Festive season contributes to 28-30% of overall yearly Adex: Jolene Fernandes Solanki

With half the year gone, brands’ and agencies’ focus has now turned towards the upcoming festive season. Though the peak festive period of Dussehra-Durga Puja-Diwali is about three months away, preparations are already afoot to woo consumers with various promotional strategies.

Over the years, the festive season has expanded – from the traditional period of Dussehra-Durga Puja-Diwali, it has moved forward to August, coinciding with Independence Day marketing frenzy, followed by Raksha Bandhan. This then moves forward to cover the entire Onam period – though traditionally Kerala’s biggest festival, Onam today has assumed a more pan-India significance.

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The festive season now doesn’t end with Diwali, but we have started marketers beginning to bring in the mostly Western festive concepts of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

In January, the traditionally harvest-based festivals of Lohri, Pongal, Makar Sankranti, Magh Bihu are also being tapped as occasions for festive shopping, albeit on a smaller scale. Republic Day has also turned into a major sale occasion. These apart, Holi and Poila Boishakh/ Rongali Bihu, also see spurt in shopping in regional markets, more specifically West Bengal and Assam.

On top of it all, e-commerce platforms keep the sale season alive all round the year with some kind of offer or the other.

While the two years of Covid disruptions did dampen the festive spirit in the market, with the IPL tournament being held during the festive seasons in 2020 and 2021, saw brand spends on a high during this period, even though consumers mostly stayed away from offline retail outlets.

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Adgully’s special column – FESTIVE MOOD – seeks to give a holistic insight into ad spends, marketing strategies, consumer sentiments, promotional and communication plans, and more, around the festive season in India.

In conversation with Adgully, Jolene Fernandes Solanki, COO, Madison Media Ultra, speaks about the expected growth in Adex during the forthcoming festive season, consumer sentiments this year, the categories that will see greater traction, and more.

What are your projections on advertiser spends during the festive season in 2022?

Festive season, which is usually for almost 3-4 months starting mid-August till mid-November, contributes to almost 28-30% of the overall yearly Adex. As per PMAR, we estimate Adex to be close to 25k to 27K during festive, which is almost 25% growth over Last year. High growth is also estimated due to bigger cricketing tournament scheduled (Asia Cup in August-September and then ICC T20 WC scheduled in the month of  October) and big ticket properties like ‘Bigg Boss’, ‘KBC’, etc.

Almost all categories are experiencing continued positive growth in ad spends and have intent to spend during this festive season.

How buoyant is the consumer sentiment compared to the pre-Covid times (2019) as well as the two years of the pandemic (2020 and 2021)? What are the factors spurring this positive sentiment?

Post Covid, today the consumer is optimistic about economic recovery, and intent to spend is growing and positive across many categories. With many people already taken either 2 doses or even booster dose of vaccination, consumers are engaging in out-of-home activities, travel, shopping and more. The war situation between Ukraine and Russia is triggering many issues, which are restricting growth in the economy, however the Indian consumer continues to have positive sentiments during the festive season, which will boost growth during the coming months.

Which categories are expected to witness greater traction in the upcoming festive season and why?

Seasonal brands which depend on festive will see growth. Consumer durables, Auto categories will be backing their new launches. Advertisers in OTT, mobile gaming, and digital wallet payment categories are expected to dominate the Adex pie as we have observed in the last 2 years.

Online or offline/ retail – which do you see having a greater share of festive season buying?

Both Digital and traditional are expected to be the drivers for growth across businesses during the festive season. E-commerce giants like Amazon, Flipkart and now Meesho are the usual who are expected to spend heavily during dedicated shopping festive week. Other e-commerce players like Food Delivery Apps, Mobile Wallet will also fuel the overall Digital Adex.


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