Kerala media houses pool together Rs 25 cr worth of promo space for Shopping Utsav

Kerala, inundated by floods during monsoons this year, is on the road to recovery following the devastation. As a result of the floods, the Onam festivities were more or less put off this year, which hit marketers as well as consumer buying sentiments in the state. 

Throughout the period of flooding and thereafter, media groups across the country came out with various initiatives to drive funds and other relief material for the flood-affected. They also came out with editorial support in highlighting the plight of the people as well as providing information during crucial times. 

Now, in a bid to give a boost to consumer buying and bring cheer to the state during the festive season, Kerala’s media fraternity have come together to conduct the Grand Kerala Shopping Utsav 2018 (GKSU 2018), a first-of-its-kind initiative undertaken by media houses across Kerala. The Utsav will be a celebration of brands and provide special deals to consumers at large. 

The Kerala media houses taking part in the GKSU 2018 include, Mathrubhumi (print, Club FM, Mathrubhumi News and Digital), Malaya Manorama (Manorama daily, Mazhavil Manorama, Manorama News, Radio Mango, digital), Deshabhimani, Kerala Kaumudi, Mangalam, Madhyamam, Asianet News & Asianet Movies, Flowers TV, Kairali News, Radio Mirchi, and Red FM, among others. 

Elaborating on the idea and strategy behind the Great Kerala Shopping Utsav, Kamal Krishnan, National Head - Media Solutions, Mathrubhumi, said, “Onam is the biggest festival for us; nearly 50 per cent of all marketing related activities happen during Onam. But that was a complete washout this year because of the floods. The products had either washed away or were generally not sold. This led to a surplus with a lot of retailers. After the floods there was a lot of negativity in the market and the market became dull for quite some time. While life is getting back to normal, unfortunately trade has not got back yet. We also realised after talking to national advertisers and general public that there is a belief that Kerala is not going to be up and running for the next couple of years. That is the perception about the market. But being in Kerala we know that things are quickly getting back to normal and there was a need in the market to revive the whole economy. Everybody was suffering because of this perception that Kerala will not be up. We realised that just one category trying to say that Kerala is fine will not work and hence, we decided to come together. It was not a single person who initiated this endeavour, but rather the feeling in the market that brought us all together.” 

Adding further, Krishnan said, “The right people to do this were the media. Media also suffered because of the floods. So, we spoke to all the media houses and everyone was in for it. All media – Print, Television, Radio – were up for this. We also got in touch with brands and retailers and they agreed to get offers running in the market. We realised that the floods had actually affected 3-4 per cent of the population not the entirety of Kerala. The sentiment, however, made it seem that the entirety of Kerala was affected. Unfortunately, people who had planned purchases during Onam were unable to do so. There was a demand from those consumers already and people who were affected by the floods needed to buy a lot of household items again. We found this to be the perfect opportunity. We spoke to the government, who will support the people who lost their personal belongings during the floods. The government is planning to give interest free loans up to Rs 1 lakh to all the people who were affected. This is being given to them so that they can buy all the products that they need.” 

“So we are talking about Rs 1,000 crore being pumped into the market from the government side. This is the first time that media houses, irrespective of the differences that we have, have united for this particular reason,” he added. 

When asked what prompted the media houses to come together for such an initiative, Varghese Chandy, Vice President, Marketing, Advertising Sales, Malayala Manorama, said, “After the floods in August this year, Kerala is back to normal. To start with, only 5 per cent of Kerala was affected. Around 10-12 lakh people who were displaced, returned to their respective houses in a week’s time. Road connectivity was established in a week across Kerala. Also, the Kochi International Airport was functional in 12 days’ time. All these were fantastic rebuilding activities that the entire government machinery and rest of the people helped to bring back to normal. Reconstruction and rebuilding of Kerala is happening and the economic activity is reviving. Therefore, it is the right time to buy things.” 

Chandy added, “There are lot of activities that are going to start in November, which will help the trade, retailers, brands, etc. So, we thought this is the best way to convey a message and hence, decided to come together. This initiative has got the support of the INS, IBF and Radio Operators of India, online bodies, etc. They are going to promote this Utsav and will provide commercial space, which is valued around Rs 25 crore.” 

Krishnan remarked, “That is a substantial amount and will result in 100 per cent reach. It is a big buy, so nobody can resist it and the impact is going to be huge.” 

The Grand Kerala Shopping Utsav 2018 will kick off from November 16 and will continue till December 15. To encourage the consumers, anyone making a purchase of above Rs 1,000 with a GST bill will be eligible for the big raffle, where prizes worth Rs 3.5 crore are on offer. Besides, there will be daily prizes, weekly prizes, and bumper prizes.


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