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Indian consumers consider advertisements from multiple platforms before buying products

According to the Cvoter Media Consumption Survey 2020, a majority of those surveyed identified themselves as key decision makers in consumption decisions. Specifically, 60% of those surveyed identified as key decision makers. By implication the behaviour of respondents constitutes an important insight into the mindset of Indian consumers.

When asked about purchasing decisions, 76% respondents disagreed with the assertion that their choices were solely informed by television commercials. These 76% respondents dwell upon other sources of advertisement, self-research and word-of-mouth to arrive at a consumption decision.This indicates an imperative for 3/4th of respondents to be addressed by other means in addition to television commercials. Such means may lie in the realms of social media, print media, word-of-mouth and research.

It would, however, be a mistake to hastily conclude that print media thus becomes an also-ran in this pie. Facts and nuances indicate otherwise. Social media requires a story, preferably text, to kick start a debate. Similarly word-of-mouth and personal research dwell heavily upon print media as a store of knowledge and information. The print media, therefore, enjoys the enviable position of a rainmaker in terms of building a reputation for a product even within a new age media domain.

In addition to the traditional strengths of print media advertisement, electronic media is also hobbled by desirability of advertisements over the small screen. 75% respondents aver that televised advertisements are more of an entertainment source than information source. The flipside to being a source of entertainment is that it can easily slide into being a source of nuisance too. Indian Premier League (IPL) is a prime example of one such instance. 67% respondents believe that there are far too many advertisement breaks during the telecast of a live match. An astute commercial team of the Indian Premier League ensures that everyone derives maximum share of the pie in order to create stakeholder value. However, in the same game of optimisation, the interests of the audience get left far behind. Therefore,the advertisers end up fighting for the few crumbs of shortened attention span from a reluctant viewer.

This point gets further substantiated by the fact that 65% of those surveyed would like to watch the Indian Premier League matches without any advertisement breaks. Commercially and realistically this may seem like a laughable idea. However, the importance of such assertion does not lie in its realism. Instead, it lies in the direction that it provides. This data clearly indicates that desirability quotient of TV advertisements is exaggerated and if often prone to vagaries of social trends in this era of hyper reactive identity politics.

In conclusion, one may observe that print media advertisement is still relevant and in a large number of cases may be the tilt factor in eventual decision of purchase. The viewer is not besotted to the television advertisement and Indian Premier League adverts also fail to come anywhere near the hoopla that is built around the legendary US Superbowl night slots. TV commercials are a significant but incomplete pie, the other slice of the pie is the print media and its share is impactful enough to merit increased and sustained attention.

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