The Great Indian Festival Marketing

 In Insights

By Ashna Shetty (2 min read)

September marks the beginning of the much awaited ‘festival season’ in India. And with it the onslaught of festive marketing. 

Over the years, brands have found their foothold in the minds of consumers by leveraging the many festivals celebrated across the country. It has traditionally boded well for them, considering a majority of the population’s purchase decisions are driven by emotions – a contributing factor to the marketing campaigns that are rolled out by brands to promote their products. 

However, with the advent of a ‘new India’, moulded by social awareness and conscious consumerism, purchasing decisions are shifting and are decidedly more rational. This is especially true for a younger generation, who are coming into their own purchasing power.


As brands are constantly looking for ways to connect with their audiences on a more meaningful and personal level, festival season is for many, an opportune moment to roll out contextual campaigns that are relevant and relatable. It is also the time where the uptick in consumer spending provides a favorable context to maximize sales targets. 

Many brands diligently follow a master recipe for festival marketing, consisting of these 4 key ingredients:

  • Ad campaigns
  • Media strategies
  • Discounts & sales
  • Gift vouchers & rewards

But, is it essential for every brand to join the race to create campaigns to draw in more customers? Yes AND no!


From a purely sales-driven perspective, brands need to hit the ground running. However, jumping on the bandwagon and staying true to traditional festival marketing strategies may not necessarily result in a major turnover, especially as brands crowd the marketplace with similar messaging.

A pro-tip, if you will, would be to kick off a major campaign RIGHT BEFORE the festive season in India begins. Go big with the execution that has widespread reactions. 

You may ask, why? Well, it is pretty simple:

  • The cost per acquisition is lower 
  • There is complete avoidance of the campaign clutter during the season
  • They don’t have competition for share of voice
  • They have the dedicated attention of consumers 

By doing this, brands stand a chance to register themselves in the minds of the consumers with an aspiration to own their product during the festival.

As for what brands need to do when it’s festive time – run sustenance campaigns throughout the season and maintain their cost per acquisition.

Which may leave you wondering, why shouldn’t every brand be a part of this extravaganza?

Consumers are conditioned to buy during the festive season with increasing focus on price over brand loyalty. When brands promote during the festive season, often with discounts and sales, they could actually be harming or devaluing their brand in the long run.

And yes, brands don’t have to resort to discounts to compete, which is why when taking part in festive marketing, creating relevant and contextual campaigns that make sense to your brand without succumbing to festive season hype is key. 

To sum up, brands need to be a little opportunistic but with tact. Festive marketing should come out of business needs with a thought through marketing strategy and careful understanding of your customer needs – it should not be based on a brand’s fear of missing out.