SUM­MER SIZZLES

The ad­vent of sum­mer en­riches life­styles with new prod­ucts and new themes. Slo­gan ex­plores the pos­si­bil­i­ties.

Slogan - - FRONT PAGE - By Mahrukh Fa­rooq

The on­set of sum­mer brings with it, apart from the dreaded heat and fre­quent load shed­ding, a vir­tual on­slaught of ad­ver­tise­ments pro­mot­ing prod­ucts that claim to al­le­vi­ate peo­ple’s suf­fer­ings.

For the past two years or so, as luck would have it, the month of Ra­madan hap­pens to fall in this par­tic­u­lar sea­son, which nor­mally lasts from the be­gin­ning of May un­til mid-Au­gust. As a re­sult, much of what is seen on tele­vi­sion are com­mer­cials push­ing the lat­est vari­ant of Rooh Afza or other healthy op­tions as cold bev­er­ages such as Li­moo Paani or Sun­sip which can be con­sumed at if­tar. The lat­est Olper’s ad fea­tures an­other pop­u­lar bev­er­age, Sprite, to be con­sumed with the milk brand, which pro­vides young peo­ple with an­other in­ter­est­ing op­tion.

Apart from the reg­u­lar stream of cook­ing oil ad­verts that pro­mote the im­por­tance of fam­ily time (pay­ing spe­cial ref­er­ence to the rather pop­u­lar adage, ‘A fam­ily that eats to­gether, stays to­gether’), sum­mer in Pak­istan also paves the way for com­mer­cials re­lated to cool­ers, air-con­di­tion­ers and fans. Equipped with a rather com­pre­hen­sive un­der­stand­ing of the way elec­tri­cic sup­ply func­tions in Pak­istan – a rather sorry state of af­fairs in­volv­ing unan­nounced power short­ages and fre­quent fluc­tu­a­tions in volt­age, re­sult­ing in many an ap­pli­ance breath­ing its last – many of these com­mer­cials have started to ad­ver­tise in­verter ACs. A new en­trant in the mar­ket, in­verter ACs, par­tic­u­larly those from Kenwood, Haier and Ori­ent, are rapidly gain­ing mas­sive pop­u­lar­ity sim­ply due to their abil­ity to with­stand mas­sive fluc­tu­a­tions as well as con­serv­ing en­ergy which can ul­ti­mately re­sult in an in­di­vid­ual sav­ing up to 60% on the elec­tric­ity bill.

Ad­ver­tise­ments for other prod­ucts such as UPS’s and bat­ter­ies are also gain­ing trac­tion for the same rea­son and pro­vid­ing the av­er­age Pak­istani cit­i­zen with a lot of op­tions to choose from when it comes to es­cap­ing the heat.

For women, the ar­rival of the lat­est lawn col­lec­tions sport­ing new and unique de­signs is the ul­ti­mate high­light of the sum­mer. Pre­vi­ously lim­ited to out­door ad­ver­tis­ing plat­forms, many de­signer brands, such as Fir­dous, Al-Karam,

Gul Ahmed Shehla Cha­toor, Sana Sa­fi­naz and HSY, have be­gun to make use of elec­tronic me­dia in or­der to reach out to a much wider au­di­ence. Pro­mot­ing the im­age of both com­fort and style in the harsh sum­mer con­di­tions, many of the de­signer brands gen­er­ate a con­sid­er­able amount of ap­peal through these meth­ods.

Al­most all the afore­men­tioned prod­ucts have some kind of sea­sonal rel­e­vance at­tached to them i.e. to help you es­cape the sum­mer heat and make the most of the sum­mer hol­i­days. How­ever, there are many other prod­ucts that may not have any­thing to do with the sum­mer yet still en­gage in in­creased ad­ver­tis­ing dur­ing the sum­mer months. A num­ber of tele­com com­pa­nies for ex­am­ple, in­clud­ing Te­lenor, Mo­bilink and Ufone, ac­tu­ally in­crease their ad­ver­tis­ing ex­pen­di­ture dur­ing the sum­mers. In fact, ac­cord­ing to the TV Ad­ver­tis­ing Anal­y­sis Re­port re­leased by the Pak­istan Ad­ver­tis­ing So­ci­ety (PAS) and Me­di­aBank Pak­istan, for May 2015, the top three brands that were ad­ver­tised ex­ten­sively dur­ing the sum­mer were Te­lenor, Det­tol Soap and Pepsi.

