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The Current State of The Advertising Industry in India



The global advertisement growth rate is around 4.5%, while the expansion rate in India this year was around 12%: Source

Deciphering the above figures gives us the opportunity to understand the potential of the Indian advertisement market. And, the traditional media market is making the most of this particular boom. For instance, the revenue generated in print media is about to surge at 3.25 billion USD by the end of this given year.

We can safely assume that the present market scenario of the conventional advertising industry is blooming and secured. Let us understand more and glance at the country’s actual market situation so that we can completely comprehend the industry for the benefit of future ad marketers.

Current scenario of the advertising market

As mentioned above, the marketing and advert industry in India is currently generating a lot of hype and sound. You might now begin to think that digital media has played a large chunk to produce that hurrah. However, till 2015, the new form of online advertisement market had only a projected small contribution of 15% in the whole industry.

On the other hand, a whopping 50,000 crore rupees were spent on advertisements alone during last year. Thus, you can safely assume that the traditional outdoor hoarding, print, and digital media outlets still made the most of the market and satisfied all the requirements and needs of the industry.

Experts also state that the advertising market is all set to expand even further in the coming years as the growth rate is all set to increase profoundly.

The current situation of the traditional advertising market

Categorically, there are four major conventional advertisement mediums in the global market. It is the same in India too. The options are as follows:

• Print Media—where newspaper and magazine adverts are given

• Radio and Television Media—or also known as the commercial spots or ads channel

• Outdoor Media—where the advertisements are placed in general populated areas on billboards, hoardings, pole kiosks, shopping malls, etc.

• Transit Media—another out of home advert medium where pictorial ads are fixed over taxis, buses, on bus seats, and on other vehicles

The demand in India for using these spaces for marketing purposes is enormous, as they hold power to serve 1.25 billion people in the country.

With traditional media spending valued at $ 5 Billion for this year alone in India, it is evident that the market is robust and has the potential to deliver. Keeping in mind the population of India, advertisers here, on average, still spend more than $ 5 per person for placing adverts. All these figures are set to increase in the coming years as well because of the expansion of the markets and the excess demand from advertisers.

What is helping the conventional advertisement market to grow?

Advertisers and companies prefer to use the traditional format of brand strategy holistically. The mainstream advert market attracts all types of businesses and entities and hence there is a future scope of growth in the industry. One of the main reasons why advertisement spending has increased so much in the last few years is because of this nation’s ‘developing’ tag and with the commercial emergence of the smaller cities.

Also, thanks to the rise in the e-commerce market, advertisement programs have surged ahead as well. With starting and doing business becoming faster, easier, quicker, and less hectic in the recent years, thanks to regulation changes, more and more small entities and start-ups have also cropped up. Everything has resulted in a boom in the advertisement industry, as promotion is necessary with any new inception.

If you run a company or a brand, even you know the benefits of putting up adverts in the conventional way to lure in more customers to serve. Hence, it does not come as a surprise the way the conventional media market is thriving and magnifying every single year.

How the medium is effective for companies to use

Now we know there is a truckload demand for placing an advertisement in the market, but we must dig deep and understand why businesses are always in awe of the conventional media option. Firstly, traditional adverts are capable of generating loyalty and goodwill in a very quick way. When a new company starts its venture or brings something new to the table, it uses the traditional medium to convey its message to the people. You can touch the masses with this form of advertising.

And, since you are touching the population at one single go, you can also estimate that traditional media is cost efficient than other forms of advertising. The recalling effect on mediums like billboards, radio jingles, and newspaper ads are also much higher than other formats of promotion.

Finally, traditional ad locations and spots can also be bought and purchased in a very quick way, by utilizing the features of an online media selling and buying platform. There are many reliable websites in the market, and this encourages advertisers to use the medium even more—as, getting a prime spot to place your advert is a huge bonus for any brand.

The conventional advertisement market in India is thriving on all fronts thanks to the demand the industry possesses. Also, because online technology is now playing a vital part in making the selection of the right advertising option, brands can now run their marketing campaign straight from their posh offices.


About the Author

This article was written by Sam Makad. Sam Makad is an experienced writer and marketing consultant. His expertise lies on marketing and advertising. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their business and overall ROI. 

Callum Connects

Bryan Choo, Founder of



Bryan Choo gets excited by executing great digital campaigns for his clients.

What’s your story?
Inspired by TripAdvisor and then later Buzzfeed, I created a hyper-local portal in Singapore 4 years ago. now reaches over half the population each month and we have over 100 employees.

What excites you most about your industry?
There’s a certain thrill that goes along with content creation because results are sometimes impossible to predict. Those with strong ideation skills tend to do well and on digital media. How well your campaign did is known to everyone through the public engagements the posts get. So executing great campaigns for brands brings me a lot of satisfaction.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore; a very modern country that offers the best of both worlds. In Singapore, we have access to the latest in technology and very competitive prices. We can tap into skilled labour such as IT from Myanmar and design/videography from the Philippines. Should we venture into production or E-comm, we have access to extremely cheap raw materials. We’re just a 5 hour flight away from China.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore! Most APAC regional offices are located here, making it easier to get approval since we deal directly with the decision makers.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
To think of ourselves more as a publisher and not a review website.

Who inspires you?
Oliver Emberton, Mark Manson, Charlie Houpert and Tim Urban. They are all amazing content creators.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I discovered a franchise that used an amazing way of growing content regionally through user-generated content and hashtags.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
To focus on content geared to social audiences from day one. The biggest mistake of most traditional players is just focusing on SEO-driven content, which does not do well on Facebook. We started off like that but we adapted quickly and that’s when our business took off.

