India’s media sector struggles amid lockdown restrictions | WARC | The Feed
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India’s media sector struggles amid lockdown restrictions
Crisis management Cinema planning & buying Digital media planning & buying
The densely populated state of Maharashtra has been especially hard hit by the latest wave of COVID cases, with new restrictions affecting the media and entertainment (M&E) sector.
Why it matters
Maharashtra is India’s economic powerhouse and the centre of its M&E industry. Tough new restrictions, which include a complete lockdown at weekends, are limiting advertising production work – with creative agencies reported to be struggling to finish clients’ IPL campaigns – and shifting brands into different channels.
- The difficulties of shooting commercials and the search for value are driving spending towards digital campaigns and social media. One trend, agencies note, is rising demand for humour in messaging, and campaigns that are more light-hearted. Another is to break up longer narratives into 15 or 20-second bites to keep viewers’ interest. Saliency and recall are the main aims.
- Curfews and lockdowns have played havoc with Out-of-Home advertising (OOH) – but the leading OOH brands are learning to adapt, say observers. Smarter planning and use of digital out-of-home (DOOH), which is able to deliver more meaningful brand-consumer encounters, are seen as the way forward.
- In-cinema advertising was down 90% last year and hopes of a phased reopening of theatres have now been dashed in many parts of the country. Cinemas were already having to battle both the public’s fear of returning and the fact that many movies’ release dates are way behind schedule.
- The answer to the industry’s woes longer term, many believe, will be AI, which allows ads to be tailored to, among other things, a cinema’s location, ticket prices, and demographic. In the shorter term, most are simply pinning their hopes on the country’s vaccine drive.
Sourced from Exchange4Media, IndianTelevision.com, FICCI
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