Ad Campaign – Digital first brands emerge as big advertisers for ICC World Cup 2019, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

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By Shashi Gupta

Cricket World Cup is the mecca for advertising. This year, we saw an interesting trend as several digital first brands came forward and locked deals with the broadcaster.

Traditionally, the game has always belonged to FMCG, telecom, mobile handset, and consumer durable advertisers but this year, digital-first brands have occupied a strong ‘Share of Voice’ during the game.

Some of the digital first brands that are running campaigns during the game on television are – Byju’s, Dream11, CarDekho, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Amazon Echo, Amazon Prime, Policybazaar, Paisabazaar, Pharmeasy, Swiggy, PhonePe, Uber, UberEats, Cars 24, and Netflix.

Some of these players such as PhonePe, Dream11, Byju’s, Policybazaar.com, Paisabazaar.com, and Amazon have inked tournament deals with the broadcaster, while others have taken individual spot buys during the high impact matches.

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If we look at the brand associations that happened during ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, the share of digital first brands advertising on television was less in comparison to 2019. Some of the digital first players that inked partnership with broadcaster in 2015 included Gaana.com, Cricbuzz.com, Policybazaar.com, CarTrade.com, and Yepme.com. Interestingly, analysis suggests, in 2019, the number of digital first brands as well as the categories they represent have increased more than two-times. Unlike the previous World Cup, the frequency of the ads from digital first brands this time is quite high, and the user is quite likely to register.

Read Also: How lighting brands are shining in, this #ICCWorldCup2019

As per one of the experts, the key rationale behind this emerging media trend is that the market has moved fast in the last few years and audiences are now swearing by the digital first brands for their daily life requirements. Today, ordering medicines, food, cab, education or paying bills, consumers is a norm and users find a lot of ease in engaging with the digital first brands to fulfill these requirements.

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Also, there has been a strong wave of funding to many of these brands in the last few years with investors belaying a lot of trust. This gives these brands a larger field to operate and expedite their marketing activities.

Read Also: Pepsi does it with a ‘Swag’ this ICC Cricket World Cup as Cola war returns

Some of the key metrics that the digital first brands look at while advertising on the World Cup is to break the clutter in their respective categories and obtain a high top of the mind recall. App downloads is another important aspect as they can get a new audience that is willing to test their services for the first time. And, finally, repeat orders from their existing audience is the last metric that these brands consider while advertising on this medium.

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If we look at the viewership data, as per Star Sports, a total of 381 million people watched all the World Cup matches in the first three weeks of telecast and over 321 million viewers watched the India matches alone. For instance, over 229 million viewers watched the India vs Pakistan match. The data clearly represents the high viewership of the game especially for the India matches giving the digital first brands the high impact for their money spent. The broadcaster has been telecasting all matches in seven languages, English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, and Malayalam.

Shrenik Gandhi, CEO and co-founder, White Rivers Media, says, “The cricket world cup is a once in a 4-year event – a holy grail of cricket followers in India, and, therefore, holds one of the most mass entertainment opportunities since cricket cuts across ages and is geo-agnostic. Also, cricket has over 1 billion fans globally, with the Indian subcontinent alone constituting more than 90% of them, according to ICC (Source: Economic times). This number makes sense for marketers to get associated with the sport, not only via normal media campaigns, but by creating experiences. Marketers have an opportunity to create industry first campaign as cricket fans in India actively engage with their sporting heroes and the associated brands LIVE, during the matches, on social media. This provides opportunity for brand innovations, fan engagement and enhancing the live game experience, which leads to a much higher recall compared to traditional advertising on television or OTT platforms. Such opportunities aint common and hence not only traditional brands but also new age, digital only brands are also investing not only monies, but also time in creating great world cup campaigns.”

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Most of the digital first brands advertising on television during the ICC World Cup 2019 are also running targeting campaigns across the digital platforms in order to create a halo effect. The digital support brings downloads, leads and recall to the brand along with an increased volume of social media chatter that helps the brand manager to understand what the user is expecting of the brand and what he/she thinks about it.

Shubho Sengupta, independent brand consultant and co-founder, Actiwear Startups mentions that he expected to see more digital first brands such as TikTok and Dailyhunt that are also active in regional markets advertise around Cricket World Cup. “Most of the digital first brands advertising on the television are not engaging with the consumer. They could have done so much more had they spent the same kind of money or even less on the digital front in engaging with their consumer. There could have been interesting campaigns on Facebook and other mass digital platforms and technically, they are fighting the Samsung’s of the world. It is sheer laziness and they could have utilized the same advertising money in a much better way,” added Sengupta.

There are several digital first brands that do not have the same budgets as the ones mentioned above, but they are also running high impact campaigns on Hotstar, the digital platform of the Star Sports. They have locked premium deals with the Hotstar. The viewership recorded on the platform is also very high, for instance the India vs Pakistan bout recorded 15.6 million concurrent viewers.

Over the years, the results accumulated from different brands have suggested that the World Cup delivers an extremely high impact in terms of sales, conversations and recall. Brands across categories have always made a beeline to be a part of this exclusive advertiser’s club.





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