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Top 10 Insights for Indian Advertisers from The Year in Search Report 2020 by Google

The year 2020 was a watershed moment for India’s digital adoption. The latest issue of Google’s annual Report- The Year in Search highlights the three 3Vs that contributed the most to it: Voice, Video and Vernacular. But what are the takeaways from the report that would help advertisers

  • Understand the emerging advertising platforms
  • Understand the products/industry that are in high demand

We have covered the above in our latest issue of Top 10 for the month.


About 60% of Internet users in India interact with their smartphones’ voice assistants, preferably in their local languages. According to a recent report by Group M, Exchange4Media and InMobi, voice is 3X faster than typing hence, preferred by new Internet users who are more comfortable in their local language. With the rise of voice, there has also been a rise in preference for audio over written words and images.

As a result, following are some top emerging ad platforms:

  • Google Search Ads in native language
  • Digital Audio Ads
  • Caller Ads


According to the Year in Search report, 4 out of 5 people come to YouTube to learn something new and 90% of the viewers prefer watching content in regional languages. This can be a very good opportunity for niche and local brands to reach out to their audience through creating relevant YouTube videos or targeting relevant topics and languages through YouTube Ads.

  • YouTube Advertising


More than 90% YouTube viewers want to watch content in their native language. There has been a 25%, 30% and 20% jump in searches in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil languages respectively. One good example of the same was present in the report. Here’s the case study of how Bolero used vernacular language to reach the rural areas of the country.

Following are the top vernacular online Advertising options:

  • Digital Advertising in Hindi
  • Digital Advertising in Marathi
  • Digital Advertising in Malayalam
  • Digital Advertising in Tamil
  • Digital Advertising in Telugu
  • Digital Advertising in Kannada


Cricket has a special place in every Indian’s heart but in 2020, the craze for cricket reached another level. The reason was- IPL 2020 was the only scheduled Cricket event that took place despite the pandemic. According to Google Year in Search 2020 report, there was a 100% YoY increase in searches for Indian Premier League and this trend has continued this year too. And it’s not only limited to audience only. Last year IPL saw the highest number of advertisers and this year too, majority of ad inventory is already booked ahead of IPL 2021 scheduled to commence on 9th April 2021.

Here are the links to IPL 2021 advertising (Digital and Television)

  • IPL 2021 advertising on Hotstar
  • IPL 2021 advertising on Television

Local News

There was an YoY increase of 80% in Google searches about “Local News”. As the pandemic called for a local level restrictions and controls, people became more interested in local news and with the fear of newspapers carrying virus, a number of people shifted to digital news format. Here are some of the popular local news apps to advertise on:

  • Advertising on Daily Hunt App
  • Advertising on Lokal App


Last year, Google searches for OTT services like Zee5 saw a 33% YoY growth. Not only this, searches for OTT platform subscription grew by more than 200%. With lack of fresh content on linear television, video on demand came into trend and looking at the growing reach, it seems it’s going to continue for long term.

Would like to advertise on OTT platforms?

  • Advertising on Disney+Hotstar
  • Advertising on Voot
  • Advertising on Sony Liv
  • Advertising on Zee5
  • Advertising on MX Player
  • Advertising on Sun NXT

Home Delivery

There has been a 100% YoY growth in searches for “online delivery” with 1.7X YoY growth in searches for “grocery” online led by cities like Chandigarh, Surat and Indore and 60% YoY growth in searches for “home delivery”. If you are a business and would like to reach out to households through home delivery services like Swiggy and Dunzo, checkout the following advertising platforms:

  • Pamphlet Distribution and Sampling through home delivery apps- Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Jaipur, Pune, and Hyderabad.

Online Game

In a recently conducted survey by Google & Ipsos, 25% of survey participants have paid for online games and will continue to do so. If you are a business who would like to advertise on popular online mobile games, here are a few options:

  • Advertising in Ludo King
  • Advertising in Candy Crush
  • Advertising in Pokkt
  • Advertising in Loco Games

If you are a game app owner and looking for ideas to promote your mobile game app, here is our article series on best platforms to promote your gaming app.

Online Courses

There has been 85% YoY growth in searches for “online course” as compared to flat growth in the previous YoY.

If you are an education brand, this article might be of help to you: Advertising for education brands in the times of Covid-19.

D2C Business Models

Last year, there was a 65% YoY growth in searches for “how to sell online”. With a surge in online demand, traditionally offline industries like retail, auto, and consumer goods were forced to focus on their D2C models. Here’s an example from the report about Wakefit’s D2C model.

If your brand is looking for adopting a D2C model, consider Performance Advertising to increase your sales.

  • Performance Marketing Platforms

Would like to know more about any of these platforms? Let us know in the comments or send us a mail at [email protected]

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