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IPL & TV: ‘The league’s reach and scope is undeniable’

IPL & TV: ‘The league’s reach and scope is undeniable’
Written by publisher team

The e4m TV First summit saw a collective of industry and creative heads discuss and dissect the past, present and future of TV in India. One of the interesting panel discussions was on ‘The Power of Cricket’. We saw Anita Kotwani, CEO, Carat India; Girish Hingorani, Senior General Manager & Head – Marketing, Ecommerce & Modern Trade, Blue Star Limited; Sumeet Singh, CMO, Info Edge India Ltd; and Vivek Srivatsa, Head of Marketing, Sales and Service Strategy, Tata Passenger Electric Mobility share their insights on how sports and the TV industry are intertwined. The session was chaired by Vani Gupta Dandia, Independent Business Consultant, CherryPeachPlum, Growth.

Kicking off the discussion on who IPL plays a central role in this intersection of cricket and TV, Dandia mentioned how 90 per cent of Indian households tune into the league’s matches, making it an impact property. “The reason brands want to be associated with IPL is because of the huge impact it has, and the amount of people they can reach out. Its estimated that IPL has a viewership that is six and a half times that of any other TV property.”

Speaking about why brands line up to advertise during IPL, despite already having large digital presences that their target groups are well aware of, Singh identified two key factors: “We have 99acres in our kitty and the IPL has a huge male audience, which is the primary TG, and there is no other program on TV that provides that kind of reach. Secondly, IPL is not a two-week thing, but an event that is broadcasting two months out of the year. The thing is no one ever tunes out of a break because you don’t know when the next over is going to start. So there’s definitely more attentive viewing and engagement.”

Given that Tata Motors has made one of its biggest ad investments in the IPL, Srivatsa said that as had already been mentioned by the other panellists, the reach and scope of IPL is undeniable. “For us specifically, as a business, it was about a multi-year launch plan. We had several launches over the years and could usually time it to around the time of IPL.”

Srivatsa further said, “We use something we internally call a firecracker approach. Every year, we have a new launch and we try and every time to release it around IPL so that we have a strong launch pad for it. We approach IPL in a We not only have TV, but we have car displays on the ground, tie-ups with players on digital, and a lot of crowd engagement activities as well,” Srivatsa said, adding, “Naturally we orchestrate all these activities. so that they don’t seem disassociated from each other.”

Contextualizing the role the female audience plays in terms of viewership, Kotwani says, “The younger audiences are really tuned in. If we do a cut-off between ages 18-39, more than half were tuning in to most of the matches. So, if you look at the numbers, around 200 million females are watching more than half the matches. If you combine that, it’s 27 per cent higher viewership than that of the top five GEC channels.”

Addressing the presence of big brands in IPL, Hingorani noted that Blue Star had been associated with IPL since 2008, back when there were just 28 brands. “We had just entered the first edition and didn’t know how it would all pan out. And we’ve been present in the last edition in 2021. Despite increased budgets, the number of ads we could afford to be featured in the beginning is lower now,” said Hingorani, adding that despite the clutter, creative messaging through fewer ads could still have a big impact.

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