Mon Mar 21 2022
5 min read
What do you get when you take the 6th most attended sports league in the world to every accessible screen of the country? Eyeballs.
We're talking, of course, about the blitz that is the Indian Premier League in a country like India. IPL's brand value is nearly INR 50,000 crores today. Brands like DLF, Pepsi, and Vivo (and now so many startups like ‘Slice’ for this season) have spent hundreds of crores to be its title sponsors and dozens, if not, hundreds of brands have associated with the teams. And now, it is the mighty Tata Group, the title sponsor for IPL 2022. It's an opportunity like no other to grab the mindshare of the vast vast viewership.
But do you really need crores of rupees in ad money to leverage the IPL craze to grow your own brand's value? The simple answer is 'No'. Thanks to the various data-driven and digital tools available to us, we need only an effective strategy and a modest budget to cash in on the IPL tidal wave.
Here are 7 time-tested ways in which you can boost your brand this IPL:
Did you know that the IPL teams with the highest level of at-home loyalty are RCB (at 48%) and KKR (at 45%)? It's wondrous that RCB has such huge traction despite never winning the cup. #EeSalaCupNamde and #KorboLorboJeetbo are now timeless. So if you're finding your marketing groove with regional sentiments, your best bets are these teams. You could dive into what other teams are doing as well, and go forth with targeting more segmented, regional campaigns.
A fine example of this is Licious ad with the regional influencer and actor Naveen Richards. Their USP of ‘Kebabs in 8 minutes’ stands out perfectly in the context of ‘Oh no! The match starts in 10 minutes!’ Imagine how this ad would resonate with a specific audience if Richards was wearing a particular team’s jersey.
Without a doubt, the two most popular IPL teams across the nation are Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, obviously for their tournament track record. Why not peg your campaigns, jingles, social media, discounts to their match performance and key highlights? Doesn't cost you more than a match fanatic & a social media account to get this done!
If we were a ride-hailing app, we'd create a viral campaign on getting an auto by the "whistle podu" method versus booking an auto on our app. Catch the drift?
Here’s a pool of IPL meme ideas you could pick from as well. Thank us later!
Let’s face it, you don’t have to be the title sponsor or a team sponsor to be part of the IPL frenzy. All you need is lots of enthusiasm and relatability to engage your potential audience in the cricket mania. Think of what IPL aspect you can integrate with your main product features or themes of your brand.
The simplest way to go about it is to use some cricket verbs in your marketing strategy. What would happen if your potential customers use your product or service to “Play like______” or “Win like _________”?
To add to the milieu of engagement platforms is Socios, a blockchain-powered sports engagement platform which is already successful with the European football giants. In this edition of the IPL, Punjab Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Kolkata Knight Riders have joined the bandwagon.
In fact, Bangalore-based Empire Restaurants gave out free Biryanis every time RCB won, and they’re a physical outlet! Now imagine what you can do digitally every time someone scores a six or gets a wicket.
One of the things that you will no doubt consider is directly advertising on Hotstar. IPL season is when Hotstar sees an obvious spike in its subscription and you can be assured that you’ll catch most of your audience’s attention there. Cricket is the great binder of this country, after all. If you are considering buying ads on Hotstar, then you have an obvious advantage: Analytics.
OTT analytics can get as deep as social media analytics, and as you begin to find what kind of people are viewing your ads, you can refine the segmentation and targeting on your social media audiences and diversify how you advertise there.
One downside to watching the IPL on TV is the ad breaks. Although the jingles are catchy and the space between overs and wickets are quite short, people still take their eyes off the TV and, you guessed it, fiddle with their phones. Whether they are idly scrolling through Instagram, or are about to make a witty remark on the play that’s happening in front of them, you’ve got their attention on social media. Social media posts are free of cost & no better way to cash on mid-match commercials. Time your stories and updates on social media right when the TV ads are running back to back. Those few precious seconds might just buy you your customers’ attention during a rush hour like IPL. Remember to check out The Souled Store with their real-time match updates & not so subtle plugins of IPL teams' branded merchandise on Instagram.
Go beyond the boundaries of story-telling and into the realm of story-making (by co-creating it with your audience). You could experiment with engagement like an IPL-themed BINGO or some other interesting contest that will get you a great brand impression. When your engagement is fan-centered, you let go of control of your content, but you get your audience’s full attention.
You’ve probably already done this before, but it has to be emphasized again. There are going to be many dramatic turns when the matches are being played, with nail-biting beginnings, powerplays, and finishes. These are the times when you put on your ad-copywriting hat and get really quirky with your updates. Or use those moments to reiterate your product offering organically yet perfectly, like Lenskart did seamlessly in 2020.
Regardless, if the budget is low and you can’t afford to create a trending hashtag like #NazarGhatiDurghatnaGhati, there are always going to be trending crowd-made hashtags that will carry your message far and wide. There’s no better way to amplify the tone of your brand this IPL season than to ride that wave. The bonus is, you get to be at your creative best!
You don’t have to be a food and beverage brand to bring the feel of stadium spectatorship at home. Like Lay's does with their IPL ads every year but our pick would be Zomato for rewarding the customers if they picked the right winner for the match for every order they placed. Contests would be a great way to engage your customers in real-time on your app or website!
Do not forget that people who are watching at home (especially if it’s their home match), are choosing to stay safe at home rather than mingle with a potentially COVID-virus carrying crowd. The contest worked for Zomato in 2019 so imagine what it could do for your brand today!
There are many angles to addressing this practice of watching the match at home. So go ahead and see how your brand fits with the way people socialize at their own home, whoop and cheer for their team, how they arrange their seating, their audio-visual experience, or even how they’re “working from home” while the match plays. Your customers could be hanging out with their friends, their family, or simply with a couple of flatmates and neighbours. The diversity of people sitting in the same space together is something that you can use to your advantage.
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