Cinderella effect: 6 fairy tale advertising trends for a bountiful festive season

As consumers look to spend more this festive season, here are the learnings from fairy tales that advertisers can use while leveraging tentpole events and optimising digital strategies to make the brands shine.

By  V NarayananSep 19, 2023 12:39 AM
Cinderella effect: 6 fairy tale advertising trends for a bountiful festive season
FMCG, Auto, Travel/Tourism, Durables, Mobiles/ Telecom, Retail, E-commerce, Cement and Steel will be the growth drivers with new categories like Electric Mobility & B2B Brands aspiring to access the consumers directly demonstrating the potential with e-commerce platforms helping them scale faster. (Representative image by John Thomas via Unsplash)

Festive Season is always an “aha” moment for marketers, media partners and consumers. As per the latest YouGov report released this September, around 31 percent of consumers are planning to spend more during Diwali. This is indeed the most awaited period of the year. More so this year as the first half of 2023 witnessed lower ad buoyancy due to several macroeconomic reasons including a surge in input prices coupled with disruptions in summer weather. We have highlighted some trends below that may pan out this festive season.

Trend 1: Cinderella transformation

We envisage festive advertising to create the “Cinderella Effect” where the pumpkin gets transformed into a beautiful chariot depicting better ROI for the investments. Given the promising GDP numbers for India with an overall 6.3 GDP growth and the October-December quarter expected around 8.1 percent. The advertising to GDP ratio is in the range of 1:1.8, hence stabilisation of GDP will result in the growth of marketing spends.

At the agency, we forecast a minimum 20-25 percent Adex growth fuelled by tentpole events like the World Cup ODI Cricket hosted in India coupled with large state elections and impending national elections in May 2024 as momentum on news channels generally commences 5-6 months prior to such events.

Trend 2: Who is the fairest of all?

Which categories will be visible to consumers and drive Adex growth?

FMCG, Auto, Travel/Tourism, Durables, Mobiles/ Telecom, Retail, E-commerce, Cement and Steel will be the growth drivers with new categories like Electric Mobility & B2B Brands aspiring to access the consumers directly demonstrating the potential with e-commerce platforms helping them scale faster.

Trend 3: Snow White and 7 Dwarfs

At the outset, did Snow White actually require all 7 seven dwarfs?

The answer is probably No. An advertiser could spend on multiple channels/mediums to get the consumer eyeballs for the festive season or they could just park monies on a single World Cup/Asia Cup to get the required audiences. While we have successful evidence of brands built on the back of cricket this is a million-dollar food for thought. The festive season does offer instant reach, build-up opportunities and sustenance options, especially on TV.

With Cricket being aired free on Hotstar, plausible geotargeting options emerge as a great gateway for small-budget brands which may not have the budgets to afford Cricket.

Trend 4: Pied Piper effect

What will help pull the consumers to your brand during the festive period?

Brands are likely to instil creativity and innovations leveraging communications around World Cup Cricket. Apart from contextual thematic copies, we envisage personalised social media campaigns and real-time moment marketing. We will see increased spending on conversational media platforms around Cricket leveraging super personalisation and real-time interactions. Alliance Advertising had experimented for a couple of brands during IPL this year and the response was encouraging.

Trend 5: Jack & the Beanstalk

How do we leverage consumer trends and optimise high brand share?

With budgets being ploughed into digital, being more ubiquitous, consumers place their imprints in the form of cookies, etc, which makes them more sharp and targeted. We have already noticed that 63 percent of the ad impressions are driven through programmatic, as per the latest TAM JFM’23 report, and this trend will increase during the festive season as well. The digital sharp targeted plan will need to be optimised to avoid ad spend wastage as well as efficiently target more interested in-market audiences. We have several success cases within the agency supporting business ROI outcomes like Recall\Sales for a couple of FMCG brands from our portfolio.

Fairy tale heroes have to overcome difficult situations too.

Situation 1: The “poison apple” in the Beauty & Beast

Ensure your brand has good visibility and share of voice (SOV) in the highly cluttered festive period versus the close competition. In case of limited budgets, dominate the few platforms most important for your target consumers and own that space to avoid a poison apple situation, provoked by competition.

Situation 2: Alice in Wonderland

As in this story, things that are safe can turn out to be nasty and vice-versa, especially on the high-spend platforms. This is a good case of free commercial time (FCT) versus content integrations, which may not be efficient cost-wise but efficacious when it comes to shaping consumer perception and outcomes referring to the various use cases within the agency.

Trend 6: Consumers are your biggest “Genie”

Imperative to drive advocacy and word-of-mouth campaigns.

In today’s disposable world of posts, views, likes, comments, reviews, tweets, bytes, reels, shares, add to cart, purchases, downloads, repurchases, etc, it is important to focus on online reviews as a part of the communication plan. As per YouGov Sep’23 study, around 53 percent of consumers look at online reviews as a trusted source of festive decision-making. Hence, it is paramount to focus relentlessly on earned media and consumer storytelling. Only those brands will be successful whose stories are told by their consumers.

The writer is chief executive officer at Alliance Advertising. Views expressed are personal.

First Published on Sep 19, 2023 12:39 AM

More from Storyboard18

How it Works

X CEO Linda Yaccarino fired head of business ops and communications Joe Benarroch: Report

X CEO Linda Yaccarino fired head of business ops and communications Joe Benarroch: Report

How it Works

Selective sections from Telecom Act 2023 to come in effect from June 26

Selective sections from Telecom Act 2023 to come in effect from June 26

How it Works

MIB calls stakeholders meeting on 'self-declaration certificate'; more than 26K SDC uploaded

MIB calls stakeholders meeting on 'self-declaration certificate'; more than 26K SDC uploaded

How it Works

Sun, Sea, and Scam: Adland introspects its ‘poor show’ at Cannes Lions 2024

Sun, Sea, and Scam: Adland introspects its ‘poor show’ at Cannes Lions 2024

How it Works

Amid quality & customer service concerns, Zepto raises $665 mn at a $3.6B valuation

Amid quality & customer service concerns, Zepto raises $665 mn at a $3.6B valuation

How it Works

Atul Chaudhary is the new TRAI secretary

Atul Chaudhary is the new TRAI secretary

How it Works

TRAI recommendations on formulation of National Broadcasting Policy 2024 bring relief for OTTs

TRAI recommendations on formulation of National Broadcasting Policy 2024 bring relief for OTTs

How it Works

Pre-GST boom, post-GST gloom: Online gaming stumbles in India

Pre-GST boom, post-GST gloom: Online gaming stumbles in India