The re­port went on to high­light the top three cat­e­gories that en­joyed the high­est share of ad­ver­tis­ing min­utes on tele­vi­sion dur­ing the sum­mer. These in­cluded bev­er­ages, cel­lu­lar com­mu­ni­ca­tions and per­sonal prod­ucts. Unilever topped the list as the most ad­ver­tised com­pany on tele­vi­sion with a whop­ping 15% (which is iron­i­cally the cu­mu­la­tive fig­ure of ad­ver­tis­ing shared by the com­pany’s other con­tem­po­raries; Nes­tle, Pepsi Cola and Te­lenor). News and en­ter­tain­ment re­mained the most pre­ferred seg­ments for ad­ver­tis­ing with NewsOne top­ping the list of TV chan­nels with the most ad­ver­tis­ing.

Ques­tions then arise about the ad­ver­tis­ing of prod­ucts and ser­vices dur­ing the sum­mer months. Is it be­cause the au­di­ence dur­ing the sum­mer is larger or more at­ten­tive? Or is it be­cause the im­pact of cer­tain ad­ver­tise­ments is likely to be greater in this sea­son?

To ex­plain the ra­tio­nale be­hind de­ci­sions made by ad­ver­tis­ers in sum­mers, ref­er­ence can be made to a re­search study con­ducted by Or­bis Mar­ket­ing. This is a mar­ket­ing con­sult­ing agency that of­fers me­dia plan­ning and buy­ing ser­vices. Although the study is fo­cused specif­i­cally on vis­its to fi­nan­cial news web­sites, much of it can be re­lated to other prod­uct cat­e­gories.

The first hy­poth­e­sis pre­sented in the re­port is whether the au­di­ence dur­ing the sum­mer months is smaller. A sim­ple over­view of the re­port is enough to dis­prove this state­ment. Through the time band split of ad­ver­tise­ments on lead­ing news and en­ter­tain­ment chan­nels, one can see the per­cent­age share of ad­ver­tis­ing min­utes for each time slot which, in turn, in­di­cates the to­tal rate of view­er­ship in each. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the high­est per­cent­age ex­isted in the Prime Time cat­e­gory (7 pm to 11 pm) with 27%. The af­ter­noon slot (noon to 5 pm) came in sec­ond with 25% while the morn­ing slot (6 am to noon) came in third with 20%.

These sta­tis­tics make sense, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the fact that schools are closed dur­ing this pe­riod and more peo­ple are able to take time off to spend with their friends and fam­ily , whether in the form of out­ings or in front of the TV.

The sec­ond hy­poth­e­sis high­lighted in the re­port re­lates to the level of im­pact on a spec­i­fied tar­get mar­ket as a re­sult of in­creased ad­ver­tis­ing dur­ing the sum­mer months. This is also made clear by the re­port through an em­pha­sis on the in­crease of ad­ver­tis­ing min­utes; the to­tal min­utes of ad­ver­tis­ing be­tween April 2015 and May 2015 in­creased by a to­tal of 6%. Sim­i­larly, a com­par­i­son drawn be­tween ad­ver­tis­ing trends of the pre­vi­ous year to those that pre­vail this year shows that the to­tal num­ber of ad­ver­tis­ing min­utes has in­creased by 28%. This in­di­cates the ad­ver­tiser’s per­spec­tive with re­gard to the over­all re­sponse rate dur­ing the sum­mer months. Since most peo­ple will be at home and in front of the TV for longer pe­ri­ods of time, they are more likely to pay at­ten­tion to cer­tain ad­ver­tise­ment mes­sages that may re­late to their needs at the time.

Ow­ing to the ex­tremely pos­i­tive re­sponse to cer­tain ad­ver­tise­ments dur­ing the sum­mer sea­son, it is then no won­der how some brands in­sist on in­creas­ing their ad­ver­tis­ing ex­pen­di­ture in this pe­riod. One can only hope that in the rush to be the first to reach the cus­tomer, brands do not end up com­pro­mis­ing on the qual­ity of de­liv­ery of their mes­sage – or the prod­uct even in the sum­mer.

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