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Opinion: Tracing media patterns for festive season

The festive season in the second half of the year is by far the busiest period in the Indian media planning and buying industry. Starting with Onam in Kerala to Durga Puja in the East and concluding with a bang during Diwali, we see the fireworks exploding across media touchpoints as advertising intensity reaches a peak. There is up to 30% higher AdEx during these months compared to non-festive months.


Over the years, festive marketing has been evolving. Traditionally, this season was of paramount importance to gain market share among festive shoppers across categories such as jewellery, durables, fashion, and accessories, to name a few. CPG products started entering the fray with higher disposable income leading to greater indulgence and consumption during the festive period. Categories such as soft drinks and chocolates created new consumption moments. 

As more categories and brands jumped into the fray, the sufficiency levels for the festive media weights increased. Evaluating the ROAS of festive vs non-festive advertising became important, with some brands consciously staying off media during this period to avoid being lost in the clutter. Scheduling presence a few weeks before peak festive and other clever ways to navigate the festive period became important. 

The way brands activated themselves to resonate with the consumer’s festive mindset became the most important factor to break through the clutter. As we move ahead, this key aspect of festive marketing will hold center stage. Keeping this objective in mind, Carat strategy team deep-dived into what is needed for ‘Reimagining India’s Festive Landscape’, using ‘Designing for People’ – Carat’s proprietary thinking framework rooted in design thinking. 

It points out the trap many fall into – that is looking only at the shopper identity of people during the festive season rather than looking at their whole selves, i.e., their festive identities consisting of their underlying motivations and desires during the festive period. 

Decoding this across the purchase funnel (passive to active browsers to buyers to loyal users) in the context of the consumer’s festive identity provides rich insights and ways to activate their interest and ultimately get them to buy into and become brand advocates. Leveraging a platform that enables the creation of multiple festive consumer cohorts and then using AI-enabled creative personalization to serve tailored communication builds an ever-deepening bond with the consumer, leading to consumer delight and enhanced brand LTV.

While there is great focus on the second half of the year, the reality is that the Indian festive calendar extends across the full year with different shades across months and markets.

Creating a micro-moment x micro-market extended annual festive plan is a great way to give an exponential boost to a brand’s festive marketing strategy, with a higher ROI compared to just focusing on one festive occasion in the whole year.

This comes back to looking at the consumer in the context of their whole selves and engaging with them so that they gravitate towards us as they migrate through the funnel as browsers, buyers, and users.

Source: Social Samosa

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