Did festive season really fuel advertising this year?

The data obtained from TAM suggests that advertising volumes of TV and digital witnessed a nominal increase during Aug-Oct; print and radio fared better

by Kanchan Srivastava
Published - November 16, 2022
5 minutes To Read
Did festive season really fuel advertising this year?

It seems it was a lukewarm Diwali for the advertising and media industry, if TAM data has any indication. 

The ad volume on TV and digital platforms, which together pocket around 2/3 of the total advertising spend, drew almost a plateau between August and October, according to the data. 

This Diwali will be good if not great, says industry

According to TAM statistics, TV media started off well at the beginning of the year reporting about 10 per cent higher ad volumes compared to 2021. The volumes kept fluctuating in the first half of FY22 and then remained almost steady during July and September with one percentage point increase in October. In the year 2021 and 2020, TV ad volumes rose remarkably high. 

Rajiv Dubey, Media Head, Dabur India, explains, “Top General Entertainment Channels have a fixed inventory cap of 12 minutes/hour, so only underconsumption of this cap will result in a seasonal drop in Adex. However, news channels, movie channels, and free-to-air channels may not strictly adhere to this guideline of 12 minutes advertising per hour.”

“To obtain a comprehensive picture, one must compare genres and reach a conclusion after correctly indexing the Ad Volume Bought LY v/s TY,“ he added.

Digital media bore the brunt of inflation the most, if TAM data is to be believed. Though the year started off well for digital with an about 11 per cent rise in the ad volume as against previous year. The ad flow remained steady till July and then dropped by 2 percentage point in August and remained at the same till October. 

This was in contrast to the previous two years where digital ad insertions had gone up during the festive period. 

Print and Radio fared better compared to their counterparts with an increase in ad volumes during the festive months, that started from Onam (August) and went on till Diwali (October) this year. 

Both the media reported about 2 percent point increase in the ad volumes during August and September which went up to 7 per cent point increase in October. 

The similar trends were observed in Print and Radio in the previous two years as well. 


Auto & consumer durables drove the festive ad volumes

The ad volume of the auto sector rose to 21 per cent in October on TV, compared to January. This is the highest among all prominent advertiser categories. Auto sector was followed by the consumer durables and telecom segments, TAM data reflects.

These three categories of brands dominated the ad volumes across media. 

FMCG category, one of the largest advertiser groups, didn’t show much enthusiasm during the festive season on TV, Radio and Print as reflected in their steady ad volumes in Aug-Oct. On digital, their ad volumes rather declined. 

Reasons aplenty

After two years of subdued festivities, the overall sentiment amongst advertisers was positive this festive season. Traditionally, the festive season is the time when brands open up their purse strings to go all out on advertising. 

“Inflationary pressures and weak demand will have its effect for some more time. Besides, the fear of global recession has forced many advertisers to tighten their purse strings,” India heads of two global media agency told e4m.  

According to Dubey, “If you look at the Q2 Results of most FMCGs, there has been a drop in Adex in Q2. Q3 began on a good note, but enthusiasm appears to have waned after a few weeks due to inflationary pressures and low volume growth reported by most companies. As the inflationary pressure eases, it will have a positive impact on TV Adex.”

“The growth in ad spend during Diwali has not been as substantive due to a host of reasons. The primary among these has been the massive pent-up demand that has just bounced back after two years of being impacted by the pandemic. So this revenge shopping has meant that manufacturers and advertisers have not had to go the extra mile to woo back the shopper,” says Lloyd Mathias, Business Strategist and Angel investor.

Lloyd adds, “Another factor is that two big sporting events – the ICC T20 World Cup and the FIFA Football World Cup are both largely in November & December so many brands may be holding back their big campaigns to time with this.”

Prints advertising is the staple for categories like auto and consumer durables, which peak during the festival. This year also saw real estate bounce back which again are big users of print.  Also to a large extent TV & digital were coming off large bases in 2021 when the impact of the second wave of the pandemic was severe and many consumers were homebound consuming more of TV and digital, Mathias opined.