India Inc to create digital heavy plans this festive season

digital ad spends
Brand Saga

Social Samosa in affiliation with industry experts takes a look at digital ad spends projections for this festive season.

While TV continues to lead media spends in 2019, contributing 39% share of the total spend, digital has steadily penetrated the advertising arena, with mobile being colonizer of digital and social media platforms are the colonies. A look at how digital ad spends could pan out this year below.

Debt-driven consumptions, holding on to more cash than spending it, sizeable expenses and more of such behaviours may suggest a slowdown in the economy but the rise of metropolitan cities and nuclear households may dwindle the slowdown.

The growth of demand is likely to increase in the coming months with ascending disposable income and facile access to credit.

Consumer spending in India reached an all-time high in the first quarter of 2019 with 21111.41 INR Billion, although we saw a dip in the second quarter. However, Indian consumers are expected to splurge this festive season.

Allotment of Digital Ad Spends

Ashish Bhasin, CEO APAC & Chairman India, Dentsu Aegis Network believes, “Approximately 40% of the total ad spends get spent between Ganpati and New Year in India, I’d expect INR 5,000-6,000 cores of digital ad spends.”

Ashish Bhasin expects INR 5,000-6,000 cores of digital ad spends this festive season!

Bhasin explains the industry can expect more ‘call to action’ oriented advertising which might result in more sales.

Lloyd Mathias, Angel Investor, and Business Strategist reckons brands usually allot about 50% of their total ad spends to the festive season.

The festive season in India usually starts with Ganesh Chaturthi, followed by Onam, Dusshera, and Diwali, the first three of which have more regional importance and relevance.

Shrenik Gandhi, CEO & Co-Founder, White Rivers Media, shares that last year the festive ad spends missed touching INR 20,000 core.

“This year, I can foresee a positive trend and it shall grow by at least 12-15% to cross INR 20k crore.”

Rebecca Noronha, Sr. Media Manager, Gozoop seconds the though stating that, “Approximately 30%, that is INR 20,000 -25,000 crores of spends would be allotted to digital.

As per the DAN Digital Report 2019, digital will account for 1/4th of the entire advertising market. This year about 19-20% of the entire advertising market is digital.

Shrenik Gandhi too, maintains this fact, “Digital shall be the forerunner with a growth expectation of 30-35% over last year spends”.

Preferred social media marketing platform

Experts share that Google & Facebook clearly rule the space followed by platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter.

“They are clearly big and dominant here. Then there are few other large players like Hotstar or LinkedIn, maybe Amazon and Twitter, etc. These account for another 13-14% of spends, which takes it to about 91%, then there are 5,000-10,000 smaller publishers from various beats which fight for the remaining 9%,” Bhasin adds. 

Gandhi tells Social Samosa that platforms such as Instagram play an integral role in driving sales, especially during the festive season.

Noronha explains, “I think Facebook with 21% spends, followed by Instagram with 19% spends, and YouTube with about 13% spends are the top social media platforms”.

The Spendthrifts

According to Bhasin, we would see almost all of the brands banking on the festive season but like the past 3 years, e-commerce platforms would be the high rollers spending big. “And from automobiles, as it has been a slow year for them thus far.”

With all major eCommerce players rolling out biggest sales of the year (the likes of Flipkart’s Big Billion Days, Amazon’s The Great Indian Shopping Festival, and Myntra’s End Of Reason Sale), the marketing calendar and spends too reflect the magnitude of the event.

Also Read: Campaign Face off: Flipkart’s Big Billion Days v/s Amazon’s The Great Indian Shopping Festival

Lloyd comprehends the above thought with “Given consumers’ propensity to spend the large online retailers – Amazon, Flipkart, PayTM- will also boost their spend.  For most of these categories, the festive period September-December will account for a large chunk of the annual sales – hence these will be big spenders.”

He also reckons that categories like consumer durables including Mobile handsets, Jewellery, Apparel & Lifestyle goods would be spending large as they see a significant take-off during this time of the year.

Noronha too states e-commerce players going big while adding sectors such as FMCG, BFSI, and automobile in the festive spenders’ list.

On a different note, Shrenik explains that the top spenders this year shall be OTTs, Bollywood Movies, Funded startups, and FMCG. While the latter would be to drive non-entertainment purchases, the prior would compete for the screen time during holidays.

With OTT players spending big on original, acquired, and catch-up content, the OTT war is now more intense than ever.

According to a FICCI report, approximately 2.5 million consumers in India are only digital and do not use the traditional media and this number is only on the rise. It will be interesting to see what this festive season has in store.


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