Thursday, August 20, 2009

FMCG cos hog more air time on DD channels

FMCG companies have more screen presence than carmakers and telecom companies on all Doordarshan (DD) channels, though the latter two are pushing hard for rural sales. The top 10 advertisers on all the 50 DD channels are FMCG companies. The data, put together by market researcher TAM Media Research for ET, shows that Hindustan Unilever (HUL), the country’s largest consumer products company and biggest advertiser, leads the pack as the top private advertiser on DD with a 9% share. HUL is followed by ITC with a 2% share. Other top advertisers include Wipro, Emami, Dabur, Colgate-Palmolive, Heinz, Perfetti Van Melle, Godrej Consumer Products and Reckitt Benckiser.

Telecom is the second most-advertised category with media buyers saying that it is bound to find more space on DD. While FMCGs buy more volume of advertising, telecom companies buy more high-value deals at a premium. Madison Media CEO Basabdatta Chowdhuri pointed out: “While FMCGs consume more inventory since they buy airtime across the day, telecom companies buy air-time mostly during prime time.” That’s because FMCG advertising is aimed more at women who would watch TV through the day while telecom companies target the male audience who would typically tune in during the evenings.

Despite the fact that the automobiles sector too derives healthy volumes from rural markets, its investments on DD are relatively lower. Maruti chief general manager (marketing) Shashank Srivastava said: “Our exposure to Doordarshan is less as we are more confined to other satellite channels, which offer a large pie of our target customers. Though Doordarshan is the single-largest network in the country, we are targeting audiences looking for new cars and generating fresh demand.” Companies and media buyers, however, said that DD is a medium no marketer with a rural focus can afford to ignore. Godrej Consumer Products’ price warrior soap brand, Godrej No 1, crossed Rs 500 crore in value sales in June 2009. The company said it has also followed a differentiated media strategy. Over the past 18-20 months, Godrej No 1 has focused its ad spends only on DD, highlighting the brand’s affordability plank.

Godrej Consumer Products MD Dalip Sehgal said: “Godrej No 1 is particularly strong in the Hindi belt, which has a huge DD footprint. So, we decided to put in money behind DD rather than cable & satellite television.” The Kolkata-based Rs 750-crore FMCG company Emami, which makes Boroplus, Himani Fast Relief and Fair & Handsome cream, said its portfolio appeals to consumers who watch only DD, where cable TV does not reach. Typically, Emami spends about 70% of its budgets on satellite channels and the remaining 30% on DD. Rates on DD are about 50% less than that of private channels, so even if companies buy more air-time on the channel, they spend lesser in comparison. Media buying company Zenith Optimedia’s senior vice-president Navin Khemka said: “FMCG is the highest-penetrated category in rural markets so DD naturally figures in their media plans.” Doordarshan is the country’s largest TV broadcaster with a penetration of 107 million households. The number of households with cable & satellite TV are about 73 million, in comparison.

- Economic Times

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