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Venkata Susmita Biswas

Articles By Venkata Susmita Biswas

204 Articles

Recovering from a meltdown

After last year’s washout, ice cream brands are counting on at-home consumption to drive sales this summer

According to a Mintel research conducted in July 2020, 23% of Indian consumers said that they would expect to spend more on takeaway and home delivery of food during the pandemic.

The box office is back in business and Bollywood has plenty to offer

With easing of restrictions, film industry ready for theatres with a string of new releases

Filmgoers are going to be spoilt for choice in 2021 as the release of several movies may clash on Fridays

Booster shot

A new range of immunity products has hit the health and wellness segment

According to a study by Mintel India conducted in May 2020, 57% consumers said they would increase their expenditure on healthcare products

Interview: Ajay Gupte, CEO, Wavemaker, South Asia

‘Brands are doubling investments in content marketing’

Almost 40% of our clients are setting aside budgets for content and advocacy initiatives, unlike only 10-15% earlier, said Gupte

Carvaan 2.0: WiFi-enabled nostalgia

Saregama looks to create additional revenue streams with the new versions of its music player

Saregama earns a 20-25% profit margin through retail sales of Carvaan.  

Influencer marketing under ASCI scanner

ASCI’s guidelines will come into effect by the end of March after consultations with industry stakeholders

Influencer marketing is booming in India on social media platforms and is estimated to be worth $75-100 million as per digital marketing agency AdLift

Desi spirit

Homegrown liquor brands add zing to their blends with local ingredients

According to a study by Mintel India, incorporating regional herbs and spices, and dialling up provenance and ingredient purity are attributes coveted by affluent Indian consumers.

Interview: Nina Lekhi, MD and chief design curator, Baggit

‘Opportunity in mass markets is thrice that of in urban cities’

The company expects its sales to return to the pre-Covid levels in FY22

One-time watch

The pay-per-view streaming biz in India is gathering steam, as BookMyShow and Eros Now, too, join the fray

Typically, films premiere on digital platforms about six to eight weeks after their theatrical release.

Messiah Sonu Sood darling of brands too

Sood is said to be charging about `1-2 crore per endorsement

Automotive brands like Jeep, laundry detergent brand Woosh, maker of personal computers Acer and most recently, leading smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, have leveraged Sood among others

Fitness test

Can offline gyms make a strong comeback?

Globally, the fitness centre and gymnasium business is under immense stress.

Interview: Sameer Nair, CEO, Applause Entertainment

‘Cost of creating content rising 10-30% every year’

All platforms are uniformly trying to develop original content and be more local

Licence to pivot

Pop-culture merchandise brands diversify offerings and take the omnichannel route to stay relevant

Even though merchandising is a crucial part of a film or show’s marketing plan, the pop-culture products category itself is yet to flourish in India.

Brands leverage chemistry among celeb couples

Real-life celebrity pairs make sense for brands in terms of visibility as well as fees

A star of the stature of Kohli charges about `5-6 crore per day as his endorsement fee, and the rate for a pair could be in the range of `8-12 crore

Fresh faces of cricket attract interest from brands

Brands which are normally risk averse may want to sign up cricketers who have become stars overnight to make the best use of the immediate opportunity

During IPL 2020, Dream 11 ran a campaign which included a host of cricketers such as MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya.

India gets a caffeine fix

A variety of D2C coffee brands have entered the market

According to industry estimates, 80% of India’s coffee consumption comes from south India.

Interview: Nikhil Rungta, country manager, Verizon Media

‘Live streaming coming of age is a key outcome of the pandemic’

From online retailers trying to create virtual trial rooms, product demos and test drives, to making offline experiences like real estate site visits virtual, brands of all categories experiment with immersive technologies

2020: Rise of paid subscribers

How OTT platforms have benefitted from the dearth of entertainment avenues in the past year

According to India Brand Equity Foundation, the OTT sector in India witnessed a 30% rise in the number of paid subscribers, from 22.2 million to 29 million, between March and July 2020 alone.

With WhatsApp’s privacy woes, other messaging apps benefit

Because people are making profiles on multiple apps, “as we move forward, we may see that the era of monolithic social messaging platforms is potentially over, and various apps need to co-exist,” says Ram.

What is unclear is if the current public conversation around privacy will have a lasting effect on WhatsApp’s user base.

Turning the page

Bookstores and publishers embrace digital to drive sales

Bookstore chains and independent book shops have pivoted to home delivery of books through tie-ups with delivery partners.

Interview: Shantanu Deshpande, founder and CEO, Bombay Shaving Company

‘Tie-ups with salons erode our brand equity’

The pandemic has accelerated the women’s hair removal products market, especially of razors

Honey brands start multimedia ad blitzkrieg

According to a study by TAM, advertising volumes for the honey category in the print medium grew nine times during December 2020 compared to November 2020.

In Q1FY21, Dabur saw more than 60% surge in demand for Dabur Honey.

Olive oil hits a ‘home’ run

The consumption of olive oil in Indian homes has seen an uptick in the past six months

The steep pricing of olive oil has always come in the way of it becoming a popular choice among Indian customers.

OTTs and the regional rush

India’s OTT industry is seeing the rise of regional language video streaming platforms

An annual subscription for Hoichoi is priced at Rs 599.

Ad industry likely to revive in H2 next year

As per a KPMG report, `57,900 crore will be earned in advertising revenue by media houses in 2020

India, which was ranked the third-largest market for advertising by GroupM in 2019, may clock the highest decline among other top markets

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