There’s no doubt that the past five months or so have been far from being cheerful, due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown. And the low-spirited mood has permeated through all walks of life – movies, advertising world, television as well as sports. However, now, as India enters the 2020 festive period, be ready to witness a number of activities across the board.
For starters, TV world will see new seasons of top non-fiction shows such as Bigg Boss, Indian Idol, Kaun Banega Crorepati and Dance India Dance, most likely around September-October. Industry insiders feel the launch of “tent-pole properties during the festive season” will drive ad revenues in a big way as the biggies are likely to attract substantial viewership. And for brands/advertisers, festive season can be the best period to attract eyeballs and create awareness, after lying low for close to six months.
Interestingly, as per an estimate, around 40-45 per cent of a year’s total advertising spend takes place in the festive period, between Ganesh Chaturthi and the New Year. “Generally speaking, people are in a positive frame of mind during the festive season. You can also call it the ‘big mood-lifter.’ And that positive outlook is great news because now, it’s already showing great signs of resurgence and also, a sense of normalcy vis-à-vis ad spendings,” says ad filmmaker and Bollywood director Vinil Mathew.
It’s action time
Not just TV, sports world is readying for a top shot with the next season of Indian Premier League (IPL), starting on September 19. Apparently, the official broadcaster may have hiked IPL ad rates by 20 to 25 per cent compared to the last season. Reported estimates suggest that the ad rates could be anything between Rs 12 lakh/10 seconds and Rs 12.5 lakh/10 seconds. Experts feel IPL coinciding with the festive season “can be the best combo”, thanks to the fact that Indians have missed watching live cricket.
“Indians love their festivals. So, it will bring in a positive outlook,” says ad guru Prahlad Kakkar, adding: “See, markets have been in a bad shape so, personally, I don’t see a huge spike [in ad spendings] but having said that, this could be the only feasible period [in 2020] for brands to advertise during top properties such as IPL or TV shows, and grab eyeballs.” Adds Mathew: “A number of top FMCG brands are back in the fray already, leading to the sector’s recovery in a big way. As advertising producers, we are getting calls almost every day from brands to shoot campaigns for them.”
Besides TV and sports, Bollywood will also be banking heavily on the festive season with two biggies – Sooryavanshi and ’83 – slated for Diwali and Christmas release. As talks are rife that the government will green signal the reopening of theatres in the next Unlock plan, industry insiders say they “have no doubt that top movies are going to do extremely well in theatres even if authorities allow them limited occupancy.”
As exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi puts it: “Since March, people have been living in tension with a gloomy atmosphere all around, so with the festive season, everyone’s mood gets uplifted. As for movies, in India, they have always given audiences a sense of escapism, and also load of entertainment.”
The Dhoni factor!
Even as IPL readies to kick off next month, many feel that one of the main attractions could well be ex-Indian cricket team member, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Experts feel since the Jharkhand lad has a humongous fan base, many want to watch him play again “for emotional reasons” as he has just announced his retirement, and also “hasn’t played any cricket since last World Cup.” “You can’t take away the fact that people have a special connect with MS, and that’s why they would love to watch him in action again,” says Kakkar.