Pinarayi Vijayan led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government has come back to power in Kerala for a second consecutive term after winning 99 seats in the 2021 assembly elections. The Congress-headed United Democratic (UDF) won 41 seats, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who expected more seats, failed to secure any seats and lost its only seat in Kerala.
The state witnessed extensive political and aggressive marketing campaigns by all the political parties. During the Kerala assembly elections, Television medium saw 7 percent ad insertion growth as compared to the 2016 assembly polls, according to the TAM AdEx- a division of TAM Media report.
With 67 percent of the ad insertions, TV became the most preferred medium during the year 2021 Kerala assembly election. Radio and Print received 31 and 2 percent ad shares, respectively, states the report.
Across TV, Radio and Print mediums, UDF(United Democratic Front) led with more than 38% share of political Ad insertions in Y2021, followed by LDF (Left Democratic Front) with a 34% share.
According to the report, The top 5 political parties had almost 100% share of political Ad Insertions during Y2021. The advertising shares of the national party BJP has decreased by 20 percent during Y2021 over Y2016.
Commenting on the increase in ad insertion shares, PKD Nambiar, Managing Director & CEO, Flags Communications and Chairman, B-Square Group, said, “Keralites are articulative and aware and want to be more aware of things happening not only in Kerala and the country but across the world. They are highly opinionated as a society which makes them watch and read current affairs so regularly. Kerala is also unique, with most of the mainline political parties having their TV Channels, Newspapers like CPIM – the ruling party owns Deshabhimani daily and Kairali TV, Congress owns Veekshanam daily and Jaihind channel, BJP owns Janmabhoomi daily and Janam TV. All these dailies and channels having their fixed captive audience makes each platform strong.”
According to him, The quality of content in Malayalam channels is considered a benchmark even for the national channels, which makes the premium and costly too for the advertisers
Nambiar added, ”Being a consumer state, every advertiser is looking for visibility, maximum reach and captive audience. Many leading channels can provide the same in Kerala. Also, please note Kerala is one of the first states to have private channels, and it does not only have state-level channels, but you can also find micro-level channels too for the advertisers.”
The UDF, which was on the 3rd spot in the TV medium ad shares with 15 percent shares during the 2016 assembly election, topped the 2021 assembly elections with 39 percent ad insertions in 2021 assembly polls.
According to PR Satheesh, COO, MMTV Ltd, “TV has always been high on the list of advertisers including political parties. This year saw greater levels of competition amongst the three major parties, which might have resulted in increased spending.”
“In Kerala, especially after the lockdown, Television has become a medium of maximum time spent by the public, among which news genres received higher reach,” observed Anil Ayroor, Group COO, Flowers TV and 24.
He added, “Post lockdown, all algorithms in life are changing.TV viewership has also gone up considerably. Now we are not able to differentiate between prime time and non-prime time. Among these, the news channel in Kerala got high eyeballs due to many events that had visual importance and minute-by-minute breaking character. This also contributed to the tilt towards news channel viewership hence increase in revenue also.”
“Malayalees across are news-hungry and take an active interest in following politics and the same peaks during the election. This reflects in the viewership of news television channels. In Kerala, the reach of news television is very strong, and that coupled with the interest peaking during elections brings all the eyeballs onto News TV. This creates a great opportunity for advertisers,” said Naveen Sreenivasan, Head Media Solutions TRD, Mathrubhumi Group.
As per the report, during the assembly elections, UDF and LDF were Top 2 parties in Y2021 on Radio medium. In Print, UDF and NDA were the Top 2 advertisers during the 2016 and 2021 years of Kerala assembly elections.