shows, building curiosity around the return of fresh programming.

“Given that we are a video-led medium, we have continued to use video-led media as a predominant vehicle and the others being fit-to-purpose added as complimentary media. But with people not stepping out much or being a lot more careful when they step out, we are looking at in-home media a lot more with TV being our primary tool,” shares Agarwal.

Dangal was the first channel which started airing fresh content from 2 July. Enterr10 Television (Dangal TV) COO Deep Drona shares, “An interesting part was that during lockdown a lot of sampling has happened by fresh viewers. We need to see if they change habits or go back as pause and play viewers.”

However, Zee TV launched a mega OOH campaign announcing the resumption of its shows. On the other hand, Dangal will not be taking up OOH anytime soon. But, Dangal has increased its digital footprint in order to communicate with its prime audience in tier I and tier II cities.

According to the tenth edition of BARC-Nielsen data, since 11 April total television consumption increased by 40 per cent. The data also reveals that news and movies continue to grow. April onwards, news has registered 16 per cent growth while GEC from 52 per cent from pre-Covid2019 is now steady at 44 per cent.

The major revelation is that re-run driven Hindi GECs obtained all-time viewership high post exit from DD Free Dish. In fact, April onwards, overall FCT observed seven per cent growth. There is a significant growth in FCT across news, movies and kids genre. Major FMCG companies continue to advertise on GECs along with some new players.

Even though news channels became the viewers’ darling for the last few months, Namakkal feels that it will continue to get its regular loyal advertisers. To this, Joshi says, “Each genre has a role to play in the plan. News has seen a lot of surge in viewership. Even today, this continues to be at a higher than pre-Covid2019 levels. Given their performance, their role as a reach driver in the plan has further been consolidated.”

As primetime viewership starts to return to normalcy, advertiser spends will follow suit.

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