Adspend Scan – II: Things may not look as Bleak as they are Projected to be

26 May,2020

By Amit Ray, Priya Jacob and Team Network Media


The Indian media, especially television, has been under tremendous pressure on advertising revenues ever since the nation went into lockdown – 10 weeks ago.


While there have been several discussions about major advertisers having curtailed their adspends backed by the huge reduction in ad volumes, things may not look as bleak as they are projected to be.


In fact, a closer look at the data spells a very different yet hopeful scenario – shedding some light on the changing consumer habits/ sentiments and a paradigm shift in the power that once controlled TV.


:: 287 new brands/variants of different brands were being advertised on TV every week, during the last 6 weeks

:: 37 product groups out of 472 odd listed products registered a growth in inventory bought on TV after Nation went into a lockdown from March 25.


Interestingly, these 37 product groups accounted for more than 45% of TV inventory consumed during lockdown while before lockdown they accounted only for a meagre 22%.
While it is no surprise that a few products from giants like HUL, GCMMF still feature in the list – a testament to being listed under essentials – the real story lies in those products which have come into foray.


:: Time spent on gaming and number of online gamers have increased by 1.25 times. This has been capitalised by the online gaming industry whose inventory consumption saw an unprecedented growth of 151% during lockdown.

:: Taking a cue, the banking industry is also pushing its digital products more than ever during these times. Internet banking and digital wallets have seen an increase of customers by 1.2 times – a fact corroborated by their fair consumption of the inventory as opposed to other products in the category namely home loans.


One of the major categories to take hit is the ice-cream category, where the previous years have seen a copious amount of inventory being consumed by the Ice cream giants Amul and HUL. The current situation has led both corporates to cut on the inventory in this category.


Considering that the pandemic will be still on the horizon in the coming few months and consumers are likely to continue to operate from their homes as opposed to their offices, it is only logical that the personal skin care segment which has taken a hit by 50%, will be relegated from the shopping lists of the consumers.


That majors like Vicco and Emami have been completely absent during these Covid times is perhaps sign for upcoming decrease in the same segment.


Currently, with the signs seen in the consumption pattern of media and inventory, it looks like the shopping cart of an average Indian consumer has already undergone a major change. May be the consumer has adopted quicker than any to live with this pandemic than to wait for it to subside.


Sources: Adex (Pre Covid period: Weeks 1-12,2020 & Covid period: Weeks 13-21.2020)

(1)- BARC India and Nielsen’s 8th Edition of TV viewership and smartphone consumption behaviour during COVID-19, compared to pre-covid period

(2)-BCG’s ‘COVID-19 consumer sentiment research’


Note: The analysis is based on the advertising seconds and not rupee spend.

Given the industry report the reduction is much higher in rupee revenue when compared to advertising seconds


Manu G Nath and Vaidehi Datta from Network Media also contributed to this article



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