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Advertising In India Still Has Great Scope

According to the Pitch Madison Ad Report 2017, the Indian advertising industry grew by almost Rs 5,500 crore in 2016, adding about 12.5 percent to AdEx to reach Rs 49,480 crore

Photo Credit : Shutterstock


Among the several aspects that have marked the last 70 years of the communication and advertising industry in India, the two key parameters that indicate the rise of the sector is India’s place in global AdEx (advertising expenditure). From being one of the newest and smallest markets, India is now among the top 10 countries.

According to the Pitch Madison Ad Report 2017, the Indian advertising industry grew by almost Rs 5,500 crore in 2016, adding about 12.5 percent to AdEx to reach Rs 49,480 crore. It narrowly missed the Rs 50,000-crore mark due to demonetisation that took the nation by surprise. But with 2017 expected to be the year of remonetisation, the market is estimated to grow 13.5 per cent, adding Rs 6,672 crore to AdEx to reach a total size of Rs 56,152 crore.

What has made this journey interesting are the platforms that contributed to this growth. Sam Balsara, chairman and managing director of Madison World, recalls the time when advertising in India was all about print and radio. “There were established regional publications even though a large portion of the spend was towards English publications,” he says. Over time, print, followed by TV in the 80s, continued to get the lion’s share, but the shift towards local languages became more pronounced.

Print and TV, now dubbed as legacy media, still command a big chunk of the ad spend. But the growth in AdEx in India is coming mainly on the back of spends in digital, which grew 40 per cent in 2016. It now stands at

Rs 7,315 crore, having grown by as much as Rs 2,200 crore last year.

IPG Mediabrands CEO Shashi Sinha predicts that in the next three decades, AdEx in India will take over global markets. “We are still a largely under-indexed market. The scope for growth in new and legacy media is significant. More importantly, many steps are being taken today that will push India to be among the top markets for multinational companies.”

India’s market dynamics, which boast of a very large and young consumer base, have contributed to it being among the most important markets for global players. Also, there has been parallel sophistication in the creative output from India. In 2008, India won its first Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and has since added a few more. Not only in terms of awards but also in terms of work and ideas, India is now exporting to other markets, especially for media such as mobile.

As India continues its growth journey, a significant aspect would be the contribution that entrepreneurs would do to the advertising world. “Indian AdLand has its share of entrepreneurs even today, but I reckon that as we grow, their contribution will grow to make a significant difference,” says Balsara. If that is a change expected in the agency business where India at 100 will boast of the rise of the local leader, from a sentimental standpoint, the one thing that will not change are the values that will resonate for the Indian consumer.

“As a country, we are speaking customisation, we are pressing on the role of the individual, but I see India as where family viewing, and togetherness will continue to be a decisive force,” says Sinha.

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