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The General Entertainment Channels on television bore witness to number of swings in 2020. The pandemic and several months-long lockdown drove out fresh content on TV channels, with shoots coming to a complete standstill. The GEC category instead found a revival through old classic shows, such as ‘Ramayan’ and ‘Mahabharat’, among a host of others.

Even as TV advertising slipped during the lockdown, there was a slow uptick once shootings resumed and fresh content returned to television, including favourites such as ‘Bigg Boss’, ‘KBC’, and the Indian Premier League 2020. According to the TAM AdEx report, the GEC genre covered more than a fourth of Ad Volumes’ share during 2016-20 while the genre saw a growth of 33% in ad volumes in 2020, compared to Year 2016.

Ad Volumes rose on GECs during the 3rd and 4th quarters, following the lifting of the lockdown after a drop in the 2nd quarter due to the lockdown. October and November held the highest share, that is, 10% each, owing to the festive period. Earlier, Year 2019 had experienced the highest share of GEC Ad Volumes at 28%. Advertisers and Brands dropped by 38% in Q2’20, which recovered by 48% and 58%, respectively, in Q4’20 over Q2’20. In 2020, 1.3K+ advertisers and 2.7K+ brands exclusively advertised on GECs compared to 2019.

On the other hand, commercial advertising added nearly 55% share to overall Ad Volumes on GECs, whereas Promos held a 45% share in 2020. The 20-40 second Ad Commercials category was the most preferred for advertising on GECs during both years 2019 and 2020. Prime Time was the most preferred time-band on GEC genre, followed by Afternoon and Morning time-bands. Ecom-Media/ Entertainment/ Social Media had the highest increase in Ad secondages during 2020 compared to 2019 in the GEC Genre.

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In the GEC genre, HUL came on top among the GEC advertisers to be closely followed by Reckitt Benckiser during 2020. Six out of the Top 10 brands on GECs were from HUL, while 3 were from the Reckitt Benckiser stable. The Personal Care/ Personal Hygiene sector topped with 25% share of Ad Volumes, followed by Food & Beverages with 22% share. The Top 3 sectors together added 57% share of Ad Volumes, which were also on top during Year 2019.

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In the wake of the pandemic, Toilet Soaps led among the Top 10 categories of GEC Genre with 9% Ad Volumes’ share in 2020. Toilet Soaps, Washing Powders/Liquids, Shampoos and Tea categories maintained their positions. Four out of Top 10 categories belonged to the Food & Beverages sector. Biscuits category was the new entrant in Top 10 categories’ list replacing Hair Oils. There was, however, a positive rank shift among Milk Beverages and Ecom-Media/ Entertainment/ Social Media categories. In terms of growth percentage, Hand Sanitizers category witnessed the highest growth of 10 times followed by Range of Toiletries with over six times growth over last year.

Over 800 advertisers advertised exclusively in the GEC genre during 2020. Clinic Plus Shampoo was the top brand during 2020, followed by Lux Toilet Soap whereas My Vishwa Technologies was the top exclusive advertiser in the GEC genre. Airtel Payments Bank and Voot Select were the top exclusive advertiser and brand, respectively, during 2020. True Shield Hand Sanitizer was the top Brand during April 2020 to June 2020 and later in Aug 2020 in GEC Genre. Marico was the only new entrant in Top 10 advertisers’ list.