Opinion: The remaining festive season to see a spur in demand for advertising

Amitt Sharma, CEO and Founder,VDO.AI on festive season

Amitt Sharma from VDO.AI describes the possible state of the advertising industry with the remaining festive season from the year 2020, and more.

With a major portion of the festive season of 2020 having remained under the clouds of the pandemic, will Diwali followed by Christmas and New year bring cheer to the advertising world?

The pandemic is seeming to be behind us. Though it hasn’t really disappeared, a slight ray of hope and safety has emerged from the talks of a vaccine soon becoming available as a cure for it. The effect of the prolonged lockdown has impacted economies across the globe with India being no exception to it. In fact, for an economy which was already reeling under fiscal pressures, the pandemic and resultant lockdown only exacerbated things further.

To put things in perspective, look at the dismal performance of the economy in Q1. GDP contracted by a whopping 23% in the June quarter of FY 21 after having expanded by a not so impressive 3.3% in the last quarter of FY 20. With the first two quarters being wiped out, the third quarter numbers are only expected to be marginally good compared to the first two. In fact, last year, GDP in Q3 had expanded by slightly more than 5% in FY 19 and 4.6% in FY 20. The prolonged lockdown which completely shut down economic activity will have a paralyzing effect on the Q3 GDP growth too.  

A depressed economic growth has an all-pervasive impact on sectors, whether primary or tertiary. The advertising sector too has taken its fair share of hit. Most of the festive season this year has been under the shadows of the pandemic. Bigger festivities have been a complete washout until Diwali. But from here on there seems to be a light of hope.

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With the world slowly opening, advertisers are likely to spend the remainder of the festive season trying to cover up for what was lost during the lockdown period. A paradigm shift in the overall marketing scenarios following the pandemic will obviously need a change in advertising strategies, creatives and mediums. This is likely to bode well for the advertising world.

What will Drive Advertising Going Forward

With Diwali witnessing a slight uptick in the activity, a lower spread rate of COVID – 19 will help in maintaining the momentum going forward. The focus now shifts on a year-end festivities starting with Thanksgiving towards the end of November and moving towards Christmas and New Year.

One factor that will drive demand from consumers is the very fact that across the board they have been weary of spending big and focusing on saving in a scenario where job losses and pay cuts have been bothering them. Targeted advertising towards the consuming class will hence drive the fortunes of the industry over the next couple of months until New Year.

The large middle and upper-middle-class consumers are key in the Indian context. This is exactly the layer of society that has been able to weather the economic storm of the pandemic to some extent.

With salary structures crawling back to normal, spending habits too can be expected to return to pre-Covid levels.

In a changed mindset that we are presently living, fine tuning advertising to the temperaments of consumers will become essential. While products suited to the changed environment, where safety takes precedence over all else will be in demand, pricing will be the next crucial element to target consumers.

While a bumper season is not what it looks like, a rejuvenated spirit among advertisers will surely buoy up spirits keeping them high enough to be prepared for a better festive season next year. After all, at this moment, hope seems to be the only reality!

This article piece has been authored by Amitt Sharma, CEO & Founder, VDO.AI.

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