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Our marketing budget for IPL is around Rs 50 crore: Shankar Nath

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Our marketing budget for IPL is around Rs 50 crore: Shankar Nath

Paytm, the mobile commerce platform, has recently been in news after it has announced its plan to spend Rs 500 crore on marketing this year. It is an associate sponsor on Sony and is also the official partner of Mumbai Indians this Indian Premier League (IPL) season. On this occasion, Paytm has launched a thematic film, along with a host of other interesting activities which will help the brand to grab good eyeballs during the tournament.

The campaign has been conceptualised by McCann who has been appointed as the Agency on Record for Paytm and would be handling the creative duties for the brand going forward. This account was earlier with Contract Advertising and was being handled by the agency’s Delhi office. The new TVC tries to establish Paytm as the simpler, more convenient solution of recharging by highlighting the various features such as mobile wallet, mobile and DTH recharges, money transfer and online shopping that Paytm provides.

Commenting on the insight behind the new ad, Kapil Batra, ECD, McCann said, “With all the features Paytm has to offer, there is but one word to describe it- Awesome. We wanted people to discover all the awesome things they can do with Paytm. Even though there was a lot of information to be shared, we made sure this ad didn’t end up becoming an infomercial. To do so, we blended Paytm’s transactional aspect with the real human emotions attached to them.” This campaign will be amplified through radio, outdoor and other media vehicles.

Speaking on the company’s IPL marketing plans, Shankar Nath, Senior Vice President - Paytm elaborated, “We have kept Rs 50 crore out of our total marketing budget for the IPL, our brand film talks about making everyday transactions convenient and hassle-free through the various features on Paytm. Also, for every match, we have 120 seconds of advertising time and there are 60 matches in this tournament. We have also taken the ‘Action Replay’ property, where the logo of the company will keep revolving every time on the screen. Thirdly, we are the associate sponsor of IPL and also the official partner of the Mumbai Indian team. So there is lot of action which one can’t afford to miss this IPL season.”

Excerpts from an interview:

Why did you decide to associate yourself with IPL?

We have a slight bias towards our target group which is youth and if you are concentrating on them, there is no way, you can ignore sports. And in India, cricket becomes the defacto choice when it comes to sports. So it started with the India-Australia series towards the end of 2014, but with India not performing well in the matches, the interest of the advertisers in cricket was also low. However, we decided to go ahead and invest heavily in this year’s World Cup. We were part of the ‘Super 4 property’, where every time a four was hit; the company logo appeared on the side of the TV screen. There were a total of 60 boundaries and 50 matches, so there was no way, that viewers would have missed the brand. The reason behind associating with IPL is because it is one of the single largest TV properties, which enjoys great sustainability and visibility. It is highly popular with the youth, because of its format and the Bollywood component adds great level of entertainment to it.

What was the brief given to McCann for the thematic film?

The earlier Paytm campaign ‘Simplest way to recharge your mobile’ done by Contract, was not difficult, because only one feature of the brand ‘recharging’ was needed to be highlighted. At that point of time, that was the communication strategy we had in mind and it was successful. However, for the recent campaign ‘Paytm Karo’, we asked our new agency, McCann to highlight the multiple services of the brand in simple, warm, not overtly emotional and to infuse it with slices of humour, which is not plastic. The TVC was aimed to portray our objective of making everyday life simpler for a vast majority of Indians by using Paytm.

You have earmarked Rs 500 crore marketing budget .Please elaborate on your plans.

The Rs 500 crore marketing budget is spread over a period of 12 months across TV, online and offline events. Last year it was around 100 crore, so there is an approximately 5x increase in the marketing budget this year. The marketing budget for IPL is around Rs 50 crore, our belief is that, we already enjoy a significant goodwill among our users and our marketing initiatives on IPL will help in establishing us even more as credible, mass and consumer friendly brand.

The online recharge space is getting very competitive. With Snapdeal recently acquiring Freecharge, how do you see this space?

Yes, this space is becoming very competitive, but the category is also big enough for many players to co-exist. There are at present, around 1.2 million pure recharges happening on our site daily. Out of which only, 4-5% of the recharges are only happening online. So there, is still so much to grow!

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