Festive season 2020 advertising: This year vs Last year (Part 1 of the series)

How to plan your festive advertising strategy this Dussehra, Diwali, Christmas and New Year

The festive season is around the corner. We are still facing the wrath of Covid-19 but with most businesses up and running and mega-events like IPL 2020 happening, consumer sentiments are slowly returning to normal. In this upcoming series of articles, we would discuss how advertising would differ this festive season as compared to previous years. But before delving deeper into the series, let’s have a recap of topics we covered last year. You might find these interesting and worth reading and sharing.

Our festive advertising 2019 series predominately revolved around one question- We all know that the importance of the festive season for brands. Most brands record 40-50% of their total annual sales during the festive season only. Big brands, especially e-commerce brands run various sale campaigns, and most traditional media verticals like television and newspaper are cluttered with ads. In this scenario, is it a good idea for brands with limited advertising budgets to advertise? Let’s find out through the following articles:

Advertising during the festive season: Challenges and Opportunities

In this article, we covered an overview of shopping behavior during the festive season, based on reports from In-Mobi and The Retail Association of India. We also discussed the various challenges and opportunities for small brands for advertising during the festive advertising season. Click here to read the article.

In the following articles, we tried to find out ways in which brands can rise above the festive advertising clutter- through advertising on less explored medium as well as some tips to ensure a high impact on audience minds.

Some useful radio advertising strategies

In this article, we shed some light on how the demand for radio advertising during the festive season increases, what are some radio advertising types that are uncluttered during the festive season as well as some radio advertising tips to maximize the impact of advertising. Click here to read the article.

In-app advertising through these 7 popular apps

In this article, we spoke about some popular yet less explored in-app advertising options that can be helpful for brands looking for digital advertising options. Click here to read the article.

Hit the jackpot with transit advertising

Festive season is synonymous to shopping season as well as going-out season. Hence, transit mediums are in very high demand during this time. This article focuses on use of transit advertising during the festive season. Click here to read the article.

In the next two articles, we focused on two most popular businesses during the festive season and discussed the best advertising platforms for them.

Best ad platforms for on-demand home improvement services

Festive season marks the increase in demand for home improvement services. This year, home-improvement becomes all the more important as due to Covid-19, people spend most of their time at home. This article would help home-improvement brands to identify the most effective platforms to reach out to their audience. Click here to visit the article.

Top marketing ideas to promote your events

If you have an event scheduled for this festive season, this is the best article to know about the best ways to promote them.

Festive Season Buying: What about the consumer sentiments?

The 2020 Festive Season Guide for Marketers by In-Mobi

Every year In-Mobi comes up with their Festive season guide for marketers. The report is a very rich resource to understand the consumer sentiments ahead of the festive season. In this article, we would focus on the findings of the 2020 survey as well as compare it with 2019 report to understand how the audience preferences and priorities changed over the last one year.

Audience Profile: A sample of 1500+ Indian smartphone users surveyed via InMobi Ad Network between Aug 7th and Aug 17th, 2020

How much are people expected to spend in total on festive shopping?

Festive spending 2020 vs 2019/2018- InMobi festive report screenshot

Even though the virus cases are on the rise in the country, the economy is slowly and steadily coming back to normal. One of the major reasons why advertising experts think this festive season is going to be great is due to the pent-up demand, fueled by the prolonged period of Covid-19 induced lockdown and the uncertainty. And this sentiment is well reflected in the chart above. The percentage of people wanting to spend higher is more than the percentage of people who want to spend INR 25,000 and lower as compared to last year.

Which categories are people expected to spend the most during the festive season?

Top shopping categories during festive season 2020

The top shopping categories that are expected to be in high demand this year remain the same more or less but the priorities have changed significantly. Few major notable changes we can see are:
More focus on home: Since the majority of people spent this entire year at home and even in the following months, they expect this trend to remain unchanged, many people have expressed their interest in buying home-related products like home appliances and home furnishings.
Avoiding high-ticket items?: Though people are open to making purchases this festive season, high-ticket items like jewelry can be seen much lower in the priority list of the shoppers.
Gift packs high on the priority list: This time of the year is all about celebrations and sharing especially this year when people are looking forward to having some positivity in the otherwise gloomy year, sharing gifts seems to be one of the top priorities.

How do you plan to shop this festive season?

Festive shopping planning 2020- InMobi Festive Shopping Guide 2020

72% of respondents have either not planned their shopping or are undecided on the category and product as compared to 43% last year. This can be a good news for brands who have opportunity to influence the audience decision through advertising and promotion.

When would people start planning their festive season shopping this year?

When would people start planning their festive season shopping this year- InMobi Festive Shopping Guide

As compared to 2019, there is a delay in terms of planning for the festive season shopping. More than 50% of shopping would be planned after Dussehra this year as compared to 60% before Dussehra last year. This can be probably attributed to the uncertainty around the economy and the Covid-19 situation. But this also shows that people are hopeful for things to get better with time.

