Does anyone care about GEC GRPs see-sawing?

18 Sep,2012


By Meghna Sharma


The battle of the Hindi general entertainment channels has intensified in the past few months. With most of them showing new seasons of popular shows like Kaun Banega Crorepati, Jhalak Dikhla Jaa, Dance India Dance etc, the competition has not only increased between the channels but also viewers – who wants to watch what?


If the TAM ratings of the past few weeks are studied, it becomes very clear that there is no sure-shot contender for the numero uno position. The weekend which saw the first episode of KBC on Sony made the channel numero uno for the weekend slot. However, overall ratings for week 36 saw Zee in the top slot. Week 35, saw Star Plus in the top place whereas for week 33, it was Zee at number one position.


The yo-yoing has been going on for sometime now, so who gets affected by this – channels, media planners or advertisers? Or don’t the weekly ratings matter much? MxMIndia spoke to a few media planners/buyers and advertisers to get their perspective on it and to find a few answers.


According to Anita Nayyar, CEO, India and Southeast Asia, Havas Media, in the GEC space there are four top channels – Star Plus, Sony, Zee and Colors – and their ratings keep fluctuating among themselves, which isn’t a recent phenomenon. “One week, one channel is peaking so the other week it’s another channel’s chance. Also, there isn’t much difference between their GRPs; it’s a matter of only a few numbers that they fall short of each other in the race. Therefore, it’s nothing alarming even for the clients who follow the GRPs to the T. However, we do keep in mind the trends and what gets the eyeballs to the channel. For instance, KBC taking Sony to number slot was expected. One needs to keep such issues in mind and plan accordingly.”


Agreeing with Ms Nayyar, Hiren Pandit, managing partner, GroupM adds that one needs to keep in mind what is the programming mix of different channels. With KBC opening with 6.1 TVR, Sony was bound to reach the top slot. Therefore, one needs to track the new big shows coming up and how they’ll fare rather than worrying about channel shares which keeps see-sawing because of these shows. As for advertisers, they too focus more on shows and its performance rather than channels. Hence, such yo-yoing shouldn’t bother anyone unless it’s a drastic one.


“I don’t think anyone takes these weekly GRPs of GECs into account; therefore, such weekly see-sawing shouldn’t matter. If one looks at various channels, you’ll see that most of them have reality shows or special episodes or Grand finale etc as their strategy to drive channel GRPs especially on the weekend. Hence, a media planner or buyer doesn’t get affected by it as most of the deals are separate for these (channel driver) reality shows and separate for rest of channel (regular) programs. And to advertisers what matters is the consistent deliveries through regular shows and not these few spike on select shows,” adds Neelkamal Sharma, COO – Buying, Madison Group.


However, the advertisers feel a little different as GECs which have a vast reach in the country are seen by the advertisers as the best way to reach out to their audiences and brands spend millions to use the visibility given by these channels.


Kamal Nandi, vice-president (sales & marketing) of Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing explains that as a brand, for them the two things that matter the most are efficiency and effectiveness. “Therefore, as advertisers on these GECs, we do look at cost and ratings points as the two most critical evaluating parameters. Hence, such fluctuations do effect our decisions as we monitor them closely.”


Similarly, Mayank Shah, Group Product Manager, Parle Products says, “The content of every show on every channel varies. Despite the fluctuations, there are certain properties that continue to be at the top. These shows provide great opportunities for advertisers. However, strategies keep changing. So we do keep these fluctuations in our mind and alter the strategy as and when required. Advertising strategies are based on the kind of viewership a channel has. If a product matches with the channel’s target group, then advertisers will continue to advertise on that channel because the reach is effective. Also, there are various aspects to consider while choosing channels. Hence, the positioning is an important criteria, but not the sole criteria.”


Hence, one thing is clear, that weekly ratings of GECs might not be considered as the sole criteria by planners or advertisers as much a monthly or the performance of the show in general. But they do matter when it comes to brands spending on GECs to reach their desired audience.


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