We see a growth over 20% on digital compared to last year: Manorama Online’s Boby Paul

The e-publication’s GM – marketing speaks about its Onam campaign, the response, and what categories have shown an uptick in festive spends

Aug 13, 2021 03:56:00 AM | Article | Mukta Lad

The e-publication’s GM – marketing speaks about its Onam campaign, the response, and what categories have shown an uptick in festive spends
 
Manorama Online, the digital leg of Malayala Manorama, recently released a campaign mainly targeting trade portals. Named ‘Nothing will stop a Malayali from celebrating Onam’, the campaign showcases the Malayali spirit to celebrate Onam in all its fervour, yet responsibly, during the pandemic. Further, it looks to become the go-to-destination for advertisers to tap into the spirit of the people.
 
The Local Network has conceptualised the campaign.
 
Campaign India spoke to Boby Paul, general manager – marketing, Manorama Online, to understand how the brand looks to help Malayalis celebrate Onam this year, what are the new festive trends among marketers, and what categories have been big spenders.
 
Excerpts:
 
How did Manoramaonline become a part of Malayalis’ Onam celebrations before the pandemic?
 
Manoramaonline, home to 36 million Malayalis and spread across 200 + geographies, was always in the forefront to enable Malayalis across the world to celebrate Onam online. This was done through nostalgic reportage, immersive online properties like designing digital pookalam, digital onakalikal (games), and multisensorial experiences. It is the time of cautious optimism, and the Kerala diaspora who travel for work and study has always used Manoramaonline as their virtual home to keep up to date with the happenings in Kerala.
 
What has the response to this year’s campaign been like? Can you share some numbers?
 
The response to the current trade campaign was phenomenal, reaching almost 80% of the digital planners and buyers along with respective marketing folks from various brands.
 
 
What have the advertising spends by brands been like this year? Have they increased or decreased from last year/pre-pandemic times?
 
Onam spends started a bit slow this season compared to last year. However, once the ‘measured unlock’ announcement came in from the Kerala Government (17 July onwards with a total unlock of 5 days a week from Monday to Friday) brands spend did go north.
 
We are definitely seeing a 20+ percentage growth over last year from a digital media perspective. In fact, it is heartening to note that digital was in a growth mode even last year too. The most aggressive spenders on digital are mobile phone, OTT, consumer durables, automotive, gold and fashion categories.
 
How did the idea for the campaign come about? What does the media mix look like?
 
The campaign from manoramaonline.com – Nothing will stop a Malayali from celebrating Onam – turns the spotlight on the unstoppable Malayali spirit to celebrate Onam in all its fervour, yet responsibly. It also showcases how Manorama Online will continue to be the go-to destination for discerning advertisers to tap into this unflappable spirit.
 
Kerala, armed with one of the highest internet penetration rates in the country, ranks high in online news consumption and online shopping. Combined with the position in the festival calendar, the sentiment lifting capability, and the state's heightened sense of civic consciousness, Onam is poised to mark the revival of the shopping season in adherence to the protocols by leveraging the seamlessness of digital experiences.
 
The pandemic has certainly impacted the way we live, work and play, but in Kerala, it has not lowered the spirit of Onam thanks to festivities taking a virtual turn.
 
The current campaign is digital-only using trade portals, search, social and various performance channels.
 
Any new festive trends you’ve noticed?
 
One particular festive trend which we can see is in the way brands are trying to reach their target audience using various digital touchpoints. This has been augmented by the pandemic minimising offline interactions and keeping social distancing norms in mind.
 
There is also a marked influx of direct-to-consumer brands catering to festive spenders in categories like personalised fashion, speciality food, gourmet gifting, work from home products, among others.