In-depth: Cooling appliance brands ramp up ad spending by 30–40% this summer

Cooling appliance brands are capitalising on the synergy of IPL and the rising temperatures. Marketing leaders from these brands informed BestMediaInfo.com that, to ensure precise targeting, many of them have ramped up their advertising budgets for CTV platforms

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With the onset of summer, cooling appliance brands have increased their advertising expenditures by 30-40% year-on-year, particularly focusing on IPL, especially through Connected TV (CTV) platforms.

For instance, Blue Star has increased its marketing budget by 30–35% year-on-year for the present summer season. In the previous year, the brand allocated Rs 30 crore towards advertising during the summer months. However, this year, it intends to invest Rs 40–45 crore in summer advertising.

Girish Hingorani, Vice-President, Marketing (Cooling & Purification Appliances) & Corporate Communications, Blue Star, said that the brand typically invests about 75% of the overall ad spending during the summer season.

Explaining the rationale behind the substantial investment during this period, Hingorani stated, "The demand for air conditioners is growing at approximately 20% year on year. With temperatures expected to soar even higher this summer, we anticipate a 25% increase in demand. Hence, our advertising expenditure needs to align with the market's growth."

According to a media report, Haier too has increased its advertising budget to Rs 75 crore for the current April to June quarter from Rs 30 crore in the corresponding quarter last year. 

NS Satish, President, Haier India, added, “Based on the trends observed last year and current consumer behaviour, we anticipate robust demand for cooling appliances this season. In the fiscal year 2023, our revenue surged to Rs 7,000 crore, with cooling products contributing approximately 40%. This year, we forecast a growth of 35%–40% in ACs and 30% in refrigerators. Anticipating double-digit growth in the cooling appliances category this year, we remain steadfast in our commitment to delivering superior products and enhancing customer experiences.”

Pragya Bijalwan, CMO, Crompton Greaves, Consumer Electricals, shared that while the brand’s annual media spending remains dynamic to adapt to market trends and consumer behaviour throughout the year, it does observe a notable spike in our investments during the summer months.

She said, “We typically allocate a substantial proportion of our annual media budget to summer initiatives. As a category, fans and air coolers see an increase in ad spending in the summer months, driven by an increase in demand owing not only to seasonality but also to cycles of renovations and re-decor that are taken up in homes. Given our presence across multiple categories, it's imperative to strategically allocate our spending, especially during peak seasons like summer when demand for products like fans and air coolers surges.” 

Similarly, Swati Rathi, Head of Marketing at Godrej Appliances, told BestMediaInfo.com that a third of the brand’s annual marketing spends are incurred in the summers, given the high demand for cooling categories and the competitive clutter. 

She added, “We have increased our ad spends over the past summer significantly. This includes spending on TV campaigns, digital, hoardings, and e-commerce. We will also be spending more on store presence. Digital gets the biggest share of spends split, with eCommerce having a significant share within digital.”

This summer, it's not only cooling appliance brands that have boosted their advertising budgets, but also companies like NoBroker, a proptech firm, which has increased its expenditure on AC servicing offerings as it expects 100% growth in sales coming from this category.

Saurabh Garg, co-founder and Chief Business Officer of NoBroker, said, “We continue to invest in AC servicing as a category to make it more organised. With this objective, our spending for this year will increase by 25% over last year.” 

NoBroker spends 90% of its ad spend on digital and the rest offline. 

Cooling appliance brands make the most of the IPL+ summer season

With the IPL 2024 schedule falling during the summer season, cooling appliance brands too are making up most of India’s biggest advertising property. 

Bijalwan of Crompton Greaves said that the brand has intensified its digital efforts through its presence on IPL along with outreach through high-affinity sites like Cricbuzz, Quora, etc. 

She commented, “Considering the property is active during summers, it becomes inevitable for brands operating in the space of cooling to participate. The property presents an opportunity to increase brand visibility, connect with consumers through the summer season, and build the right association for our brand. We are present across IPL in a big way for our categories of fans with our newly launched campaign "Crompton Picture Perfect Fans" as well as with "Crompton Air Coolers Jaldi Cooling."

In fact, Crompton launched its two TVCs for fans and ACs during the IPL only. 

Crompton’s fan ad: 

Crompton’s AC ad:

The 80-year-old AC brand Blue Star will be primarily allocating spend on IPL this year along with social media and other digital platforms, Hingorani told BestMediaInfo.com. “Our three commercials featuring brand ambassador Virat Kohli are present on Star Sports HD and JioCinema CTV for IPL 2024,” he said. 

