Indian TV audiences tend to be more 'demanding' during festivals: TNS India on Diwali ads

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | November 11, 2015
According to the report 'The Diwali Effect', the occasion of Deepawali promises to be a time of intensive sales promotion activity in India. But, the pressure is also on brands to compete and raise their brand equity in a period notorious for cluttered holiday advertising.

TNS, a global research agency, has brought out its report titled 'The Diwali Effect', which examines a host of high profile 2014 Diwali ads to determine the attributes of success for brands investing in promotional activity during this lucrative sales period. TNS India conducted the study to reveal the secrets of creating effective TV advertising during Diwali.

The study is based on the response of Indian men and women, in the age group of 15-45 years, across SEC A to C, with a sample size of 725. The responses, including face-to-face interviews, were collected via tablets. The survey, which was carried out after Diwali, from November 3 to November 7, 2014, was conducted across five regions: Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Jaipur and Lucknow. The agency tested nine ads in each market, one each from the following brands: Amazon, Cadbury, Coca-Cola, Havells, Kurkure, LG, Snapdeal, Sony and Titan.

The Diwali Effect

The findings of the in-depth study are based on three key insights - the importance of brand building while activating immediate sales, the role of emotions and values in the context of Diwali, as well as the brand's need for authenticity. Significantly, the report employed three TNS metrics: short-term index, long-term index and NeedScope, in order to establish the success of those Diwali ads which were considered as case studies.

The first key inference of the report lays as much emphasis on good brand building as for the activation, where it compares LG versus Snapdeal on a case-by-case basis.

Secondly, the report goes on to state that advertising during the festive season must differ in an effective manner from the rest of the year, without overt hinging on the emotional aspect.

The most important revelation seems to be that Indian audiences are more demanding of TVCs during festivals like Diwali as the cultural collective conscious is more focussed on seasonal ideas like that of prosperity and positivity. The short-term versus long-term responses to Havells and Titan ads prove the point as they depict negative or sarcastic emotions in total contrast to what Diwali stands for; which is why these ads performed below average last year.

Lastly, the report points out that 'Authenticity is the key' to real success for advertisers during the festive period. An occasion like Diwali being a key sales period, the 'What to do' aspect of advertising is crucial and straightaway hits bull's eye. Authentically integrating the Diwali theme along with brand values will go a long way in brand building and consumer connect.

In essence, the report concludes that the best ads take advantage of both activation and brand-building opportunities, thoroughly understand the audience's ideals in relation to the holiday, and crucially, do not over-sentimentalise nor dismiss holiday values and traditions.

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