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PMMAO 2009 Outlook Cinema : A complete black-out

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If 2008 was bad for the medium, 2009 is going to be worse, says the Pitch-Madison Ad Outlook 2009, which predicts a negative five percent growth in ad spends at Rs 123 crore from Rs 129 crore it netted in 2008. And the reasons are not hard to find: Already reeling under the pressures of the downturn and the terror fear psychosis gripping the public, the  year 2009 is likely to be bad for this medium. However, the Survey predicts that the share of this medim in the overall ad-pie will remain at 0.6 percent in 2009 too, as it projects an overall flat growth for the ad industry.

But a lot will depend on the Bollywood fare on offer, if the number of hits increase than there is a likelihood of increased earnings. Coming to the big ticket hopes for 2009, the first big bonanza is going to be the Akshay Kumar- and Deepika-starrer Chandani Chowk to China,  released in January. In  addition other films that marketers can ride their products on are Kambakht Ishq, the SRK starrers Billu Barber and My Name is Khan, the Aamir-starrer 3 Idiots, Salman’s London Dreams, Hrithik’s Kites, Delhi 6 and Mani Ratnam’s Raavan among others.    Also a lot will depend on the general security environment.

Noted film critic Taran Adarsh predicts, “2009 should be good for Bollywood, and I hope the major stars to do well at the box office. But, everything depends on good stories as proved by Ghajini.”

Cinemax India senior vice-president Devang Sampat is hopeful of the year ahead. “This medium is there to grow. Earlier it used to go as a miscellaneous expense part of the marketing budget, but now people are treating this medium as an important element in the ad budget allocation,” says Sampat, whose Cinemax chain is targeting to take the revenue share from advertising up to 12 percent of the overall turnover. The chain is also expected to open more halls in 2009.

Dimples Cine’s Karamchandani expects a considerable interest in the activation business. “I foresee growth in our BTL division in 2009,” he says, adding digitalisation is the way forward, “Digitalisation of projection system will eliminate production cost and logistics involved and more importantly addresses the monitoring issue which plagues the medium,” he says, adding clients are now seeking a 360-degree approach to this medium, both for on-screen and off-screen, and so the key will be innovation. But if there are no good movies then, it will be a tough year ahead.

Some analysts predict a good year ahead for Bollywood as they believe that the industry will not be hit by the meltdown. Their optimism stems also from the faster growth of multiplexes in cities and towns. Another reason is the better packaging and marketing of movies.

However, as of now it is better to be cautious and keep your fingers crossed. Yes, if these predictions come true, then cine advertising will be the biggest gainer.

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Neeta Nair

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