While industry experts are talking about how leading Indian brands that are directly associated with the Indian Premier League (IPL) are creating wide social media impressions, one must not forget that there are other brands too that are betting on this cricket property.
Social media campaigns are not just about ensuring a presence on the platform. So what are brands putting forward to their social communities? How is social media communication shaping with brands? What can help in creating better conversations?
exchange4media looks at brands such as Pepsi, Cadbury, Vodafone, Yes Bank, Muthoot Group, and eBay to decode what they are doing right on social this IPL season...
We looked at a number of brands that are not directly associated with IPL but are leveraging branding through this property; we believe Cadbury Gems needs a special mention. The brand made a great attempt by coming up with an advertisement that went online first. This online film not only gives a flavour of the IPL property but also showcases the essentials of the product.
Watch the ad
Social causes click well on social media platforms. Considering this trend, brands are associating with various societal causes to attract social media users to be a part of their community and also participate in making a difference.
The Muthoot Group has launched its new Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaign during this IPL season. The campaign includes not one, not two but three new initiatives. They are ‘Rs 6000 for every 6 and Rs 4000 for every 4’, ‘Golden Bat and Wishing Ball’ and ‘Muthoot Dus ki Toli’. Each initiative is dedicated towards the cause of education of the underprivileged children of our country.
The initiatives have been activated during IPL through the Muthoot – Delhi Daredevils association. The core idea behind the campaign is to build a positive and emotional connect with people across the country and join together in empowering the underprivileged through education. IPL is where brands want to create a great impression. We think by associating with a social cause and leveraging it on social, Muthoot has made a great move.
Watch one of the winners of the ‘Dus Ki Toli’ initiative
Smart content strategy
A social media campaign clicks only when its content is different and strategically effective. Vodafone, one the official partners of IPL, brought back ZooZoos this year, with the new campaign hitting social media even before it went on air on television.
Watch the teaser ad
Along with this, Vodafone also launched a number of other activities such as Super Fan Contest, wherein contest winners were given a ‘money-can’t-buy’ experience – special escort to the stadium, premium seating in the hospitality enclosure and an autographed ball from the winning captain. In this way, the telecom major was able to create an online-offline connect.
Building new communities
In a report by exchange4media last week, we reported how Twitter is an integral part of IPL 6. With variety of applications and features, Pepsi is aiming to make the tournament an unprecedented interactive experience for the fans. With this aggressive push, Pepsi is looking at building a strong Twitter community. Right now the brand has around 33,107 Twitter followers. It is very impressive move by Twitter.
The other side
Having stated the ‘right’ moves, here is a look at how few brands could have done a better job...
Games and freebies
Battle games and freebies are initiatives that have been done to death. While eBay gave its fans on Facebook a chance to take part in ‘Battle of the Fans’ this IPL, the game had nothing new in it. Fans were supposed to choose a team, predict the winner and invite their friends to be a part of it too. Well, we think it was a force fitting marketing idea and eBay could have done a much more effective engagement.
While it is interesting to see how a brand such as Yes Bank is on the sponsorship list of IPL this year, the brand is using a social media platform such as Facebook to display cricket trivia. This is the first time that the brand is associating with the IPL property and is experimenting with social. However, there is a lot more that can be done on a dynamic platform such as Facebook. All it requires is a little more creativity.
Many Indian brands are on the right move. At this stage, these brands are experimenting with content and most importantly, are building communities by leveraging the idea of associating with IPL directly or indirectly.
It will be interesting to see what more will these brands bring to the platform in the remaining days and what will they take away from this year’s initiative.