For the advertising industry, general elections and the cricket world cup are prime opportunities to mint money. 2019 is set to play host to both, with industry analysts noting that these two factors will be the prime movers of advertising demand in the New Year.
Apart from the high-tension contest for the Lok Sabha slated for the summer of 2019, the year is set to play host to no less than seven state elections. Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh are expected to go to the polls in the summer, while Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand are set to elect new assemblies in the later half of the year. This will see a sharp uptick in advertising from political parties and incumbent governments, say experts.
“2019 is the year of the Indian General Elections. These and the State Elections will boost marketing spends,” Tanmay Mohanty, Group CEO at Zenith, had observed in its forecast for the year. “Zenith forecasts that ad spends for India in year 2018 will close at `62, 699 crore. Total adex (expenditure) for India will see an increase of 15 per cent and climb up to Rs 72, 169 crore in 2019,” the agency forecast.
Adding fuel to the industry’s engines will be the Cricket World Cup set to be hosted in England and Wales during the summer, likely in parallel with the summer elections. Combined with the demand from the Indian Premier League’s 12th edition slated to begin at the end of March and carry on until the middle of May.
Both the elections and cricket tournaments are major eye-pullers and advertising agencies are expected to have a ball in the months leading up. Some mediums are set to benefit more from the prime drivers of 2019. Print, for instance, is traditionally one of the prime beneficiaries of election-focused advertisements. While acknowledging that the print medium has been facing significant competition, Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands noted in the agency’s 2019 forecast that the medium has advantages like credibility which make it relevant for advertisers.
“In 2019 print will further emerge as a dominant force because of the state elections and general election and we expect the growth rate to be higher than 2018,” he noted. However, the youngest medium — digital — will continue to benefit from all the above. With political advertising soaring, the digital medium will see advertising political videos give a significant boost to revenues. Analysts expect the segment to cross Rs 18,000 crore in revenues in 2019.
Outdoor advertising to recover
The flurry of elections is expected to boost the out-of-home advertising segment, with IPG Mediabrands expecting an 11.4 per cent plus growth and contribute 4-5 per cent of total advertising expenditure in the Indian market.