Festive flavours: Greater focus on online audience, say retailers & beauty brands

Industry players say while the traditional media still holds sway, roping in influencers and going big on digital platforms is the call of the hour

by Nilanjana Basu
Published - September 29, 2023
5 minutes To Read
Festive flavours: Greater focus on online audience, say retailers & beauty brands

The festive season is here and brands are going all out to be where the customer is. And this year, brands are going all out on digital spends. Various brands have also roped in influencers to spread the word on social media and other platforms. This year, consumers will be back to buying beauty products and branded clothes, experts from the industry suggest.

Higher ad spends on digital

Retailers and beauty brands are not holding back on spending to emerge as the top choice for consumers in their category. According to ratings agency ICRA’s latest findings, ad spending by retailers and fashion companies has not slowed down and is expected to continue growing for FY2024.

Influencer marketing and social media have come out as top choices for retailers this festive season.

According to Ullas Vijay, Head, Category & Communications, Bata India, “While the festive collection will be promoted through an integrated marketing approach using multiple touchpoints such as social media, TV and offline promotions, there will be a greater focus on digital spends as compared to traditional media as we want to be where our customer is. For our latest campaign, we took a departure from convention by introducing influencers as the face of the campaign - a shift away from traditional celebrity endorsements. This was strategic keeping the on-trend collection and the evolving demands of our audience.”

Sharing insights on the media mix, Tabby Bhatia, Director at Brune & Bareskin by Voganow, says, “There has been a strategic adjustment in our media mix this year. While we continue to invest in traditional media like magazines and print, we have significantly increased our digital advertising spend to adapt to changing consumer behaviour. The digital space allows us to precisely target our audience, and we are leveraging social media, search engine marketing, and online marketplaces to connect with our customers.”

Another skincare brand, O3+ has also allocated an additional 25% of their budget towards advertising this festive season. Vidur Kapur, Director of O3+ skincare, stated that the uptick in ad spending reflects their commitment to creating a strong brand presence and capturing the attention of consumers during this high-impact period. “In terms of our media mix, we've adopted a balanced approach. While offline media remains a cornerstone of our communication strategy, accounting for a substantial percentage of our efforts, we've also recognized the importance of the digital landscape. Approximately 35% of our media efforts are dedicated to online platforms, ensuring that we reach a diverse and tech-savvy consumer base. This mix allows us to effectively engage with our target audience across various touchpoints.”

With a new surge in demand for Korean beauty products, AmorePacific, a company with many notable Korean beauty products under its domain have increased their ad spend by 10-15% of their current budgets for the festive season. Mini Sood Banerjee Assistant Director & Head of Marketing and Training at AmorePacific Group says, “We feel there will be lot of demand from customers and we would like to reach out to them via ads. Continuous growth in digitization and positive consumer sentiments are all expected to drive growth this festive season. At AmorePacific, we all are very excited for this festive season since we have added new products to the portfolio.”

Barun Prabhakar, Marketing Head of Liberty Shoes, also explained that while traditional media like television and print are still relevant, they were allocating a substantial portion of their budget to digital channels, which encompassed online advertising, social media marketing, and influencer collaborations. “The uptick in our ad spending this festive season is substantial, reflecting our confidence in the market and the positive consumer sentiment. While specific figures are confidential, I can assure you that we have planned our advertising budget strategically to ensure maximum visibility and engagement during this festive period.”

Speaking about their ad budget, Medhavi Nain, Marketing Head, House of Beauty said, “We're excited to share that this festive season, we've seen a significant boost in our advertising budget. With a dedicated budget of Rs 1 lakh for our advertising efforts, we're more determined than ever to connect with our audience in a meaningful way during this critical time of year. We understand that the festive season presents a fantastic opportunity to capture customers' attention and drive revenue growth.”

Demand up

From Myntra's Big Fashion Festival to offline store sales, the beauty and fashion industry has significant opportunities this festive season. Bata launched the 'Make every walk a ramp walk' campaign with exciting products, Colorbar partnered with makeup artists and influencers for exclusive looks and tutorials and skincare companies plan to meet the high demand with new products and social media buzz.

Other than makeup products, the last few years have seen a revolution in demand for skincare products as well. Speaking on this upcoming trend in the retail sector, Samir K. Modi, Founder and Managing Director, Colorbar Cosmetics says. “As the festive season unfolds, Colorbar has witnessed a remarkable surge in consumer demand, a clear testament to the excitement and anticipation building among our customers. The response has been nothing short of exceptional, driven by a notable upswing in cosmetics purchases during this season. Notably, consumer preferences have undergone a significant transformation, particularly within the skincare and makeup domains. In recent times, we've observed a clear shift towards specific product categories, with a heightened focus on eye makeup, lip products, and nail colors. However, the transformation goes beyond color cosmetics, extending into the realm of skincare.”

Eshwar Surana, Managing Director of Raj Diamonds, mentioned that there were expectations of a remarkable 20% increase compared to the previous year's festivities. He attributed this to increased consumer spending, which aligned with the trend of 'revenge shopping.'

Coming to fashion, the trends continue to move towards sustainability and embracing tradition. “The response around the festive season starting Raksha Bandhan has been phenomenal. Customers are looking for more practical designs that can be carried at a family dinner or a get-together or even for any celebration at work as well, says Adarsh Sharma, CRO, FS Life.