Print’s loss is TV & Radio’s gain in political ad insertions: TAM AdEx analysis

The 2019 Lok Sabha Elections witnessed an ad blitzkrieg from the two leading political parties in India – Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress. While digital was the mainstay of the election campaigns, traditional media like TV, print and radio also led in ad spends. AdEx India, a division of TAM Media Research, has released its analysis of the political ads in the period January 1 to May 19, 2019, spanning TV, Print and Radio, compared with the political ad spends during the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections (January 1 to May 12, 2014).

As per the AdEx report, ad insertions of the political parties grew by 8 per cent on TV and by 17 per cent on Radio medium, while it dropped by 20 per cent in Print medium during General Election Y-2019 compared to Y-2014.

Monthly Trends

A comparative analysis of the monthly trends of political ads during Y-2019 shows that till the beginning of March, ad insertion trends of General Election campaigns on TV, Print and Radio were almost similar. By second week of March, ad insertions on TV jumped up, followed by Radio, while print ad insertions remained flat.

In Y-2014, too, trend of ad insertions remained flat in Print even as it rose on TV and Radio in the March-May period.


In Y-2019, more than 90 per cent of the political ad insertions appeared during the April-May month, while it was 80 per cent in April-May 2014.

The ad insertion peaked in the month of April for both elections, that is, Y-2014 and Y-2019.

Compared to May 2014, there was 3-fold rise in the ad insertions of political ads in May 2019 on TV medium.


In Y-2019, ad insertions of political ads in the months of February and May increased by 3 and 7 times as compared to the respective months in Y-2014.

Like in TV medium, almost 90 per cent of the ad insertions of political ads aired on Radio during April-May 2019, while it was less than 80 per cent in April-May 2014.

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Although a drop in political ads was seen in Print medium in Y-2019 compared to Y-2014, May 2019 witnessed 77 per cent growth in ad insertions of political ads as compared to May 2014.

Top 5 political parties on TV

The Congress party dominated the General Election campaign advertising on TV with 33.1 per cent share in Y-2019, a dip from 39 per cent share in Y-2014.

BJP stands second in terms of ad duration share in General Election campaigns for 2019 on TV with a 32.6 per cent share, making it almost neck and neck with Congress’ share in Y-2019.

Top 5 political parties on Radio & Print

BJP led the share of General Election campaigns on both Radio and Print in Y-2019. BJP had 29 per cent share of ad volume in Y-2019, a tad higher than 28 per cent share in Y-2014.

Congress, which was top political party doing ads in Print during Y-2014, did lesser ads than BJP and stands at second place with 23 per cent share of ad volumes in 2019.

Like on TV, both the national parties – BJP and Congress – were neck and neck in terms of ad duration in Y-2019 on radio.

BJP, who dominated the political ads on Radio with more than 60 per cent share in Y-2014, also topped in Y-2019* with 42 per cent share, closely followed by the Congress, which had 41 per cent share.


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