India’s film marketing ad spends touched Rs 600+ cr in 2018: GroupM’s ESP

ESP Properties, the entertainment and sports division of GroupM, has launched the second edition of ‘Showbiz Report’, in India. ‘Showbiz 2.0’ is a consolidated India Entertainment Marketing Report, which covers the entertainment industry in four parts – Film Marketing, Brands & Films, Celebrity Endorsements and Licensing in India. 

2018 saw a significant number of movies release across the nation. The total number of movies released nationwide took a jump of 14 per cent from 951 in 2017 to 1,087 in 2018, resulting in growth in film marketing to a substantial sum of Rs 606 crore, with television and digital claiming 75 per cent share of the pie. Television marketing was a substantial 47 per cent at Rs 285 crore, while digital’s contribution was 28 per cent at Rs 170 crore. Regional cinemas contributed by releasing 823 films in 2018, 13 per cent more from the 731 releases in 2017. 

Read more: Sports Adex on Digital grew by 44% driven by OTT platforms: ESP Properties

Vinit Karnik, Business Head, ESP Properties, commented, “Be it the advent of digital fuelling the propensity of content consumption or the rise of content over celebrated star cast, be it Bollywood stars wanting a bite of the digital pie or the investments by the brands, be it the change in the marketing mix of production houses or the growth of new digital celebrities – 2018 in hindsight has been nothing short of revolutionary.” 

Looking back at 2018, a clear divide can be seen between the Top 40 Movies (in terms of opening weekend collections) and the rest, as the former invested an average of Rs 4.46 crore to garner 321K seconds of FCT per film (nearly twice of the rest of the pack) on TV and backed it up with almost 50M views for their YouTube trailer (over 4.8X the average YouTube trailer views for the rest of the films). Another interesting fact was that “Cricket” as an advertising genre seemed to have attracted English films far better as compared to their Hindi counterparts as English films invested 11 per cent of their marketing monies on the sport as compared to 3 per cent by Hindi films. 

Brands are exploring marketing opportunities beyond feature films and with the upcoming ventures of deep-seated digital mediums, there is a content explosion in the OTT world. New OTT trends are not farfetched when compared to the entertainment industry. Engagement numbers are proof that OTT platforms have managed to generate cult-following. The 3Cs, that is, Cost, Content and Comfort will continue to drive OTT platforms. Estimated media spends by OTT platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hotstar, Zee5, Sony LIV, Voot, Eros Now and ALTBalaji grew at an astronomical 207 per cent from 2017 to 2018 with the likes of Zee5 and SonyLIV skyrocketing their marketing spends to tizzy heights. With their spends growing by twice, thrice, even ten times that of the previous year’s, OTT giants are gearing up faster than the cinematic world can fathom. 

With fans not just consuming a fresh mix of content, but also participating in promotions through social media challenges or posts, digital platforms helped B-town generate bilateral engagement and increase the retention value of campaigns. 

Celebrity brand endorsement 

Celebrity endorsement saw a significant rise in 2018. The celebrity-brand industry size escalated to reach close to the Rs 1,000-crore milestone. While the Top 10 Celebrities’ endorsement value grew by 20 Celebrity endorsement over 2017 touching a whopping Rs 605 crore, its contribution to the overall industry size went down from 64 per cent in 2017 to 61 per cent in 2018. This indicates a major change in advertiser behaviour, wherein the brand custodians have started looking beyond the A-listers. Akshay Kumar crossed over the ‘Khan Influence’ in the celebrity endorsement sector and 2018 saw the “Power Couple” baton being passed on from Virushka to DeepVeer with much social media fanfare. 

Vinit Karnik added, “Celebrities and fashion have a permanent bond which is not likely to fade away anytime soon. They will remain the fashion icons that the Indian youth looks up to. Sellable content, brands exploring marketing opportunities beyond feature films and new species of celebrity influencers brewing the social space are some of the key trends to look out for this year for taking entertainment to the next level. Influencer game will become stronger with brands increasingly swaying towards them, vying for direct reach with their loyal follower bases as part of their renewed brand strategies.” 

The advent of social media has given birth to a new domain of marketing which is through influencers on various platforms. Social media influencers might have a smaller audience but their engagement on specific domains is very high and impactful. 

‘Krrish’, ‘Ra.One’ and ‘A Flying Jatt’ conquered successful merchandise sales earlier, following which, domestic superheroes are expected to see a new dawn of franchising. Also, with Rohit Shetty’s ‘Supercop’ formula in perception, the Indian film industry will look at innovative ways of creating and marketing superheroes. Owing to their powerful presence, and direct and relevant engagement, social media influencers are also expected to bag more licensing deals in the coming years. 

Brands are always exploring newer opportunities to reach out to customers. 2018 saw 18 new brands enter the film marketing space with movie tie-ups. FMCG was both, the top spender and biggest contributor in terms of brand associations in 2018. E-commerce is the second largest contributor to tie-ups in 2018. Health and Fitness is another brand category that grew in tie-ups with movies, registering an increase of 4 per cent from the previous year. E-commerce and Health & Wellness will continue to be the sectors to look out for in 2019.


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