Despite the current economic slowdown, brands in India are expected to spend about US$3.9bn on advertising, marketing and promotions during the festive season this year.

The festive season kicks off in September with Ganesh Chaturthi and Onam, peaking during Diwali and continues till Christmas. It accounts for about 40% of overall advertising expenditure every year.

Speaking to the Economic Times, Ashish Bhasin, chairman, CEO - South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network, said the festive season will be a “big improvement from where we are currently”.

“The anticipation is that there will be around 8-12% growth during the entire festive season,” he added.

Best Media Info noted that India’s companies have reported their most disappointing quarterly numbers in the last three years: more than 60% of 125 firms that have reported so far have missed profit forecasts for Q1.

Growth in the FMCG sector has slumped in the past four quarters since July-September 2018, by both value and volume and India recorded its worst passenger car sales in 19 years in July. Auto companies are expected to spend heavily as they try to reverse a decline in sales.

Advertising spend on festive campaigns to boost consumer consumption is expected from traditional advertisers, including FMCG companies, retailers and jewellery makers.

Meanwhile adspend for white goods and smartphones, which bucked the trend and continued to grow, are expected to continue to keep up sales.

However, India's print industry that has seen its revenue and profitability shrinking during the first quarter while other mediums such as TV, digital, OOH and radio are also slowing down – despite enjoying some growth on the back of the general elections, IPL and Cricket World Cup.

Advertising expenditure is expected to grow at 13.4% to touch US$9.68bn with television and outdoor registering a sluggish growth, according to a revised forecast released by media agency Madison; back in February it had predicted 1019 growth of by 16.4% to touch US$9.9bn.

Sourced from Economic Times, Best Media Info, Exchange4Media; additional content by WARC staff