With less than a week left for the biggest cricket extravaganza to begin, marketers are looking forward to spend on the hot property, but cautiously. The tournament being played on foreign soil (Australia and New Zealand), odd timings of matches and poor performance of Team India in recent matches are some of the reasons that have cast doubts in the minds of marketers over spending on the World Cup.
Sunil Kataria, COO – Sales, Marketing and SAARC at Godrej Consumer Products, says one has to carry out some risk assessment because while it comes at a high cost, it has to be seen what the World Cup does in terms of brand-building. He speaks on ad spends by marketers on media during the tournament and in 2015. Excerpts:
What are your thoughts on the World Cup 2015 as an advertising opportunity?
A big property like the World Cup cannot be seen tactically. While it comes at a high cost, it has to be seen what it does to you in terms of brand building. It is a very important filter I would look at it from. Cricket sells in India. And if you have a brand that has strongly fits with cricket, it is definitely something that gives you a lot of synergy.
If you look at this year’s World Cup, there are a couple of questions in everybody’s mind. One is the timing of the matches. All matches are definitely not at India prime time. This is one factor that would come into play versus the previous World Cup, which was held in India. This is one point from an ROI perspective that one will have to keep in mind and see at it overall holistically -- how it works, despite disadvantages in timings.
The second part is, a lot will depend on India’s performance. That (their performance) is not instilling a lot of confidence (in marketers). We have seen that in these properties, if India just doesn’t perform well, the whole thing could just crash. One has to do a bit of a risk assessment there.
Are the high ad rates for the World Cup also affecting marketing decisions?
Obviously! Cost does play a role. You have to finally see a cost-benefit analysis and marketing ROIs. So that is something I cannot comment on because the rates are being discussed differently for different companies and certain negotiations happen. But ROI does play a role.
What is your forecast in terms of ad spends on mediums in 2015?
Media is getting more fragmented. I see TV and print continue going strong. I don’t see any letdown happening in these sectors more so because of innovations, whether it is things like localised TV feed from Star (which is the Ad Sharp part). We are seeing huge innovation taking place in print in the last 2-3 years. TV and print won’t be affected.
There is no debate. Every company, especially FMCGs, is now looking at digital very strongly. We believe that digital and mobile, within digital, has a huge potential to be tapped from FMCG. So, there would be increase in spends going in digital.
Watch the interview here: