| 19 Jun 2024
Radio Mirchi emerges topper in election advtg

MUMBAI: That political advertising emerged as a breather for private FM radio stations during the tough times of the slowdown has now been validated by RAM data.

Election campaign advertising stood tall at 22,634 minutes occupying 13.3 per cent share of total advertising on radio, followed by TV Channel Promotions which came a poor second at 10,404 minutes and independent retailers which took up 7,558 minutes. Media observers point it as an expected steep for the months of April and May where independent retailers took a setback.

According to the data, Mirchi led with 5414 minutes of political advertising campaigns, a share of 23.9 per cent, followed by Big FM with a share of 17.2 per cent and Radio city with 15.2 per cent.

Radio proved as an effective medium covering almost 250-300 constituencies in the country. Says Radio consultant Sunil Kumar, Radio has been used effectively by the political parties as it can speak the local language and also reach the youth plus the mobile audiences on the move. The creative teams have also delivered commendable work by utilizing various formats of radio like poetry, humour, emotions, dialogues etc. to disseminate the information...

ENIL CEO Prashant Panday adds optimistically, Radio is better than any medium for political campaigning as small parties cannot afford television. Also much of the battle for elections happen at the local level and radio becomes more relevant at this stage. There was a good response from the interiors and the local parties used the medium proficiently....

Radio definitely saw a surge over print for political advertising due to its reach and creativity, believes Big FM Senior VP sales Praveen Malhotra. Radio industry has benefited from political advertising as it worked better than print and delivered according to the expectations of the campaign managers across the country. Also, time spent with radio is much higher and retention of message is better on air....

As General Elections 2009 were the first elections when private FM broadcasters were permitted to air political campaigns, radio stations resorted to meeting political parties personally with vernacular presentations to lure them. Says Panday, We started by analysing our footprint throughout the country and then approaching region specific political parties from February itself....

Apart from the national parties BJP and Congress, Mirchi enjoyed advertising revenues from political parties like Shiv Sena, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and local parties in the south and northern regions.

Pockets faring well

Radio broadcasters with large networks managed to bag more political ads with a pan India presence. Elections were not a metro centric issue but spread across all networks. It helps to have stations in places like Kanpur, Varanasi, Kolhapur, Varanasi and the overall brand pull matters,... says Panday. Radio Mirchi estimates to have lapped about 38-40 per cent of total political advertising share in the radio industry.

Radio City EVP and national sales head Ashit Kukian insists that metros fared better for Radio City than the smaller cities because the volumes and the prices are more in the metros compared to the interiors.

My FM COO Harrish Bhatia says, The political parties had a clear cut strategy to focus on states depending on their own strengths. For instance, for some political parties, many states with our network were the P1 markets, while for other national parties they were not P1 markets. Hence, depending on their priority, the advertisements burst and volume varied....

Panday agrees that political advertising scene wasn't similar across the country. He explains, Some pockets made more money like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Mumbai while places like Bangalore, Maharashtra received less volumes....

Radio City garnered volumes of political advertising from western Maharashtra in areas of Pune, Nagpur and in other areas having multiple numbers of frequencies.

Dough to the industry

The political advertising spends were less than expected and this can be attributed to the economic slowdown, points out Panday. The total political ad spends across all mediums was around Rs five billion, much lesser than what we had estimated. The private FM broadcast would have made Rs 200 million gross and All India Radio would have earned Rs 150 to 200 million, so the radio industry might have earned 35-40 crores in totality.... The rates for each city differ from another as it is depends on the weightage attached to each city.

Another issue radio stations believe is that the political parties aired their ads only 10-15 days prior to the elections and that brought in lesser revenues for the radio stations.

Where Radio Mirchi claims to have lapped 38-40 per cent of the total spend on radio, Radio city earned a hike of 10 per cent in advertising from political parties. My FM saw an appreciation of around 15 to 20 per cent in their revenues from political ads.


Commercial Time on Radio (Apr '09)

TOP - Category - Dur (Mins) - Share %

1 - Election Campaign - 22634 - 13.3

2 - Tv Channel Promotions - 10404 - 6.1

3 - Independent Retailers - 7558 - 4.4

4 - Social Advertisements - 7525 - 4.4

5 - Soft Drink Aerated - 7168 - 4.2

6 - Cellular Phone Service - 6311 - 3.7

7 - Jewellery - 6196 - 3.6

8 - Publications/books - 5090 - 3.0

9 - Pan Masala /zarda /gutkha - 4939 - 2.9

10 - Cellular Phones - 4901 - 2.9

11 - Educ-educational Institutions - 4654 - 2.7

12 - Corporate/brand Image - 4644 - 2.7

13 - Properties/real Estates - 3590 - 2.1

14 - Two Wheelers - 2890 - 1.7

15 - Events - 2259 - 1.3

Source: AdEx


Commercial Time on Radio (Apr '09)

Station - Duration (Mins) - Share %

Mirchi - 5414 - 23.9

BIG - 3903 - 17.2

Radio City - 3430 - 15.2

Radio One - 2487 - 11.0

My FM - 1752 - 7.7

Fever - 1583 - 7.0

S FM - 1150 - 5.1

RED - 1102 - 4.9

Radio Tadka - 588 - 2.6

Meow - 553 - 2.4

Hits Delhi - 231 - 1.0

Radio Indigo - 167 - 0.7

Aamar Kol - 103 - 0.5

Friends Kol - 82 - 0.4

Hello Chennai - 75 - 0.3

Power Kol - 14 - 0.1

Total - 22634 - 100

Source: AdEx