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Ad Outlook 2009 Mid-Term Review Cinema: A flop show

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Though a budding advertising tool for the already existing and rapidly increasing sphere of media vehicles like print, television, radio, the Internet etc, the cinema is yet to get its rightful place under the sun as it walks the lonely road of the advertising industry. Closing the last year with a few hits like Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Ghajini, cinema seems to struggle with the slowdown and a two-month long producer-multiplex strike.

Cinema, which was expected to grow to Rs 123 crore in the January survey, is set to put up a dismal picture with ad spends on this medium likely to be at just Rs 116 crore in 2009. This shows a drop of 10 percent over last year when it had grossed up Rs 129 crore.

The beginning of 2009 saw a dip in demand, and the strike which continued for two long months, delaying release of many movies. The effect of this can be seen in the remarkable difference in the projection of the January Survey where it was projected to grow to Rs 56 crore but the revised survey shows it at just Rs 39 crore. This accounts for a fall of Rs 17 crore, or a full 37 percent de-growth. This, according to Sam Balsara, is primarily due to the fact that even after the strike ended demand was sluggish.

However, by H2 looks a bit promising with the changing patterns of the business. For instance, Reliance Entertain ment has inked a $825-million deal with Spielberg’s DreamWorks to set up a new age. Last year Ambani had struck with a $1.5 billion deal Spielberg.

Also, the festive season may see rise in demand and thus ad revenues. But our mid-term outlook isn’t optimistic as it anticipates lower demand during the festive season against last year’s. The Survey sees a likely rise in ad spends on cinema to Rs 77 crore, or Rs 10 crore more than January forecast.

As many movies like Raj Kumar Hirani’s Three Idiots, Abhinay Deo’s Delhi Belly, Karan Johar’s My Name is Khan, adman Balki’s Pa and Mani Ratnam’s Raavana await their release in H2, there seems to be a lot of action in the waiting. Hopefully, 2009 too may end on a high note.

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Neeta Nair

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