Black over Gold

A drought in gold advertising in the South; but a deluge of umbrella ads

Published: Jul 3, 2009

The rains may not have hit the whole of India yet, but God is smiling on his own country. That’s good news for the media: Umbrella makers have upped their advertising spends in Kerala. And gold, which was dictating terms to media buyers (what with peak prices and all), is playing a supporting role. Ad agencies claim there’s been a reduction of over 40 percent in gold ads since the start of June.

It doesn’t matter what demographic the channel is targetting; umbrella makers are going all out. While people may not be flocking to buy gold during the monsoons, agencies claim the mood is still good. Last year, thanks to the slowdown, gold advertising was at one of its lowest ebbs ever with an almost 70 percent reduction in spends, so things are actually better this year.

The biggest gainers are the TV guys who can relax with their tea and pazhampori as they enjoy the rains. And there’s a golden lining: No matter what happens, people will buy the precious metal come Onam!

(This story appears in the 03 July, 2009 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from To visit our Archives, click here.)

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