It’s jingle all the way for India’s Ad world

Back in the 90’s Doordarshan was the ultimate destination for all our entertainment. Not just the shows, even the advertisements with their catchy jingles and storytelling caused much excitement. Be it the Jalebi boy, dancing Cadbury girl, Onida man, Fevicol anna or the Nirma lady, these iconic characters became synonymous with the brand.

The Indian advertising industry has come a long way since then. Technology revolutionized the way consumers engage with products and companies, forcing the ad industry to shed its long-established norms. What emerged was a sharper and a highly competitive industry that quickly grew to become one of the fastest growing ad markets in the world today.

2018 is expected to bring much power to the Indian advertising industry. Having recovered from the twin blow of demonetization and GST, it is likely to grow at 13% this year. Importantly, the growth will be across all media unlike many other countries, with digital outstripping all others in terms of maximum growth.

With this upward trend, India will move up one spot to become one of the top 10 ad markets in the world this year


TV will continue its stronghold due to volume growth with free to air and HD channels. Moreover, cable TV digitization is expected to bring in more rural viewership. Print media which suffered the most due to rapid digitization will see the least amount of growth while Radio will benefit largely from the launch of new radio stations under phase 3 of radio privatization this year.

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Who brings the moolah?

While ad spending will be driven as usual by traditional brands, politics will also be a big contributor this year.

The run-up to next year’s general elections will see huge ad spends by political parties in the second half of 2018. This besides the many states that are scheduled to go to polls this year


Both print and radio, riding strong on their reach and target audience will corner most of these political advertisements. At the same time stiff competition is also pushing companies to scale up their advertising budgets with brands no longer restricting themselves to just 2-3 ads per year.

Digital is the new destination

Today, businesses no longer rely on linear or traditional ways to reach out to their consumers. The growing power of the Internet and its many digital channels have forced them to gain a strong footing online. The mantra is simple: Be where they are

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With huge investments in the online space, the digital ad industry share in the country is expected to touch 18%, up from  15.6% last year. Within digital, video advertising is estimated to grow the fastest riding on cheap data and improved bandwidth.

Social media will continue to see the highest concentration of ads. Last year, Google and Facebook took up more than 80% of all digital media spends


Video advertisements with their highest click-through rates have become one of the most effective forms of digital advertising today. Last year, spends on video saw the highest growth on both mobile devices (74%) and desktop (28%).

Furthermore, with increasing mobile usage, a major share of the revenue in the digital advertising market will start coming through mobile phones. Currently, 53% of the digital media budget is spent on advertising on the desktop with mobile taking up the remaining share.

India’s Global standing

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The Indian advertising industry is staring at a bright future, aided in particular by growing internet penetration. The domestic ad market is expected to cross Rs 1 trillion figure in the next five years, helping it become one of the power players. Currently, the US, China, Japan, UK and Germany lead the pack.

The Global advertising expenditure is estimated to grow by 4.3% this year and India will be among the top five countries contributing to this ad spend


Not just that, both print and TV will also see their rankings go up by a position to become the fourth and eighth largest ad medium in the world respectively.

Overall, the increasing buying power of Indians will continue to drive the advertising business as brands fight it out with among themselves. But the future will be more about actual consumption than maximum view count. Creativity and quality content will, therefore, matter more than ever because we have more options than ever before. This will be true not just for brands but even for consumers.

After all, there should be value in exchange for our attention.

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