Just how much do we spend on media for Diwali ad campaigns?

05 Nov,2018

 

By Indrani Sen

 

Trying to estimate the traditional media expenditures during the three months, from August to October, is like the age old story of the blind men with the elephant. Each blind man made a guess based on which part of the elephant he was touching! In this case, please read it as based on the media agency or the advertisers own experience with rate negotiation for Diwali campaigns. The estimates put up by TAM India for Adex is therefore corrected accordingly.

 

Well, TAM India estimates Adex for Print, TV and Radio which is based on monitoring of large number of media vehicles during the stipulated three months. As we all know, Adex is calculated on the basis of market rates and not on the basis of actual negotiated rates. Industry insiders are also aware of special discounts offered by media houses over and above their negotiated rates with media agencies/ advertisers for the Diwali campaigns. It is important for the leading media houses to get a fair share of the Diwali budget, the once a year bonanza for which most of them are prepared to bent backwards!

 

The scheduling off course depends on the actual date of the Diwali festival, which falls on a date between mid-October to mid-November in the solar calendar based on the calculations given in advance about the auspicious dates in our lunar calendar published in our almanacs. So, it is debatable if we should look at the three months August to October or redefine the period as 12 weeks before the Diwali. For example, this year Diwali is on November 7, 2018 and we have been seeing lot of frenzied advertising activities in all traditional media as well as digital and social media since October 1. Obviously, if the TAM Adex reports compare August to October 2017 with August to October 2018, then a large chunk of the pre-Diwali advertising will not be reflected in the analysis.

 

Last year TAM India published in their newsletter a comparison of pre-Diwali Adex for 2016 and 2017 https://www.tamindia.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/tam_newsletter_04.pdf and concluded that there was drop in print and radio expenditures in 2017 compared to 2016. Diwali festival in 2016 was on October 30, 2016 and in the next year the date fell on October 19, 2017. There is usually a huge drop in advertising traffic immediately after Diwali across all traditional media. Last year, therefore the Adex naturally dropped after October 19 while 2016 enjoyed the full thrust of Diwali advertising till October 30. Obviously the lull over the last ten days of October painted Print and Radio at a disadvantage in comparison with the same period in 2016.

 

It is my earnest request to TAM India to change the period for comparing Diwali expenditures to 12 weeks before the festival instead of the standard three months August to December. Their calculations will still be on market rates, but at least the estimates would be comparable across the different media. We generally see a long diminishing tail of TV media after Diwali which are part of free spots or bonus spots which generally feature in the rate negotiations. Ideally speaking, the same TV spots should not be added to the overall cost of the particular advertisers’ Diwali campaign.

 

TAM India is working on publishing a Digital Adex shortly, which will complete the process of estimating Diwali media expenditures by adding to traditional expenditures, digital and social media expenditures. There has been a trend since 2014 to link Diwali campaigns with social needs and year on year we are finding more advertisers climbing into that band wagon. Needless to mention, a considerable chunk of their Diwali advertising budget is being utilised through the new media channels.  We need to end this game played by blind men and have a robust estimates of how much we are spending on Diwali advertising on a year-on-year basis.

 

Wishing the readers of www.mxmindia.com a Happy Diwali and a Prosperous New Year!

 

 

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