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The industry will see double-digit growth in this festive season as well: Kamla Adhikari

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, Kamla Adhikari, Senior Business Director, Carat India, speaks about the positive advertiser as well as consumer sentiment this estive season, how India's massive vaccination drive has helped in retaining customer confidence and much more.

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

The festive season will be as exciting as the previous season. The industry will see double-digit growth in this festive season as well. The ad volume has already started picking up and overall mainline spends have grown by 10% in Q1’22 over Q1' 21 and Q2 spends have seen tremendous growth YOY given the IPL event. The upward trend in digital will continue. Additionally, the content line up in the sports and entertainment domain along with continuous innovations happening in digital space will certainly attract more spends.

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?

The drop in the number of Covid-19 cases and the ongoing vaccination drive in the country have helped to retain consumer confidence. With the sense of normalcy, the consumer has already started going on vacations and indulging in many OOH activities like shopping, eating out and watching movies.

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

FMCG, Electronics goods and Fintech are expected to lead the media spends. There are many product launches expected to happen across Automobile, Smartphones and high-end consumer electronic goods categories during the festive season that will see a spurt in spends.

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

While online shopping has emerged as a habit amongst consumers, retail shopping will not easily fade away. Shopping at the ease of sitting at home, massive discounts and great festive deals have significantly increased the number of online shoppers and the growth is coming from T1 and other small towns as well. However, there are diverse consumer segments like brand conscious and explorers who love to explore brand options and hence, prefer online shopping. On the other hand, there are bargain hunters, who love to go on ground, touch & feel the product and love to bargain.


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