If one thought that cricket appealed to only the serious audience who watch Sachin and Sehwag blazing away to glory then think again. Cartoon Network has been using an innovative mix of cricket combined with the popularity of their world famous characters to draw audience and build brand affinity.
The channel has been hosting Toon Cricket for the past few years and going by the advertisers associated with the event it seems to be quite a hit.
This year Pepsi, Joyco (Solano), TI Cycles, Colgate, ACT II Popcorn, Cadbury Gems and Boost were associated with the event and each of them had a valid reason for that.
Pepsi, which has been one of the main sponsors of the event, has been targeting the kids and has been doing it for fun, leveraging the key accounts to create focused activity in places.
Similarly, Neeraj Sanan, Brand manager, Joyco, one of the Co- Sponsors, says, "The event generates excitement amongst kids, which we target. Toons match serves as a good back end marketing exercise and offers a valuable association."
Cartoon Network, which has in the recent past also started to target the adult segment for its programming combines 2 benefits. It uses cricket to woo adults and the Toon characters serve the brand visibility purpose.
The channel has been using a mix of marketing tools to promote the event. The Integrated Campaign includes, On Air promotions, On line contest (where the kids get to win passes) and Outdoors. The contest itself is being held aboard a 14-foot Toon Cricket mobile, which tours the city. In addition to visiting high traffic venues, the Toon Cricket Mobile also visits schools.
According to Cartoon Network officials, the response to the Toon Cricket Mania has been quite encouraging. In Toon Cricket 1999, when it was first started the combined attendence in Mumbai and Delhi was over 24,000.The numbers have been increasing ever since.