Hingorani further emphasised that the brand has maintained a presence in the IPL since its inception in 2008. With the tournament coinciding with the summer season, it's even more crucial for the brand to capitalise on this opportunity.

He said, “IPL works very efficiently for us. If you were not on IPL, then honestly, being on other platforms would also be a problem because most of the viewers do shift to watching IPL. This time, we've also increased our spending on the property.”

Blue Star’s ad starring Virat Kohli: 

It has come to BestMediaInfo.com’s attention that many brands are also opting for a news-only strategy, overlooking IPL this summer. 

During this summer season, Blue Star plans to leverage both Hindi and English news platforms. However, it's worth noting that the peak viewership on these platforms typically occurs during the counting and polling days, which mark the tail end of the summer season, added Hingorani.

Haier Appliances has become the digital streaming partner on JioCinema for IPL 2024. 

NS Satish, President, Haier India, said, “Our ongoing partnership with JioCinema as the Digital Streaming Partner for IPL 2024 presents a significant opportunity to connect with a vast audience of cricket enthusiasts, reinforcing our commitment to household engagement.” 

Having said that, Saurabh Garg, co-founder and Chief Business Officer of NoBroker, believes that while IPL drives greater viewership, it also offers a cluttered environment. Therefore, the brand will have a carefully nuanced approach to the property. “We will leverage this for greater viewer availability. Our approach is to be visible to the customer at the right time and in the right place,” he commented. 

CTV gains prominence among AC, fridge, cooler, and fan brands

Advertisers are taking note of CTV’s targeting capabilities and high level of engagement. As per a report, investment in CTV advertising in India is poised for significant growth, with a staggering annual increase of 47%. It is projected to reach approximately $395 million by 2027.

Therefore, cooling appliance brands have also increased their focus on this growing medium. 

Bijalwan of Crompton Greaves said, “We will be focusing on platforms resting on smart devices like CTV and mobile apps. It assures us of consumer cohorts targeted with the right message.”

She further said, “We recognise the growing importance of Connected TV (CTV) in reaching cord-cutters and streaming audiences. Therefore, we are allocating resources to this emerging platform to enhance our reach and engagement with premium audiences.” 

Satish from Haier India stated that the brand has adopted a digital-first approach for its marketing strategy, with 60 to 70% of the budget allocated to digital initiatives. “Embracing our unique 'Sport-O-tainment' approach, we are investing in disruptive channels such as Connected TV (CTV) to engage with our premium audience,” he commented. 

Garg from NoBroker also mentioned that out of the 90% of the allocated budget for digital spending, CTV and social media are the primary recipients.

Blue Star allocates 40% of its advertising expenditure to digital channels. However, Hingormani clarified that the company does not include its CTV spending under the digital category.

Blue Star has revamped its media strategy to enhance targeting. Consequently, it opted to advertise during the IPL on CTV and selected HD channels over SD on Star Sports.

However, he stressed the importance of focusing on the creativity of the campaign amidst the clutter during the IPL season. "We strongly believe that with compelling creativity, even with lower frequency, we can still make a significant impact. Ultimately, advertising aims to influence the consideration set. The primary goal of our advertising is to ensure that when considering purchasing an AC, Blue Star is a brand that comes to mind," he emphasised.

Beyond IPL and CTV...

Crompton Greaves: Consumer Electrics allocates a significant portion of its budget to social media platforms. Bijalwan added, “We invest in ad tech solutions to optimise our advertising efforts, ensuring efficient targeting, delivery, and measurement of our campaigns.” 

Publishers are also an essential part of Crompton Greaves’ strategy, “as we collaborate with relevant partners to reach audiences in contextually relevant environments,” she commented.

Highlighting a few trends on which marketers can bank, Bijalwan said, “Personalisation through data-driven insights, leveraging influencer marketing for credibility and reach, encouraging user-generated content to foster community engagement, employing interactive formats for deeper engagement, and integrating omnichannel strategies to create cohesive brand experiences. Marketers also need to create their unique and differentiated position in the minds of consumers to remain top of mind in their consideration and purchase decisions.” 

Rathi of Godrej Appliances added, “Given the nature of the category, which is research-skewed, eCommerce gets higher spends. The rise of influencer-led marketing is causing some hikes in social spending as well. Video promotions are a significant chunk of digital spend, again given the increasing role of video in content consumption, both for entertainment and product research.”

Connected TV Media strategy marketing spends cooling appliances
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