Net gain: brands mull digital advertising

Written by Rachana Khanzode | Mumbai | Updated: Jun 2 2010, 05:20am hrs
Indian brands are considering Internet as a lucrative medium for advertising, according to Google. In terms of search volumes, automotive and telecom are the fastest growing verticals on Google. With the advent of 3G in the Indian market and the launch of various handsets on Google's operating system Android, the firm is expecting a huge ad opportunity to open up in the mobile space as well.

Google country head (products) Vinay Goel said, We are witnessing a shift with major brands looking at the Internet as serious medium, especially FMCG. During the last IPL session, we had a viewership of 55 million and a number of brands did advertise.

Goel, however, refused to give details on revenues from the advertisement space sale. An advertisement space on the Internet costs only a fraction of the cost of a TVC. Digital advertising hasn't picked up in India largely due to the limitation of its reach to the metros and tier I cities.

According to Google, the top three most searched brands are Nokia, SBI and Samsung. Mobile and VAS services account for 20% of queries followed by broadband and DTH. The motorbike category has grown at 125% y-o-y, while 33% of queries are related to banking. India leads the world in the online interest for investing/stock markets. The travel industry is witnessing a growth fuelled by airline bookings, while IRCTC is the most searched brand overall in travel. According to Google, 30-40% of wallet share of total advertising spend is on education. Online searches related to education witnesses growth of over 45% y-o-y.

However, mobile is a bigger hope for Google. 3G brings a lot of advertising opportunity for us in the mobile, platforms and social space. Social is not something as destination site but make all products more social like our search, email, maps, bloggers and photos, says Goel. At the same time, with the advent of the new web-kit based browsers the http takes directly to Google browsers and that brings a huge advertising opportunity with video, games, animation and other application formats, he added.