‘SRK (Shah Rukh Khan) and KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders) are worldly wise and use Matrix when abroad. Do you?’ - the advertising message is sure to surprise viewers for at least a few seconds, after all, it is Airtel’s brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan who would be speaking for international telecom brand Matrix. A few seconds into the ad though, and people will realise that it is not just King Khan, but KKR that is endorsing the brand, and the communication is in context to Matrix’s ForEx card, a new property from the company that is otherwise popular for its SIM cards during international travels.
Matrix has come on board KKR as Principal Sponsor and the brand is ensuring that it leverages the association to the fullest.
Speaking to exchange4media, Karan Sharma, Head – Marketing, Matrix, divulged, “A majority of our annual spends would be utilised for the campaign around this association with KKR. I cannot give you precise numbers, but at present, our annual advertising spends, only for media buying that is, is around Rs 30-35 crore. Of this, we would be spending around Rs 18-20 crore in this campaign. The campaign has begun in print now, and it is going to up its share of voice on television as well.”
Equus Red Cell is the advertising agency, and Kabir Sadanand’s Frog Productions is the production house for this campaign, which kicked off primarily through television and would manifest itself through other media.
Swapan Seth, Founder and CEO, Equus Red Cell, pointed out that apart from a raft of advantages that came to Matrix as Principal Sponsor, the company also had jersey branding rights of the team. He added, “We are in the process of putting PAL (pooling, aligning and linking) PLANS into place. We see great cross-promos. Most significantly, we see it is a great opportunity to launch our ForEx card in addition to the SIM card.”
What is Matrix hoping from this association? Sharma replied, “So far, Matrix has been niche in the manner it has advertised, but associating with a platform as large as this would take us to a broader level of connecting with consumers. We wanted to associate with a brand as big as KKR, because in terms of brand equity, awareness and visibility, KKR is perhaps the biggest franchise, with the largest following of viewers and cricket fans.”
A coup of sorts, however, is getting Shah Rukh Khan as part of the association to endorse Matrix. Elaborating on Khan’s role in this exercise, Seth observed, “I have spent my entire career cocking a snoot at brands that use celebrities as lamp posts. But in SRK I found a great opportunity to present him like he hasn't ever been in a pure play advertisement. He has a negative role that he executes with pure panache and candid chutzpah.”