'The second half of April is when the second wave of covid infections flared up with multiple cities going into lockdown and it will have an impact with the next two to three months expected to witness a slowdown in advertising'
New Delhi: Television ad volumes soared 39% year-on-year in January-April, according to data from TV monitoring agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) India. However, experts said a slowdown in advertising is expected in the coming months as India grapples with the second wave of covid.
“Advertisers are exercising restraint because the consumer frame of mind is not aligned towards purchase except essentials. The ad spends in the discretionary categories like fashion and lifestyle are being pulled back," said Dinesh Rathod, chief executive of media agency Madison Media Omega.
Ashish Bhasin, chief executive officer, Asia-Pacific and chairman India, Dentsu said that after a bleak 2020, this year started on a good note with economic recovery happening at a slow but steady pace.
“However, the second half of April is when the second wave of covid infections flared up with multiple cities going into lockdown. It will have an impact with the next two to three months expected to witness a slowdown in advertising," he noted.
The suspension of big TV property like IPL, multiple state lockdowns and overall grim consumer sentiment is expected to bring down the ad volumes. However, a good monsoon and vaccination drive might help recover advertising during the upcoming festive months beginning from August.
“I expect an upswing in advertising before the festive season boosted by a normal monsoon and vaccination drive bringing down the cases and minimising the impact of a possible third wave of covid," Bhasin added.
As per Barc data released on Thursday, total ad volumes increased by 107% in April 2021 over the same month last year when the country was under a strict lockdown. Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), e-commerce and building equipment firms were the top three categories that dominated TV advertising in the first four months of 2021.
With the onset of early summers, the durables category had significantly increased ad investment with volumes increasing exponentially, four times, in April from a year ago. Bajaj, LG Electronics India, and Symphony Ltd emerged as the top three most advertised brands. 39 new advertisers in the durables sector, who were inactive for two years, advertised in April. Moreover, 58 new brands began advertising in the same month. Amid positive sentiment in the construction sector, ad volumes for the ‘Building Equipments’ category (such as cement) posted 200% year-on-year growth in April.
“Television continues to be resilient even during the most difficult times and data from January to April 2021 reinstates this sentiment. Advertisers continue to rely on television to reach out to the right audience in spite of covid-19 limitations and lockdowns in various parts of the country. We are also witnessing many new advertisers turning to TV in this quarter adding to the positive sentiment for the medium," said Aaditya Pathak, head–client partnership & revenue function, Barc India.
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