Why should brands prefer TV Advertising during Elections over IPL and ICC World Cup?


Key Takeaways:

  • TV advertising during General Elections 2019 is the most cost-effective options compared to advertising during IPL 2019 and ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
  • Focusing on regional markets would be more effective, especially the South zone.
  • Dominant target group would be Male, Age 22+, Urban (except South zone), NCCS A.
  • Two key dates would be Election day and Counting day
  • Advertising Rates would vary across News Channels. To know the rates and reach, visit https://www.themediaant.com/television/election-2019-advertising-on-tv-advertising


India, the World’s Largest democracy, is scheduled to go for its 17th Lok Sabha Indian General Elections in the month of Apr-May’19. The race for the next Prime Minister of India is already in full swing with both the ruling party and the opposition trading jabs and blows on the primetime news and publications.

The last Lok Sabha elections held in 2014, had a clear front runner and the majority up-swing. This time around, however, the elections are expected to be much more keenly contested and followed due to major upheaval across the country.

This is an interesting time for advertisers who are caught in a dilemma as the coming couple of months provide unique advertising opportunities.  From 23rd of Mar, IPL, the biggest domestic sporting extravaganza is unfolding followed by the Indian Elections in Apr-May’19. And then there is the ICC Cricket World Cup in Jun-Jul’19.

Why Advertise in General Elections 2019?

In an ideal scenario, the advertisers would like to be part of all these big-ticket items to create maximum impact for their respective brands. But of course, budget considerations drive this consideration. The brands would like to maximize efficiency and gain the most from their competitors.

In such a situation, let’s evaluate the opportunities and efficiency of these mega properties for TV Advertising:

  • IPL 2019 – This is the biggest impact property of the year and consequently, the regular TV Spot costs are exponentially high. All the major advertisers want a piece of this cake. And hence, it’s difficult for brands with a limited budget to make their presence felt on Television. Advertising on Hotstar might be a better option.
  • ICC Cricket World Cup – Cricket World Cup is the ultimate title for any cricket team especially in a country where cricket is deemed as a religion. The channels also leverage this hype and offer bundle packages across all the matches at a very high cost. If in case, we want to split the matches and take only the ones in which India is playing (for eg. Ind vs Pak), the unbundled spots are costed much higher and driving the efficiency out of the window.
  • Indian General Elections –This is the biggest impact property for news channels and is costed accordingly. Analyzing the recently held elections in MP, Chhattisgarh & Rajasthan, we have seen that the viewership is highest on the day of polling and on counting day. This being held across the country and on different dates will result in higher viewership esp. in the regional markets because of the emergence of the regional parties and the key role they can play this time around.

Also, all the above properties will have a male skew including News Channels, so they are competing for almost the same eyeballs. Basis of the highs and lows mentioned above, it is imperative that one chooses the property to associate with tactical nuance. If you have high budgets, for all means please look at the IPL or the ICC World Cup. But within limited budgets, one shouldn’t ignore the value that General Elections bring on news channels.

Where to advertise during Elections 2019?

News genre contributes approx. 8% of the total viewership while the revenue contribution of the news genre was 11% in the year 2018.

In terms of growth, the news genre is one of the highest contributors. Also, while spots in GECs and Movies genre charge exorbitant prices, news genre spots are relatively cheaper.

Unlike the GEC and Movies genre where viewership patterns remain constant, News genre’s viewership pattern is majorly Event-driven. Following is a glimpse of viewership pattern (2015W41-2017W48) which clearly shows the same.


While we cannot predict most of the major political events, but we know for sure, elections 2019 would drive many viewers. Hence, advertisers must seriously consider advertising during elections 2019.

Regional News Channels: Stars of the Game

If you are a brand with a nationwide presence, TV advertising is for you. But even though you are a brand with strong local clout, election advertising belongs to you too. Following is the breakup of News channels viewership zone wise (BARC Newsletter: Breaking The News)

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As we can see in the above table, news consumption shares of the states vary across the states and zones. Compared to other zones, viewership of news is highest in Southern India. This is due to the higher penetration of television in the zone. Even among the news channels, regional news channels are more popular due to language as well as more detailed coverage of local politics. Following is a snapshot of impressions share between English/Hindi and Regional language news channel on state elections results day.


Thus, we can see that even though the number of Hindi channels is the highest in India, maximum viewership comes from regional news channels.


When to advertise during Elections 2019?

The two most important days for advertising during Elections 2019 are the Poll Day and the Counting Day.

Who would you reach by advertising during Elections 2019?

The viewership of News Channels is skewed towards male, age 22+ and NCCS A.


In terms of rural areas, the viewership of news channels is very low (2-3% as compared to the national average of 7%). However, in the case of the South zone, it is as par/higher than the urban market.



How much would be advertising in General Elections cost?

The advertising rates for General Elections would vary across the news channels from INR 50 per second to INR 500 per second. To know more about the advertising rates and reach of the news channels, write to us at Help@TheMediaAnt.com or visit https://www.themediaant.com/television/election-2019-advertising-on-tv-advertising



BARC Think Newsletter: Breaking The News

BARC Think Newsletter: Anatomy of Rural India

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