What advertising will look like in 2016

The big story of 2016 will be the return of TV and, to some extent, print media, as they are expected to grow their ad revenue pie via e-commerce ads

Graphic: Prajakta Patil/Mint
Graphic: Prajakta Patil/Mint

The advertising sector in India is expected to grow 13% this year. The big story of 2016 will be the return of TV and, to some extent, print media, as they are expected to grow their advertising revenue pie on the back of e-commerce ads. Ad spending on digital media will continue to grow the fastest—above 20%—while spending on other media could grow at 5-10%.


TV will continue to be the biggest ad medium

In India, ad spending will be fuelled by television, which is estimated to grow at 15%, up from 10% in 2015. The big story of the year will be the return of television, and to some extent, print media, which are expected to grow at a stronger pace due to e-commerce ads. About Rs.2,000-4,000 crore has been spent by 56 e-commerce brands on television this year, estimates from television channels, e-commerce advertisers and media buyers show.

Digital would be more mobile

Mobile phones—both feature phones and smartphones—have become the gateway to the Internet for most people in India, making it an important digital touchpoint for brands to expand their customer base, including in rural areas where television and other mass marketing channels have limited reach. This trend will increase in 2016 as consumer brands are likely to be less active on mass marketing channels in their effort to “adopt digital for higher returns on their marketing investments”, says a joint report by Omnicom Media Group India and MICA.

Rise of the local language content

With more than 65% of the population communicating in local languages, the need for such content and services is rising. The growing penetration of mobile Internet in emerging markets will result in greater demand for vernacular content on the Internet. Today, 75% of online users in India prefer video content in their local languages and 40% of online traffic is for Hindi content. To remain authentic, relevant and conversational, brands will have to create vernacular content and engage with consumers in their native local languages on social media, websites and other owned media platforms.

Internet of Me

Brands can target individuals across their consumer journey programmatically with optimization and hyper-local targeting, showing them different messaging depending on attributes such as location, weather, device, local language or time of day.

Radio advertising will continue to grow

Radio advertising revenue has the potential to almost double in the next five years to an estimated Rs.3,900 crore from Rs.2,000 crore in 2015, rating agency Crisil said in a report. Key drivers for growth include expansion of coverage area of radio stations across 294 cities, rise in local advertising spending and an overall increase in advertising budgets for radio. In addition, Phase 3 of FM radio auctions offers more flexibility to broadcasters compared with the previous two phases.


Vivek Kakkad, Curious films: He has worked on the latest ads for Hike Messenger, Bharti SoftBank’s instant messaging service, caller identification app Truecaller’s first TV campaign featuring actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, both of which are currently on air. Kakkad also directed watch brand Titan’s start-up themed ad where the protagonist asks his much older, former boss to become the chief executive officer of his two-year-old firm. 2016 could be critical for Kakkad as brands such as Truecaller and Hike Messenger, among others, are touted to be the largest spenders in advertising across television in 2016.

Vinil Mathew, Breathless Films: The director of ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’, starring Parineeti Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra, has worked on ads for coffee brand Nescafe, bathroom fittings brand Kohler, tea maker Red Label and beverage brand Coke, to name a few.

Mathew’s work with consumer product companies such as Nestle and Coke, which have been amongst the largest spenders on advertising, makes him a person to watch.

Prakash Varma, Nirvana Films: Varma has directed the Nestle 100 years campaign as well as ads for telecom firm Vodafone and Diu Tourism. The principal director and founder of Nirvana Films, Varma has shown an ability to nurture scripts into memorable stories. Varma will be making ads for high-spending sectors such as telecom, expected to be among the largest ad spenders for 2016.

Amit Sharma, Chrome Pictures: He has directed iconic Google ads, including Google’s ‘Reunion’, about old friends separated by the Partition and united decades later by technology; ‘Help a Child Reach 5’ for Lifebuoy, about a man walking on his hands to a temple to offer prayers to the almighty; and the ‘Silent National Anthem’ in which differently abled children play out their own version of Jana Gana Mana. Sharma has worked with a host of clients across sectors of technology, consumer products and banking, all usual suspects for big advertising budgets in 2016.

Abhinay Deo, Ramesh Deo Production Pvt. Ltd: The director of black comedy ‘Delhi Belly’ starring Imran Khan, Deo has worked on ads for brands such as Thumbs Up and Surf Excel, among others.

Traditional advertisers such as consumer goods companies are a part of Deo’s portfolio and would be the next set of big spenders in advertising after e-commerce, telecom and mobile phone manufacturers.

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