TRA’s Buying Propensity Report

TRA Research is a consumer insights and brand intelligence company that has come up with Diwali 2020 Buying Propensity Report. The report is based on a survey conducted during Jun-Jul 2020 covering more than 500 respondents across 16 Indian cities belonging to SEC A1, A2, B1, and B2. The two major questions answered by the report are:
What product categories are people keen to purchase this Diwali season?
Where do they want to buy items from this Diwali season?

The report has placed various product categories under 4 quadrants named as “Very High Priority”, “High Priority”, “Medium Priority” and “Low Priority” based on people’s keenness to purchase a product compared to their plan to buy it. The findings in the report matched that of the In-Mobi report where the top priority purchases were as following:

Very High Priority: Apparels, Mobile phones, Consumer electronics, Two Wheelers
High Priority: Home furniture, Jewellery, Television
Medium Priority: Laptops, Kitchen appliances, Car, Personal accessories
Low Priority: Home renovation, Health insurance, Travel

COVID-related restrictions have made people spend more time at home and avoid traveling. While those with private vehicles are okay to travel to long distance, the fear of coming in contact with a lot of people, centralized air-conditioning, etc, are also factors that have made people prefer local neighborhood stores over departmental stores, supermarkets and malls.

Festive Season Advertising : Then and Now

While the world is divided about the fate of businesses during the festive season, we would definitely agree that we haven’t witnessed this kind of situation before and to predict the consumer behavior in this situation is an uphill task. One way that we could think of was looking at Onam 2019 and recently concluded Onam 2020 to understand how the trends have changed over the one year period.

Onam is the biggest festival of Kerala that takes place during the month of August/September which is very close to the nationwide festive season. Hence, it can act as the best surrogate for us to predict the trend during the festive season.

Onam 2019: Print Advertising saw a high growth

  • Overall, Print, Television and Radio witnessed a growth of about 149%, 43% and 43% respectively during Onam 2019 over Onam 2018.
  • The top 10 categories accounted for 35% share of ad volumes during onam in 2019 with category Retail Outlets-Jewellers leading the chart.
  • 60% of the advertising share belonged to the top 10 advertisers with HUL being the biggest advertiser.
  • In print advertising, consumer durables/home appliances was the top category.
  • In radio advertising, 4 out of top 10 categories belonged to retail sector with Samsung India Electronics being the top brand.

In terms of creative, one common theme across the advertisements during Onam 2019 was celebrating the culture of Kerala and association of Onam festival with values like equality, caring, sharing and following tradition. Brands like Munch and Milkybar even had their own special Onam packaging. Some of the noteworthy ads from Onam 2019:

Mom’s Magic Onam 2019 ad

Nestle Munch’s Onam 2019 ad

Nestle Milkybar’s Onam 2019

Onam 2020 Advertising: The return of Print, Digital and Television

  • While we are yet to get details for the months of August and September, the Kerala market witnessed steady growth during the month of July 2020.
  • Print, Television, and Radio adex experienced a growth of 20%, 16%, and a dip of 13% respectively over June 2020.
  • The top 5 categories for print advertising in July 2020 are: Automobile-4 wheelers, Education-Multiple courses, Automobile-2 wheelers, Lotteries, Retail-Jewellers
  • The top 5 advertisers in print advertising are Dept of Lotteries, Hero Motocorp, HUL, Haier Appliances, and Maruti Suzuki India
  • On television, 8 out of the top 10 categories belonged to FMCG with a 35% share of ad volumes.
  • The top 5 advertisers on TV in July 2020 were HUL, ITC, Cadburys India, Reckitt Benckiser India, and Wipro.
  • The top 5 categories on the radio in July 2020 were LIC India, KSFE (Kerala State Financial Enterprises), Manjali, Maruti Suzuki India, and Amazon Online India.

This shows that the festive vibes have indeed lifted the consumer sentiments. However, this might not have translated into a significant rise in advertising spends. According to industry experts, Onam ad spends are expected to be 65-70% of that of the last year, driven by the gold and jewelry sector, the auto sector, consumer durables, textiles, etc.

This year, the Onam ads had a speacial touch. Apart from celebrating the spirit of Onam, the ads also included glimpses of the new normal. The ads recognized the constraints we are in like social distancing, being away from loved ones, the hard work of front line workers etc. Some of the examples are given below:

Parachute Advansed Onam 2020 Ad

Yardley Onam 2020 Ad

Jos Alukkas Onam 2020 Ad

To conclude what we learned above,

  • Though the Covid-19 situation has forced all advertisers to lie low for the last 6 months, festive season marks their revival, even though at a smaller scale than before. This can be seen through the contribution of categories like jewellery, automobile and apparels during Onam 2020. The advertising mix during Onam 2019 and Onam 2020 do not show a major change.
  • In terms of message, brands have succesfully tried to include the reality of the current situation along with the usual positivity and warmth around the festivals. This is something to take inspiration from while preparing for the festive season.

