| 22 Sep 2023
Industry mains find penetration of political ads on radio promising, yet less aggressive

MUMBAI: The recently released TAM AdEx data on analysis of political ads, during the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections 2019m saw mixed opinion from industry mains, who saw the growth promising yet less aggressive compared to last election phase in 2014. Radio outsmarted TV and print by a remarkable growth of 14% compared to 2014, while print and television saw a decline of 9% and 83% respectively.

Commenting on the same, ENIL COO Yatish Mehrishi said, “It has not been as aggressive as the last general election, generally political advertisements would start months before the model code of conduct, relatively it is much delayed and not so heavy. We hoping the coming months of April and May will see much more aggressive campaign.”

“Contrary to the belief that election advertising is all incremental, it’s not the case as the Government advertising stops once the model code of conduct kicks in, So it is not all incremental,” Mehrishi added.

MY FM Business Head Rahul Namjoshi also commented on the stupendous growth. He said, “It is too early to say because political campaigns have not yet started, but surely it has to grow manifolds than the last time. This is because after 2014, additional radio stations have up come in almost all the cities, even we (MY FM) have gone from 17 to 30. The radio reach has increased and it should grow up by 30% - 40% than the currently witnessed, 14%.”

BIG FM Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer Asheesh Chatterjee highlighted how radio, as a medium, is far better than print and TV during the election phase. He exclaimed, “In terms of CPT or ROI, radio stands far ahead of TV and print, while the cost is no comparison with print. A good quality jingle in audio is very easy to make and also localised as well as easy to change. But, you can’t do those things for TV as it has too much loudness and clutter.”

“Political parties spend 15 to 20% of the ads purchased in radio. The belief with the medium is very high. Radio is a very beautiful medium when it comes to high frequency, high tenure, localisation, impact, habit change, knowledge, infotainment, RJ led conversations and that’s the benefit we see during the election phase. I would urge them that radio delivers for them,” Chatterjee added.

Table: Indexed growth of Political Ads on TV, Print & Radio (Y 2014* & Y 2019*)

 But the stupendous growth witnessed by radio was not instant as the medium saw a lesser growth in the initial weeks of 2019 as it was least preferred to only rise massively after the sixth week. But, the political ad insertions recorded the highest on Radio from seventh week onwards up to the 10th week when compared to other mediums.

While TV recorded highest ad insertion for political ads during fifth and eleventh week of year 2019, print topped during first four as well as the sixth week of 2019.

Check out graph below

Lastly, when it comes to political parties, BJP’s domination stands out as the national party has ruled all the three mediums – radio, print and TV with more than 50% share in 2019. Congress had to settle at second position with a mere 14% share.

With very less time left for Lok Sabha Elections 2019, political parties are leaving no stone unturned to promote their candidates. It will be therefore interesting to see the political ads game on the three mediums and if radio sustains its lead in the coming weeks.