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DD rushes to cash in on closing ad-vantage
<img style="float:right; margin: 0px 0px 0px 10px;" src=""/>Doordarshan may still be the same in disappointing television viewers with glitches and faux pas, but the state-owned broadcaster is showing some dynamism in marketing the Commonwealth Games: it has increased the advertising rates of the event’s closing ceremony by 150%, buoyed by a spectacular opening ceremony.

Doordarshan, which has exclusive rights to broadcast the Games, is demanding 2.25-2 .5 lakh for a 10-second spot during the closing ceremony on October 14, up from 90,000 per 10 seconds for the opening ceremony on October 3.
Media buyers call it over-ambitious , but Doordarshan is confident. “We are in the process of closing several deals,” said Aparna Vaish, director-marketing at Doordarshan.

Firms that buy media on behalf of advertisers said the new rates may put down several advertisers, but added that companies will still consider it after the huge success of the opening ceremony, which was watched by 29 million people in the country, and India’s good performance in the event, having bagged 11 gold medals in the first three ays.

“Advertisers, specially those wanting to take oneoff ad spots, will definitely come in now, but the rates are not justified,” said Anita Nayyar, CEO of media buying firm MPG India.

R Gowthaman, South Asia leader of India’s biggest media buying firm Group M-owned Mindshare , which buys media for Hindustan Unilever and PepsiCo , said that one-time advertisers and those who may have timed a big launch during that week will be interested.

The picture was completely different just a few weeks ago, when state-run companies NTPC and PowerGrid pulled out as sponsors and several advertisers such as LG Electronics and the Godrej Group decided to stay away from the event marred by corruption charges and uncompleted work.

All this forced Doordarshan to cut back its advertising revenues target from 200 crore to 100 crore for the event.
While it had sold spots for 90,000 per 10 seconds on DD National for the opening ceremony, the broadcaster had given away free spots on DD Sports .

It turned out to be a boon for advertisers associated with the opening ceremony such as consumer goods makers ITC and Dabur and appliances maker Lloyd. They got high viewership and now, they are also likely to get ad spots of the closing ceremony at the earlier lower rates.

“We were the only FMCG company to be associated with the opening ceremony with our toothpaste brands Babool and Red. CWG offered us the right connect,” said Rana Banerjee, category head — oral care, at Dabur India. He said the company would continue to associate with event, particularly hockey, tennis, shooting and archery.

Lynn de Souza, chairman and CEO at media buying firm Lintas Media Group, which bought ad spots for ITC’s Sunfeast glucose biscuits during the opening ceremony, said: “We got good mileage for the brand; the market is definitely building up for the closing ceremony, specially since it falls during the peak festive season.”

Alok Tickoo, zonal head (north & east) of Fedders Lloyd , which advertised its Lloyds TVs on the opening ceremony, said the company has already bought spots for the closing ceremony as part of its earlier deal. Meanwhile, some companies that missed out on the opportunity blamed it on the initial confusion and lack of professionalism.

Amitabh Tiwari, national sales head at LG Electronics India , said the confusion before on transmission and tentativeness of the viewership ratings the Games would generate kept the Korean consumer durable maker away. “We did not even know who to approach with Doordarshan being very non-professional ,” he said. He, however, said LG will not be part of the closing ceremony either. “Now we have already frozen our festive spending plans and it’s too late to change anything,” said Mr Tiwari.
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