The Indian Premier League (IPL) has seen a high brand spends this year. Ad spend on the IPL on-air itself is expected to be more than Rs.1,000 crore, while on-ground is expected to go over Rs.350 crore. We saw brands increasing their spends by 15-25% on IPL 8. Though there have been spends galore on IPL a recent Hansa Research report called IPLomania 2015 revealed that despite the maximum spends by some brands the return on investment or brand recall had been really low.
Brands such as Amazon and Vodafone which are the presenting sponsors on television and which have the highest spends brought in a low ROI score. Vodafone with a maximum TV spots of 3,955 seconds being the highest spender got an ROI score of 28. Similarly, Amazon with TV spots for 3,498 seconds got an ROI score of 57. The best case scenario on a per week basis being 425 seconds of TV spots bringing in ROI Score 1,297. The best in terms of ROI went to a brand which spent the least. Coca-Cola, who has brought TV advertising spots for 285 seconds, got the highest ROI score 411. This brings up the question of does ROI matter for brands or media planners?
According to some of the media planners we spoke to, in the case of properties such as the IPL ROI does not matter much, as getting on one of biggest platforms in terms of viewership. Despite all the clutter of brands the platform offers the best opportunity for brands to get their name showcased across India for the duration of the tournament they say. This is especially an important platform for brands that are new and not so well known but which are looking at faster expansion.
Dinesh Vyas, GM, OMD says that IPL is primarily sold on its reach and the reach that it can get. Most of the brands do not buy particular matches but the whole tournament and even if you look at most matches they get a 4 or 4.5 ratings. This kind of ratings for male TG is one of the best and is something that is looked at keenly by brands that cater to that TG he said. He said that marketers and media planners look at reach basically and the TG that the brand caters to rather than only ROI.
Another senior media planner similarly said ROI is not something that comes into the picture, it is the reach and viewership that one can get in 45 days of the tournament, especially so for new brands. Ganesh Baliga, MD, Fifth Estate said for new brands it helps them expand in a short span of time as it helps them becoming a known brand all over the country. This also fuels the distribution as awareness leads to demand for the brand which pushes to the brands availability all over the country he said. He further said that brand perception also changes as if you can spend to be on this property people see your brand among the big league players. He says that you can see the results of IPL being the biggest property on TV as it has taken viewership away from GECs and other TV properties.
Not all agree that reach and viewership of IPL is all that matters when it comes to brand spends. There are some planners who feel that ROI matters a lot when a lot of money is riding on it. It becomes more critical when a lot of the clients money is riding on it says Karthik Lakshminarayan, COO, Madison Media. When a huge amount is spent on a big event then it is very necessary for planners and marketers to look at ROI he said.
Though reach and viewership is delivered by a property such as IPL it is imperative that brands also look at getting the best ROI. That ROI depends on what is the objective that they are trying to go for. Is it just brand perception, brand recognition, staying top of the mind or pushing consumers to a new product? Consumers need to remember your brand when they are shopping in the store or online. But if your brand recall is low despite all the spends on getting on a platform with the highest viewership and reach then brands need to relook at their strategy.