To Slash or up Ad expenditure this Diwali?

Data from New Delhi-based media agency Zenith Optimedia, part of the Publicis Groupe, show that 31% of the total ad budget for print, television and radio in 2007 was spent during the festive months of October to December.

Consumer durables accounted for 40% of this ad expenditure; packaged goods, 25%, cellular, 31%, and corporate advertising, 3%. Zenith Optimedia predicts that there will be an increase in expenditure on ads this festival season, too, and expects Rs4,500 crore to be spent. However, this increase will be well below original expectations, with automobile and durables players slashing ad expenditure by 70%, says a Zenith Optimedia spokesman.

The dilemma that marketers face this Diwali is whether to up or slash Advertising expenditure considering weakened consumer sentiment all around.

My take? Don't. But know that the splurge wont be as seen before and so the only way to get consumers to empty their pockets is by promising them 'more for less'. I am talking Advertising that drives home promos, that make a purchase irresistible. The promos can both be franchise building or non building ones, depending on the product category.

Take for example, auto manufacturer Ford India Pvt. Ltd which has tied up with jewellery brand Tanishq to offer diamond jewellery worth Rs20,000 on the purchase of a Fiesta car. It has also tied up with Lifestyle stores across nine cities where the Fiesta will be on display. It also has the 'Go Fida' campaign on air, which I think must be kept at levels that can guarantee good recall and fashion favorable attitudes towards the brand.


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