The numbers back the VIVO IPL’s place as a juggernaut in the cricket world. According to Broadcast Audience Research Council’s (BARC) findings post the 2019 season, the overall viewership for the tournament jumped up by 12 percent when compared to the previous year. As many as 462 million viewers tuned in to catch a glimpse of their favourite cricket stars. One of the most compelling details is that 47 percent of the audience was female – which reveals how the tournament has broken the barrier of sport attracting a predominantly male-dominant viewership. To add to that, the tournament is now broadcast in different regional languages, which has only strengthened the tournament’s reach in the interiors of the country.
Over the years, a wide variety of brands, ranging from mobile applications to healthy snacks, have invested in the IPL and gained tremendously. As the country gears up for the 2020 edition, let’s look at a few interesting ways the brands and marketers have adopted intelligently to align with the largest marketing platform in India.
A young brand makes inroads into a competitive snacking market using the IPL
In late 2017, the RP Sanjeev Goenka Group launched a range of healthy snacks, Too Yumm. They signed Indian captain Virat Kohli, a man who symbolises fitness, as a brand ambassador. While relatively new in the market, Too Yumm jumped onto the IPL bandwagon in 2018, investing in the ‘Fall of Wicket’ property on broadcast. “Since there are 10-12 occasions in a match and together there are 60 matches. This makes for a very high frequency. As a new brand just three months post launch, before the IPL, the brand awareness for Too Yumm was about 10 to 12 percent, which shot up to 45 -50 percent during the 6-8 weeks duration in 2018,” Anupam Bokey, Vice-President, Marketing for Too Yumm explains.
As the tournament reached its business end, the brand also launched its new multigrain chips with a campaign featuring Kohli. It used the minute-long slot around the first strategic time-out. Having seen the benefits, Too Yumm renewed its association with the ‘Fall of Wicket’ property in 2019 as well. Across the two seasons, Too Yumm’s brand awareness soared to 74 percent. Bokey says, “If you look at some of the brands in the category that have existed for 20-30 years that occupy the top ranks, their brand awareness is at 85 percent after that long a presence.” In only two years, Too Yumm was able to make inroads and compete against the more established brands thanks to its investment in the IPL.
An online grocery store records a surge in awareness
Grofers, an online grocery store, saw a massive surge in the number of its users due to its investment in the IPL. The brand created a campaign called “Super Savings ka Supermarket” placed in high-impact slots coupled with social contests, which translated into a 45 percent growth in new users for the app. This came on the back of both awareness and consideration scores for the brand, thus showcasing IPL as a destination that doesn’t just provide reach, but also a destination that allows brands to cut through the clutter and significantly influence consumers’ purchase decisions.
In the words of Prashant Verma, Vice President for Marketing, Grofers, “IPL not only offers media opportunities that create high resonance but also cuts through various customer profiles. Advertising during the country’s most popular event played a crucial role in achieving significant growth in orders, new user acquisition, brand recall and reaching out to a wider TG set.”
Apps making a mark using Cricket as a marketing platform
Rarely would you associate an educational product with a sporting event, but BYJU’s recorded an increase in its downloads during the IPL. Not only has BYJU’s created an impact during the IPL, it has raised the bar by signing up as the Indian team’s sponsor. One of the key factors in BYJU’s success has been the timing of the IPL, which is mainly during the school summer holidays. Thus, the educational app, targeting children, makes an impact ahead of a new academic season. During IPL matches, BYJU’s have reported an increase in downloads of their app.
PhonePe used the broadcast space to run a campaign during the tournament in 2019. The digital payment app signed Bollywood star Aamir Khan for its campaign and focused on creating brand awareness in urban and rural areas. As a result of their campaign, PhonePe were able to record good growth during the tournament and reap benefits from their investment despite stiff competition with Paytm making its presence felt through their advertising efforts and on-ground presence.
Rasna –using IPL to strengthen its position
Rasna is a well-known brand in India and has been a part of the ad-space for years. Despite being an established player, they invested in advertising during the IPL to strengthen their position in the market. The effect was immediate – Rasna saw its brand score rise during the tournament. Speaking to Economic Times, Piruz Khambatta, Chairman of Rasna, explained, “IPL is the highest eye-ball on TV event in India and it is a must for marketeers. Last time we were on IPL, even in the final and semi-final we had spots. For seasonal products we require a seasonal kick to come from advertisement and I believe IPL gives kick for actual consumer buys and immediate brand recall.”
The strength and diversity of the viewership has presented a great opportunity to different brands. While the country’s best players make a mark on the field, brands have also started intelligently leveraging the power of the IPL to create an impression across the board and among their key audiences. The various examples discussed showcases how spends are not the only key criterion while considering the IPL in your marketing and media mix and how brands despite their comparatively smaller investments have been able to reap great rewards through different marketing solutions.
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