How do you unwind?
I used to play computer games, now I exercise and get lots of satisfaction looking at my fitbit results.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
South Korea. I love the food and weather there.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

Shameless plug for your business:
Apart from TSL, we also run three other websites. which focuses on news, which focuses on food and which focuses on female-centric content.

How can people connect with you?
Drop me an email at [email protected]

Twitter handle?

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
Download free copies of his books here:

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Is International Women’s Day just another Tokenism?



Yearly on 8th March around the world, we celebrate a day for women. This year that was 2 weeks ago, before this article was published.

A Question for You:

Did we change for the better after that day? or

Did we just all go back just to Business as Usual?

And if so, why?

As a psychologist and conscious leadership coach, I work to change mindsets to do more good in the world. We all know bad habits are hard to change. Ignoring Women talent and needs is a bad habit. Calling attention to it once in a while is simply not just not enough, it also assuages leadership guilt. The guilt alone does not lead to sustainable efforts to transformation.

We all know one International Women’s Day yearly is simply not enough.

One women’s group in your company is not enough.

One women’s breakfast in the technology conference is not enough.

One Women’s March is not enough.

But it is the start.

It is the start and we need to join forces to truly take it beyond tokenism.

Join forces with leaders who read #MeToo and ask themselves what we must do today to reduce and end such harassment. Join forces with tech leaders who are aware of the power of money and resources lying in the hands of a few heightens potential bullying and unwanted sexual advances. Join forces with leaders who actively act to counter or stop abuses and want to create new workplace cultures. Join forces with Leaders who promote women on merit, but who also look to sponsor, mentor, and support more women to the senior leadership tracks.

We need a critical mass to tip Gender Parity to become the new norm. We need to dialogue and language new ways of being and leading in the world. We need daily, weekly, monthly habits to make gender parity the daily actionable. What is your daily actionable to not just gender parity, but inclusion and diversity in all aspects of our work and life? Let’s build the momentum by increasing connections across companies, countries, and communities. This article brings insight to what we can do next and communities you can support.

On March 8th, at 1880 ( , a private club which believes that conversations can inspire change and a better world , the Salon discussion was on “Undressing Feminism”. Participants spoke frankly about unwanted sexual advances and what both men and women can do to stop work and national or religious cultures where such actions are deemed normal. One husband joked about how he told his wife he was attending the event and she told him to shut up and listen carefully. We were all listening carefully and we spoke as a group with a transparency that is rarely found in conservative Asian culture and even in rather Westernized Singapore.

Who we heard from:

Matthew Spacie at Magic Bus

He spoke of his work in the non-profit and called out the terrifying statistics that should not be hidden or ignored.

This is an average Indian girl’s gender based obstacles throughout her lifetime

There are about 600 million women in India. They have the highest rate of infanticide of girls. Women are 56 times more likely to die before the age of 5 years as compared to boys.  If a girl does get to go to school; up to 53 percent drop out and only 1 percent graduate. 40 % of the women are married off as children.  If she gets to have a job, 40% are in unregulated work which means they can be bullied, paid less, and anything else without any external regulatory bodies to assist.

Aware’s Executive Director, Corinna Lim:

If the vision is – a society where there is true gender equality – where women and men are valued as individuals free to make informed and responsible choices about their lives. Then we look towards Aware, Singapore (  as a resource – for their mission is to remove all gender-based barriers so as to allow individuals in Singapore to develop their potential to the fullest and realise their personal visions and hopes.

In fact, after the #MeToo movement came out, there were 80% more calls to sexual harassment center in Singapore. And Corrina shared how one in ten women in Singapore has been physically abused by a man. Do know that AWARE’s Sexual Assault Care Centre (, the only centre that supports victims of sexual assault and harassment  can be reached at  +656779 0282.

Survivor of War, Human Trafficking, and Sexual Assault, Lurata Lyon:

Forgiveness is what is needed to heal and also to take the lessons and give ourselves strength. She shared how she was molested in Singapore by a British expat and she immediately grabbed his phone to keep him there while she called the police. Her two children were with her and thankfully a local pregnant woman came and stood by her as the man tried to force her hand to let go of his phone. She reminded the audience that this could not have been the first time this man acted in this unacceptable manner, yet how many others had let his behavior slip through our silence.

Asian Feminist Role Model, Activist, and Burlesque Artist, Sukki Singapora:

“Someone has got to be brave. If it is not you, it’ll have to be someone else. So make it you.”

Sukki braved her family’s strict culture and Singapore’s public indecency laws to fully express herself in her choice of art and profession, burlesque. She left us wondering why should sensuality be repressed? What is the world so afraid of? Her choice of expression was initially considered a crime in the public decency act of Singapore. Now she is a champion and face of freedom of expression for women in socially restrictive countries.

These conversations can evoke small changes in public consensus which will bring about swift changes in the societal consensus, that’s why we have political debates during the elections.  We are part of that dialogue, debate, and actionable steps and accountability. It’s our call to not let International Women’s Day fall on deaf ears. Let’s not just have one token discussion on one day set aside, but make such discussions a daily act.

Thanking Matthew, Corinna, Lurata, Sukki, and Marc Nicholson panel moderator and co-founder, 1880 for allowing their stories to inspire and confront us all again with the unknowing discrimination and bullying we may be supporting under our own roofs.

Like this piece?

See my article on International Women’s Day

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