Festive Season Advertising : Covid-19’s effect on advertising media preference

In this section, we would understand advertisers’ media preference during the festive season last year and compare it with post lockdown trend. Following are some pointers to note regarding this study:

  • The Media Ant website receives close to a million visitors per year. Most of the visitors are advertisers and SME business owners. Hence, looking at the visitors’ data for TMA website can be indicative of the overall advertising trend.
  • For this study we would pick the website visitor data for the period of Aug-Oct 2019 that coincides with the peak of festive season last year and compare it with Jun-Aug 2020, 3 months following Covid-19 induced total lockdown and preceding the festive season 2020. As we know that during Covid-19, most advertising platforms except television and digital were badly affected. Looking at the TMA traffic data for the last 3 months can be a good indicator of the shifts that happened during the pandemic.
  • At the same time, we need to understand that the data we are going to obtain would only help us to form a hypothesis and the accuracy of the deduction would require additional data to be confirmed due to the following reasons:
    • The data we would be seeing is based on the TMA website pages (where users would land first). We have excluded pages that are overall visited because we wanted to exclude the discovery factor.
    • SEO often plays a greater role in some pages being visited more than the others although most of the TMA pages rank within the top 10 search results for relevant queries.
  • In this analysis, we would analyze the movement of traffic during the last 3 months as compared to the festive season last year and not the absolute share of traffic in each vertical. This is due to the difference in the number of media options present under different verticals. Due to the higher number of pages present under print than television, the traffic is higher in the Print.
  • We have considered the top 6 cities (cities from where the maximum number of users visit the website during the festive season): Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai, and Hyderabad.
Which are the top preferred media in Mumbai

Festive Season 2019 in Mumbai

Post Lockdown 2020 Mumbai

Which are the top preferred media for advertising in Delhi?

Festive Season 2019 in Delhi

Post Lockdown 2020 Delhi

Which are the top preferred media for advertising in Bengaluru?

Festive Season 2019 in Bengaluru

Post Lockdown 2020 Bengaluru

Which are the top preferred media for advertising in Pune?

Festive Season 2019 in Pune

Post Lockdown 2020 Pune

Which are the top preferred media for advertising in Hyderabad?

Festive Season 2019 in Hyderabad

Post Lockdown 2020 Hyderabad

Which are the top preferred media for advertising in Chennai?

Festive Season 2019 in Chennai

Post Lockdown 2020 Chennai

Gauging the market sentiments with industry news

After a lull of six months, the market is ripe with a reinstated hope and excitement, thanks to the ongoing IPL and upcoming festive season. Throughout this article, we have tried to capture the market sentiments through quotes from industry leaders.

To say that the market is back to the Pre-COVID-19 times would be a blatant lie but the fact that we are gradually and steadily towards a new normal is a proven fact. Led by digital, especially OTT and e-commerce platforms and television, especially news genres, all advertising media are returning to life too. Though cinema advertising might take some time to recover, with the return in traffic and reopening of most commercial establishments, the traffic is almost similar to the Pre-COVID-19 times hence, calling for the revival of outdoor and transit advertising. As per an article by Best Media Info dated 17th Aug 2020, print circulation has almost reached 75% of their original circulation level and it would only improve in the coming days with the government unwilling to place more lockdowns.

Unlike the lockdown period when growth was dependent on select categories like FMCG and online services like entertainment, e-commerce, and education, the period after lockdown has witnessed a significant jump in demand for other sectors like automobile, consumer durable and fashion too. A cover story in Impact Magazine claims that after the COVID-19 setback, H2 2020 is expected to see a recovery of 60-70% on the back on festive marketing, and the focus would be on digital media with about 40-60% of the budget committed to the digital platforms.

As per an article by Best Media Info dated 24th Aug, 2020, Laptop and smartphone manufacturers are likely to increase their ad spends during the upcoming festive season, driven by television and digital. While most OTT platforms have managed to gain more viewers backed by original content, television is also set to get the ball rolling with launch of major programs like IPL 2020, Big Boss 14 and Kaun Banega Crorepati.

While we know that e-commerce is having a gala time, a recent from Internet research firm RedSeer says that festive season sales are expected to almost double in the next two months alone and touch $7 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV), compared to $3.8 billion in GMV sales in the same period last year. Not only this, more than half of this is expected to come from tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

With all the good news shared above, we hope that your festive season advertising brings you business, branding and customer loyalty. To make festive advertising simpler for you, we have come up with special festive advertising packages.

TMA Festive Advertising Package

Still, wondering whether to advertise during this festive season? Perhaps, we can help here. Whether you are a local, regional, or national brand, you would love our festive advertising package. Why? Because it’s designed keeping your audience in mind:

  • Tailormade to target your city- City-specific media handpicked for you, based on the current situation and traffic.
  • Customizable Packages- Want to add something? No problem. Would like to remove something? No problem. Your package, your rules.
  • Cost savings of upto 20%: A festive gift, from our team to your team.
  • Ad-making support: Jingle or Google search ad, whatever it is, say no more. We are here to help.

Want to know more? Here’s how to do it:

  1. Visit TMA Festive Ad Packages
  2. Select the festive package
  3. Click on the bag
  4. Customize the package using the filters
  5. Proceed with online payment and book the campaign or download the campaign and mail it to us at Help@TheMediaAnt.com for any query or additional help.

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