Mumbai: With the return to normalcy and restrictions having been lifted, broadcasters are upbeat about revenue growth during the festive season. Disney Star head of network entertainment channels, Kevin Vaz, is no exception. He tells Indiantelevision.com that the festive season this year is one of the best so far.
"The sentiment of both the viewers and the advertisers is extremely positive. As a network, we have always celebrated the festive season with much fervour, and our goal this year is to up the entertainment quotient for our viewers when families sit down to watch their favourite content together. This year, we have an exciting content line-up across our Hindi and regional channels to ensure the same. With our strategically planned content pipeline, this festive season, we aim to enhance the viewing experience with more exciting content and build a deeper connection with our viewers. "
Talking about how he sees the overall TV Adex faring during the festive season, he said that the overall market is extremely positive. "After two years of muted celebrations owing to the pandemic, India’s festive spirit is back once again. There is a great deal of optimism in the market this year and brands are eager to spend."
When asked about price hikes that the broadcast industry has gone for, he pointed out that local advertisers have come back after two years and high pricing categories are also reviving, which is adding to the AdEx this festive season. "Also, to ensure higher absorption capabilities, we have lined up our best festive content to entertain the viewers. There are various tentpole properties, festive events, and blockbuster movies planned, improving the overall monetisation capacities of the broadcasters. The advertisers will leverage these to reach out to their customers during the festive season, thus driving overall adex growth."
When asked if inflation has been a challenge to yield maximisation during the festive season, he explained that brands have not had the opportunity to engage with their target audience in the last two years and this year there is no stopping them.
He elaborated on the strategy to work with national and local brands in India. Onam always sets the tone for the festive season. He said, "From what we have witnessed on our Malayalam channels, I can say the season is off to a great start. There is a rise in the local/retail sectors coming forward, aided by positive consumer sentiment. Similarly, Ganesh Chaturthi and Dasshera were great for Star Pravah and Star Jalsha, respectively. All of this has already paved the way for the upcoming Diwali outputs."
He also noted that there is more brand integration compared to last year. "Brands are increasingly looking for innovative brand solutions to engage the audience. Maruti Suzuki launched its latest car, the Grand Vitara, on Star Plus’ non-fiction show Ravivaar with Star Parivaar. Reliance Trends collaborated with us on Star Jalsha to launch the celebratory campaign, Trends Saj Parbon 2022, to usher in the spirit of Durga Puja and inclusivity. We are also seeing brands like Flipkart and Max Fashion doing vignettes to increase their festive sales."
In terms of spending by various categories, he said that categories like consumer durables, electronics, retail, jewellery, fashion, and lifestyle are going all out this season. "These categories provide the boost and make the difference between a festive quarter and a regular quarter. Some categories have not been able to advertise for the last two years; they are coming back with a bang."
When asked about how much of TV's annual ad spend happens during the festive season, normally, he said that in the last two years, the share of TV’s annual spend during the festive season increased drastically due to other months impacted by the pandemic. "This year we are seeing similar trends to the pre-pandemic year 2019, where the share during the festive quarter was higher than other quarters marked by categories like consumer durables, electronics, retail, jewellery, fashion, and lifestyle."
"The festive season is a great time for categories like consumer durables, electronics, retail, jewellery, fashion, and lifestyle to advertise. While the regular categories like FMCG and e-commerce continue to advertise all year round, it is these categories that drive the festive spending."
He, however, added that the biggest icing on the cake is the auto industry. "Normally we would see two or three manufacturers advertising during Onam. But this year, every manufacturer was advertising. That will be the standout category this time. In fact, Maruti Suzuki launched its latest car, the Grand Vitara, on Star Plus’ non-fiction show Ravivaar with Star Parivaar."
For Onam celebrations, Asianet had a line-up of movies and shows like Bro Daddy, Bheeshma, Twenty One, and Lalitham Sundaram. During the season, the channel brought special non-fiction formats, including cookery and celebrity chat shows.
Asianet announced the tagline "Anudinam Valarunna Atmabandham" (a relationship that grows every day). The theme and proposition of Onam, he explains, was to help Malayalis celebrate with the best entertainment on offer – blockbusters, events, Onam themed shows etc.
In Maharashtra, viewers witnessed Star Pravah Ganeshutsav 2022 to welcome Ganesh Chaturthi. In West Bengal, the prime attraction was Mahalaya. This was a two-hour pre-festive event paying special tribute to Devi Durga, and Vaz said that it witnessed more colour and energy.
Star Jalsha launched a non-fiction show called Dance Dance Junior Season Three (on 6 August) in Bengal, in which the participants celebrated Durga Puja through the dance medium.
Tamil and Telugu audiences were delighted by the grand and much loved show Bigg Boss at Star Maa on 4 September and at Star Vijay on 2 October.
In Hindi, Star Plus launched Rajjo on 22 August.
For movie-loving audiences, blockbusters were aired across the Disney Star network – Vikram (Star Gold, Star Vijay, Star Maa, Star Suvarna and Asianet), Akshay Kumar starrer Samrat Prithviraj and Ranbir Kapoor’s Shamshera (Star Gold), Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal on Star Vijay, Kishmish & Belashuru on Star Jalsha.