Diwali with a bang: Hindi GECs bet big on special programming

  •  November 9,2020 By IndianTelevision Team

MUMBAI: Crackers may be banned, but television channels are making sure Diwali 2020 goes off with a bang for their viewers. With the outlook that viewers will stay at home rather than jostle with crowds in the age of Covid2019, Hindi GEC’s have taken up an aggressive stance programming-wise to maximize viewership in the run-up to the festival of lights.

Festive fervour has taken hold of Zee TV. While ongoing shows like Guddan Tumse Na Ho Payega, Tujhse Hai Raabta, Qurbaan Hua, Ram Pyaare Sirf Humare will see drama spikes and highpoints, its latest fiction offerings – Apna Time Bhi Aayega and Hamariwali Good News will see significant milestones that are bound to keep audiences on the edge of their seats this Diwali week. There is a special festive event on the cards for fans of the channel’s top-rated shows Kundali Bhagya and Kumkum Bhagya. During the day, audiences can look forward to the telecast of special awards shows and events like Zee Cine Awards 2020, Zee Rishtey Awards 2019 and the film, Good Newwz. The network will also premiere its highly anticipated collaboration with Balaji Telefilms, Brahmarakshas 2, on the weekend after Diwali.

Colors Bangla, too, has a treat in store for its viewers. “Focusing on the special days including Navratri and Dussera, Karva Chauth, and Diwali, we started airing special programming called Shandaar Ravivaar hosted by the comic duo Bharti Singh and Harsh Limbachiyaa from 25 October, 12 pm. It will culminate over the Diwali weekend. We will also launch a new show Molkki featuring Amar Upadhyay and Priyal Mahajan that highlights another custom prevalent in Haryana wherein brides are bought by people. It will air starting 16 November. Apart from this, we have planned festive special segments on Bigg Boss and a few other fiction shows,” said Viacom18 Hindi mass entertainment and kids TV network head Nina Elavia Jaipuria.

Dangal TV has shored up its primetime viewing with the debut of mythological series Devi Adi Parashakti on 9 November. The show has been produced by Swastik Productions and will be telecast Monday to Saturday at 9 pm.

Ganga Deewali Carnival is BIG Ganga’s hot ticket property for this time of the year. The four-day multi-entertainment, multi-celebrity festivity will begin 10 November and culminate on 14 November.

Promotional sparklers

Besides special programming on the small screen, Diwali is always associated with contests and exciting games. Zee TV business head Aparna Bhosle mentioned that the channel has introduced Zee Wali Diwali contest for its loyal viewers, wherein they get a chance to win gold and special vouchers everyday through 2 November to 19 December. She added, “This contest will be promoted across digital, social media and PR where we will invite our viewers to share their experiences of making rangoli, mithai etc together as a family. We want to give our viewers another reason to make a fresh start, take a step forward, and make a shubh shuruwaat (auspicious beginning) with Zee TV through this contest and our on-going shows.”

With Children's day and Diwali coinciding this year, Colors is going to run a campaign that will show the audience how to bring alive the Diwali spirit with children at the heart of it. The channel will host a #DIYwali party with the participation of notable characters and celebrities. The initiative will have a series of micro-videos that will teach DIY ways to do multiple festive rangoli, food, art & craft activities symbolic of the festival of lights.

On the marketing side, Colors has designed a TV-focused campaign panning across network & non-network channels in all the Hindi speaking markets, along with print presence. The concept of bought bride or Molkki, the channel's newly launched show, will be brought to life with a promotional tie-in with Amazon, where customers will come across a unique buying proposition. In order to tap into the massive reach of 84.25 million people on its social media platforms, the ‘Colors golden petal club’ virtual event has flagged off ahead of Diwali.

Ad spends rocketing too

With market sentiments improving over the last few months, brands have started coming up with new and dynamic ways to connect with consumers. Experts observe that the festive season is the same every year – from consumer as well as advertisers’ perspective – enthusiastic and buoyant, even if celebrations may be a little toned down this time around. OMD Mudramax EVP & principal partner Navin Kathuria stated that if not all, most categories like e-commerce (Amazon, Flipkart, Pepperfry etc), cars, paints, white goods have started advertising.

Jaipuria noted that gaming and edu-tech brands are also seizing the opportunity to invest big and have been receiving good traction for the last six months. She further added, “In the April-June quarter, most broadcasters gave attractive discounts to advertisers which helped the ad volumes to bounce back. However, ad rates were down due to the discounting. July to September quarter has witnessed a strong revival in pricing, with September discounting down to zero for movies and GEC genres.”

According to both Kathuria and Madison Media Sigma CEO Vanita Keswani, the surge in advertising is more prominent on TV and digital. Meanwhile, print, radio, cinema, and OOH are nowhere close to their yesteryears’ inventory levels, though there also is a marginal increase in advertising. The only difference between last year and this year will be the scale of celebrations, advertising and spending / purchasing.

Keswani also mentioned that ad spends started recovering since August and has almost reached the pre-Covid2019 levels in October, riding on the back of festive spending and the IPL. She said, “We expect ad-ex to recover in H2 2020 and grow at a dramatic rate of 60-70 per cent of the collapsed H1 half, or grow 6 per cent to 13 per cent versus H2 2019. This will lead to ad-ex in 2020 contracting by 14 per cent to 18 per cent.”
Kathuria opined that advertisers will advertise only if they sense consumer demand. And many festive categories like cars, paints, e-commerce, electronic retail shops, home loans are advertising. In fact, a latest report indicated home purchase in October 2020 being higher than January this year – when the pandemic had not set in India. So all these signals point to consumer demand going up.