NEW DELHI: The number of regional advertisers in India is growing steadily and media agency figures expected them to contribute significantly to advertising expenditure during the forthcoming festive season.

Data from Starcom show that the number of regional advertisers rose 4.6% in 2015 and then climbed 6.6% in 2016 to a total of 12,027; in the first half of 2017, there were 6,916 regional brands advertising but as the festive season approaches that figure will grow.

“The first half of the year was slow mainly on account of implementation of the goods and services tax and the lag effect of demonetisation,” explained Basabdatta Chowdhury, chief operating officer of Starcom.

“But we are expecting the number of regional advertisers to grow in the second half of 2017,” she told the Economic Times.

Total advertising spend in the first quarter of the current financial year was up less than 10%, slower than the same period in the previous year, but as businesses have adapted to recent fiscal and monetary changes and with a good monsoon in progress that will benefit rural areas, there is widespread anticipation that the October to December festive season will see sharply increased growth.

“The second half – when 40% of the spends happen between Ganpati and New Year – is expected to touch 15-20% [growth], we hope,” Ashish Bhasin of Dentsu Aegis Network told Best Media Info. “This would bring the annual average to about 12-13%.”

Overall some Rs 24,000 crore is forecast to be spent on advertising, marketing and promotion during the festive season.

Regional brands benefit from lower product pricing and a better understanding of local tastes and preferences, but some have aspirations to become national brands – a step up that requires them to put in much more effort to stand out and look credible.

Data sourced from Economic Times, Best Media Info; additional content by WARC staff