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BW Businessworld

Arrival Of TV 2.0

In these times of disruption, TV not only continued to be the most desirable medium but also emerged as the greatest common unifier platform with audiences and advertisers alike, witnessing an unprecedented viewership.

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With the lockdown in place and people spending more time at their homes, the reliance on television witnessed a major spike. The ubiquitous TV took over the roles of the informer, entertainer, and stress-reliever, for the entire family and society at large in difficult times, rendering television an essential service during the crisis.

TV binded the entire household together and stimulated aspirations and relatable reality in equal measure. It served as a bridge between the governing bodies and general public, becoming a powerful tool to unify the entire society. We see the habit of television viewing growing stronger amongst the entire family as a unit, even in the new normal as television continues to remain an essential service to millions of people across the country.

“TV’s effective mass outreach was exemplified by PM Shri Narendra Modi taking to the medium multiple times to address the nation during the pandemic, which led to record setting viewership numbers with more than 4.2 bn minutes viewed by 193 mn people tuning in for his address on 12thMay (Source: BARC-Nielsen).TV has over the years established itself as a trusted advisor like one’s own family member with content quality-curated for family viewing compared to the individual centric content on digital media. With a large market penetration and the capability to change sentiments and generate immediacy in the minds of the consumers, government organisations and brands took to television to not just generate awareness about public health and safety during the lockdown but also trigger immediate behavior and habit formation on hygiene and social distancing.

Secondly, on TV advertisers are assured of a captive and trusting consumer base. Out of all the advertising touch-points, TV gives the most favorable impression of a brand – an indicator of the inherent trust that consumers place in the medium," said the Chief Consumer Officer- Domestic Broadcast Business of ZEE EntertainmentPrathyusha Agarwal, on TV cementing itself as a trusted partner for mass outreach both by brands and Government alike.

Twisting Tales of Digital & TV

With the social confinement in play, TV acted as the glue to bring families together, while OTT platforms created a personal space for viewers to consume content. We even observed a slew of digital campaigns from brands across sectors. We asked Agarwal if it would be fair to say that digital has taken precedence in the last seven months or if TV is still doing well as a medium. She commented, “Today, we are living in an AND world, not an OR world and both platforms cater to different consumption needs of the consumers.

In terms of adex, TV as a category, was the least impacted during the lockdown and the quickest to bounce back as well. In Q2’20, TV registered a share of 51% in the advertising pie, while the digital adex stood at a 30% market-share, as per the recent Pitch Madison Advertising Report.

TV witnessed an unprecedented viewership with almost half of India tuning into the medium daily during the lockdown, with a massive reach of approx. 800+ million with a time spent of 4 hr 19 mins versus digital with a reach of approx. 453+ million commands a time spent of 33 minutes. Even so, brands are looking at both together over other media vehicles as the larger ROI generated by TV as compared to high-growth media channels such as social media and short form video across the funnel, has a significant halo effect on digital media channels. (Source: Accenture ‘Television Turns the Channel on Brand ROI’ Study). Essentially, the go-to strategy would be to plan for multimedia, restating the ‘and’ while renouncing the ‘or’ of TV and digital."

The New Language of Advertising 

With the need to spark back immediate demand post lockdown, marketers saw the power of TV not just as a medium for long term brand building, but as a catalyst that generates immediacy and propels large-scale behavioral change. Agarwal pointed out the five big themes that are defining the new language of advertising for marketers.

  • Marketers can influence the entire family through a single medium, a single message at an effective ROI instead of fragmented advertising across multiple media vehicles for individual members of the family.
  • The role of TV characters as culturally connected ambassadors and scale influencers has emerged in a significant way because of their sheer visibility and constant presence in the everyday life of viewers compared to celebrities and niche influencers on digital.
  • As India unlocks through a different model and at a different pace in each state, TV enables contextual targeted campaigns across the many Bharats through regional channels that can
  • Marketers can unleash the mass conversion potential of TV for promotional/ product announcer campaigns triggering immediate purchase behavior in a post covid revival world
  • The need for credibility is now more pronounced than ever before and therefore brands must ensure that communication continues in an environment of trust, offered most effectively by TV.

TV- On the Road to Redefinition

It is expected that in the next few months, we would see TV redefining its purpose, presence and profitability as a medium. The disruptions caused in consumer behavior, owing to the lockdown, have led the audience and marketers to see TV in a new light, which may be touted as the arrival of TV 2.0. Agarwal also shared her inputs on what is in store for viewers and marketers from the medium. “The viewer unit has changed from primarily women audiences to a family viewing unit which has increased the consumption habit, as a result leading to a rise in the overall TV consumption base. Secondly, almost half of India tuned into TV daily during the lockdown (weeks 12-17), 45% above pre-lockdown levels. Lastly, non-prime time became the new prime time with a 70% rise in viewership (Weeks 12-17 vs Weeks 2-4) as the entire family is consuming TV together at all times of the day.”