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In-depth: Fashion and apparel brands expect bumper sales during festive season, to launch ad blitzkrieg

Even though auto, FMCG and other segments are experiencing a fall in sales due to sluggish demand, fashion and apparels brands are expecting major growth on the back of the festive season. Brands in the segment are planning major ad spends, especially in digital, to reach out to consumers

India's media industry, which is going through a sluggish Q2 because of shrinking revenues, may have a reason to smile as the country's top fashion and apparel brands have lined up major ad campaigns to attract consumers during the festive season.

Advertising from sectors such as auto, FMCG, e-commerce, real estate among other categories had been subdued in the quarter. Part of the reason is that a lot of brands had already spent big on TV during big ticket events such as the ICC World Cup, IPL and the general elections that were held earlier this year.

The fashion and apparels category being optimistic about the upcoming festive season is lining up major ad spends, which would give India's embattled print industry a breather and will add to revenue growth of the digital industry.

Smita Murarka

“We have been advertising on OTT platforms, and would be increasing 30% of our spends on digital to drive awareness and sales. Television is not part of our communication strategy as it has a lot of spillover and wastage. We prefer to use new-age mediums as our consumers are modern too,” said Smita Murarka, Head, Marketing and E-commerce, MAS Brands India (Amante).

Umashan Naidoo

“All our activity will be social media-driven. Fashion is dynamic and the phase changes rapidly and social media has taught us this. We love conversations about our brand and social media will allow us to interact directly and quickly,” said Umashan Naidoo, Head of Cosmetics and Customer, Trent Ltd.

Sai Sangeeta Israni

“We have planned to keep our media promotions at peak during the festive season; it really helps the brand garner visibility and recall. Netizens will see a buzz on digital platforms this festive season,” said Sai Sangeeta Israni, GM Marketing, Spykar Lifestyles.

“For a brand like Spykar, a mix of media always works. The mix would include outdoor and print, which would be the lead media; radio will also be used for top-of-the-mind recall,” she adds.

According to Naidoo, the industry will not witness a muted festive season due to economy slowdown. “We are very positive about the fashion sector. We made sure that fashion and style is not compromised over price,” he said.

“The fashion category is not a high-ticket product as automobile. People do enjoy the fashion therapy. Also, in India, buying new clothes for every festivity has been a tradition for people that continues and will be continuing,” said Israni.

However, Murarka differs, “There is no denying that there is a slowdown with the GDP growth at an all-time low of 5%. Low consumer sentiments affect categories of fashion and apparel first and all brands are facing the heat, as being reported across media.”

Rishi Sharma

Rishi Sharma, AVP, Head Digital Marketing, Liva, Grasim Industries, P&F Business, said, “There is a slowdown in some sections and categories but a lot of other sectors have grown, this reflects upon changing buying patterns/behaviour and not a real slowdown.”

“There has been a rise in e-commerce sales and a trend where you would see average monthly sales going up rather than festive spikes,” he adds.

Murarka said, the lingerie category has been the fastest growing for the last five years and MAS Brands has been growing at a CAGR of 40%. However, the slowdown has affected the lingerie segment as well.

Speaking on the expectations from this festive season, Israni said, “We expect that this festive season will be in line with what we have been seeing over the years.”

“The festive season is expected to turn out profitable and all the brands will surely try to bring positivity into their communication, encouraging the consumers to shop,” said Murarka.

According to Naidoo, the campaign ‘Celebrate with us’ is their focus for the festive season. “Our influencers will be looking at celebration with community, family and friends, the joy of peace, giving and caring being inclusive. We will use fashion to tell stories that celebrate people,” he said.

“We will have macro and micro influencers launching our limited edition line of Vintage denims for the season,” said Israni.

“We do always have an influencer strategy to communicate new launches and reach out to the individual followers. For this festive season too, we will look at key influencers,” says Murarka.

Speaking on the offerings for festive seasons, Naidoo said, “We design and deliver fashion brands that are rightly priced and spend a lot of time making sure our values surprise and delights — we are not discounting to get sales up. We believe we have the relevant fashion at the right price.”

“There will be host of offers across channels. Value-added vouchers, gift with purchases, free-fit sessions and many more. We don’t discount during the festive season and thus will give more value-added offers,” says Murarka.

“We are offering a limited collection of vintage and rare jeans in celebration of denim, the eternal favourite piece of clothing that is undeniably a fashion staple,” said Israni.

The brand has focused on jeans only for this collection and created a range for young men. This pair of vintage jeans is of a limited edition collection.

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