Brands look at news genre as it delivers record viewers on Ram temple consecration

In discussions with BestMediaInfo, industry leaders expressed that the upcoming elections offer a profitable opportunity for brands targeting both the core audience and the youth

Sakshi Sharma
Updated On
New Update
Brands look at news genre as it delivers record viewers on Ram temple consecration

After capitalising on the surge in viewership during the Ayodhya Temple consecration, brands set sights on maximising gains in upcoming general elections on news channels.

Yesterday, the historic consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla at Ayodhya Ram Temple broke all records on live-streaming on connected devices, as all the news channels recorded their highest digital viewerships on this once-in-a-lifetime occasion.

Aaj Tak led the Hindi news channels pack with a peak concurrency of 18 lakhs and CNN-News18 topped the English news charts with a peak viewership of 4.7 lakh on YouTube.

Hema Malik

Hema Malik, Chief Investment Officer, IPG Mediabrands India, highlighted that considering the historical trend, there is a huge optimism about brands investing in news channels, newspapers, and online news during the upcoming general elections in 2024.

“There has been a consistent 25-30% surge in viewership during election times. The state elections have already set an exciting ground for elections ahead and we expect spikes driven by events like Ayodhya to increase overall genre reach,” she added.

Shashank Srivastava

Striking a similar tone, Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director, Marketing and Sales, Maruti Suzuki, said that general elections are a big event on a national scale for a period of around two months. Not only is there a huge traction around news but also through online social media. Hence, brands use this opportunity to get customer eyeballs for their communications.

“For driving brand communications Maruti Suzuki India will be present on TV and Digital during the upcoming elections. However, print will be used tactically to drive specific regional sales tasks,” he said.

Niti Kumar

On the contrary, Niti Kumar, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Starcom, said that the general mood seems to be one of cautious optimism, when it comes to the brands investing in news channels, newspapers and online news during the upcoming elections.

“I don’t think we will see huge spends happen organically simply because the elections are coming up. However, relevant categories and brands will leverage the opportunity to ride on election interest and the custom programming news channels will be putting up. We see spends and consumption in many categories increasing, however, there are also base categories which are still dealing with cautious demand and hence are circumspect about what they will be spending,” she added.

With both the IPL and general elections occurring simultaneously, it is important to know if there will be any impact on brands’ decision to allocate their advertising budgets between these two properties.

Sharing his views on the same, Srivastava said Maruti Suzuki, being the leader in the auto space, will likely be present in both IPL and general elections but the spends will be optimised to avoid duplication of the audience.

Meanwhile, Kumar said that the brands will have to choose as both properties will come at their own entry cost. It will also depend on brand objectives and campaign flighting. Media planners and advertisers would be making a careful and considered choice based on budget, timing of campaigns etc.

On the other hand, Malik pointed out that while the simultaneous occurrence of IPL and general elections presents an interesting challenge, news channels offer a distinct advantage. As a genre, news provides ample opportunities during elections, given the on-ground action and the flexibility to build content around the brand story.

“Despite the IPL buzz, the large canvas and effectiveness of the news genre, with over 300 to 350 advertisers on average per month, make it a compelling choice. We anticipate brands recognising this and strategically allocating their advertising budgets to capitalise on the fertile period presented by news channels during elections,” she added.

Malik also highlighted that the effective ad rates increase, for TV news channels, print publishers and digital news platforms during election season, may not be as high this time. However, clients need to invest larger monies to leverage opportunities (both FCT and non-FCT) to their full potential.

Srivastava said, “Special package rates apply during election season. Polling days, counting days and government formation days are most sought after and average ratings for news channels increase up to 2x-3x on polling days and up to 4x-6x on counting days depending on the channel and genre.”

“Accordingly the ER (rates) for these channels go anywhere from 3x-6x. For example, if ER for a leading Hindi news channel is Rs 7,000-10,000, it can go as high as Rs 40,000-50,000 during election times,” he added.

While highlighting the advertising and marketing trends that will be noteworthy during the upcoming elections, Malik said that one noteworthy trend during the upcoming general elections is the effectiveness of the news genre in terms of brand integration and media visibility. The flexibility of news channels to build content around brand stories, especially during election periods, creates a fertile ground for advertisers.

“The consistent presence of more than 300 to 350 advertisers on news channels per month underscores the genre's effectiveness in showcasing brands consistently and attracting advertisers. This trend is expected to continue, making news channels a prime choice for brands during the general elections,” she added.

ABP News Ram templ Ram Lalla programming adex voters news platforms ad rates print polls General elections 2024 General Elections digital TV premium news genre elections India TV advertisers brands Ayodhya news channels Times Network