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No brands to dazzle Ganpati Pandals this year

By Bhawana Anand - August 18, 2020

Considering a loss for the recent event but vendors believe that brands should save money to execute long term campaigns during upcoming festive season

Where the entire OOH industry is hopeful to see improvement in the situation caused by Covid19 and re-start their business from festival season onwards, the upcoming festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is going to be a low-key affair which doesn’t seem to be bustling with brands and promotions this year.

Ganesh Chaturthi (commonly known as Ganesh Utsav) is the most popular 10-day festival in Maharashtra starting from August 22 onwards this year. But, this time the Maharashtra Government has called for a simple celebration as the threat of the pandemic is not yet over and therefore, it will not be possible to celebrate the festival with the usual pomp and gaiety.

 The guidelines state reduction in the size of idols, recommendation to organise online viewing and has allowed maximum five people at a time to visit pandal. This has demotivated the brands who were aiming to target masses during the festival.

There are nearly 12,000 pandals decked up every year where the biggest attraction, that is, Lalbaugcha Raja receives over 1.5 crore devotees from various parts of the state which becomes the biggest branding destination for brands.  However, it has been called off this year owning to safety reasons.

“This year is a total wash out with regards to Ganesh Pandal branding as lockdown has already been imposed by the state government till August 31. Though, some inquiries have been received especially from outside Maharashtra brands but we have advised them not to do pandal branding this year,” said Ajay Patel, Partner, Jaaguar Media Solutions. The company offers 26,000 square feet for branding in the prime locations during Ganesh Utsav.

Beverages brands like Frooti, Maaza and Bisleri and other category brands such as MAX Ching, TVS Apache, Jhonson Tiles, Hero Cycle are the top spending brands who always have been witnessed leveraging the gala event in Mumbai Moreover, last year, brand MI has created a new branding area where it has installed a digital screen playing content on their product.

Ajay Patel added, “It would be right to save money on the campaigns to be executed during Diwali festival or after that when the market situation improves. That will provide better mileage and return on investment to the brands.” 

The government has also asked organisers to conduct public awareness campaigns, blood donation camps, health check-ups and other public health programmes during the festival.

Haris Zaidi, VP, Coral Media, said, “We are on the verge of finalising a few activities on the similar concept where clients are looking to opt for some welfare activities. We are already planning to organise a plasma donation camp.  Also there is a brand which is planning to roll out a blood donation campaign for 10 days aiming for 1,000 litres of blood.”

There are brands looking to leverage the festival opportunities with alternative advertising options. A Maharashtra based brand; Cargill’s Gemini Oil has launched a digital campaign ‘Iss Saal Har Ghar Pandal’ to keep the spirit of festival alive even during these challenging times.

According to Subin Sivan, Marketing Head, Cargill’s oil business in India, said, “Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most popular festivals in Maharashtra. As a brand that is rooted in Maharashtrian culture, Gemini Oil has integrated itself with the festival over the years.” “A lot has changed this year due to the pandemic but we believe, the festive cheer should not change. Our digital campaign encourages our consumers to celebrate the festival at home keeping the original festive spirit intact.”

In fact, an events and promotions event company has already tied up with a few Ganesh Pandal authorities in and around Mumbai. The company will create campaigns around live darshan, digital branding, post event brand AV, regular update on MCA worldwide, on Facebook page through Facebook Live and Instagram handle/ social media awareness amongst other services.

Also read: Brands line up to grab their pie during Ganesh Utsav

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