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News channels give bang for buck: Why some marketers prefer News over GECs

Marketers see News channels as a medium that provides frequency and reach, giving it an advantage over GECs.

By  Tasmayee Laha RoyNov 3, 2022 2:46 PM
News channels give bang for buck: Why some marketers prefer News over GECs
News has always been an important part of the marketing playbook for brands across sectors. According to TAM’s half year AdEx numbers, the January 2022 to June 2022 period saw 33 percent indexed growth in ad volumes in the News genre compared to the same period last year. (Representational image via Unsplash)

The last two years have seen a lot of changes in the News genre. What remains constant though is the popularity of it. Be it with or without BARC ratings, News has always been an important part of the marketing playbook for brands across sectors. In fact, according to TAM’s half year AdEx numbers, the January 2022 to June 2022 period saw 33 percent indexed growth in ad volumes in the News genre compared to the same period last year.

Amol Dighe, CEO, Investments and Business Development, Madison Media, points out some of the reasons behind News evolving as a strong advertising medium over the last few years. He says while GECs build reach, news channels are a good medium for frequency as well as a significant portion of reach. Especially for male-oriented brands.

“The overall spot rate on the news channels is not very high as compared to the GEC channels and that is what helps advertisers take many more spots and increase frequency. If you want a combination of a bit of reach and good frequency, adding new channels to your plan works best,” he says.

Dighe also says that new brands, startup companies as well as smaller brands who want to advertise on TV and they find GEC channels prohibitive because of the volumes and the investment involved they can buy spots on news channels and make themselves visible.

Also since distributors, traders and brands themselves are heavy watchers of new channels, the medium has a clear advantage from the trade perspective too.

TAM’s half yearly report says services as a sector tops the list of leading sectors as advertisers between January 2022 and June 2022. This is followed by food and beverages, building, industrial and land materials/equipment, personal healthcare, personal care/personal hygiene, education, banking/finance/investment, durables and lastly household products and auto. Out of these durables was a new entrant in the period when compared to same time last year.

In fact, in the leading categories, three of the top ten categories were also new entrants in the first half of the year compared to January 2021-June 2021. These new entrants are a range of OTC products, building materials/systems and pan masala.

The others in the list were spices, cement, retail outlets-jewellers, corporate, ecom, cars and paints.

Alongside frequency and reach the news channels are also a good medium for activations, says Dighe. Explaining the hows and whys with an example he says, “If there is an auto category where they want to actually partner with a new channel and develop an event for their car launch or simply develop informative programs on cars, etc, it makes sense to partner with a new news channel. This is not doable on GEC.”

Any category be it the financial category or the automobile category, where customer education is very important, news makes for a perfect medium for marketing investments.

Talking of the automobile category, Shashank Srivastava, senior executive director, marketing and sales, Maruti Suzuki, says news is very important for the brand because of the high affinity of the genre.

Turns out even during the blackout period with no ratings for the genre there was no drop in investments on news platforms for Maruti.

News channels are a cost-effective advertising medium compared to GECs, that give reach and frequency. And since distributors, traders and brands themselves are heavy watchers of new channels, the medium has a clear advantage from the trade perspective too.

“Based on our internal research we identified news channels where we could advertise. It’s all about finding your customer at the end of the day and news helps us in doing that,” says Srivastava.

In fact, in the last two years the brands spends on the medium has actually gone up. Maruti’s spends on news genre was around 10% till two years back. This has now increased to about 15%. The spends in absolute terms also increased by about 70%.

One reason of course was that during Covid news genre consumption went up significantly.

Based on our internal research we identified news channels where we could advertise. It’s all about finding your customer at the end of the day and news helps us in doing that,” says Shashank Srivastava of Maruti Suzuki.

Experts say while the return of rating may have impacted channel positions in the top five list, the popularity of the genre has remained constant in both the periods. It is also expected that news will see further growth given the growth in viewership in the genre.

The growth in the genre is also clear from the growth in ad length. TAM’s half yearly report says that the 20-40 seconds commercials were most preferred for advertising on News channels and the category saw 10% growth in ad volumes in the period.


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First Published on Nov 3, 2022 11:47 AM