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Will India’s performance in India vs SA series be a pain point for marketers?

30-October-2015
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Will India’s performance in India vs SA series be a pain point for marketers?

India has taken a big blow in the Paytm India vs South Africa series after losing both the T20 and ODI series. The test series, which includes four test matches begins on November 5, is seen as the last chance for India to redeem itself. Prior to the start of the tournament, ad spends on the series were expected to in the range of Rs 160-180 crore and total ad revenues  of Rs 250 crore were expected. 

The series already has several advertisers on board as associate and co-sponsors. This includes three co-sponsors Paytm, Raymond and Lava mobiles, and associate sponsors Maruti Suzuki, Idea, Airtel, Intex, Royal Stag, Havells among others. These brands are locked in for the entire tournament. The ad rates for co-sponsorship are expected to be Rs 18-20 crore and for associate sponsorship are expected to be at Rs 14-15 crore. Despite this, there is always inventory that is left for spot buys, which are sold at a premium. According to a source, the ad rates for the series were between Rs 50,000-70,000 per 10-second spot. With the team losing in both the tournaments, some see this has having an impact on marketers’ interest in the test series.

In wake of the poor performance of the Indian team and the losses in both the series, we asked marketers, who were looking to buy ad spots on the series, if this would impact ad-buying.

Marketers to see an impact on series due to India’s performance as well as Test format

Pravin Kulkarni, GM – Marketing, Parle Products said that he thought the losses of the ODI and T20 tournaments will have an impact on marketers’ interest in the test series and see a 15-20 per cent drop in ad spends. “Secondly the T20 and ODI’s are more interesting formats for advertisers because generally the visibility is much better there. Test as a format is not so popular compared to ODIs and T20 formats. And after India has lost in these two formats the confidence has been shaken. I think it will affect them that is what I feel. At least a 15-20% drop will be there in the advertising spends. Marketers will be a bit hesitant,” he said.

Similarly, another senior marketer from IndusInd Bank felt that marketer interest will not only wane due to the losses of the India team but also because the test cricket format is losing viewer interest. “Test match viewership in very less and almost nothing in compared to T20 series or an ODI. In fact in ODIs too not many watch the entire match. The either watch the start or the end or when their favourite players are playing. The TG for test is only above 55 and some die hard cricket lovers. The younger generation doesn’t even know much about test cricket let alone have interest for it. Apart from that for working individuals they don’t even watch it on TV they would watch it on VOD platforms. So from a marketers’ perspective it is losing steam,” he said.

Saumya Chaudhuri, GM, IDBI Bank, definitely sees a dip in marketer interest. He said, “See the consumer mood is fluctuating. So if the team losses there will be a marginal dip. I don’t think that is something which will affect the pricing but yes there will be a dip in marketer interest.”

However, not all marketers felt the same. Kashyap Vadapalli,  CMO, Pepperfry.com, said that his personal opinion would be marketers will continue to spend on the series despite the losses as people will follow the game and as a result brands that find it as a right fit will be there.

Contrary view: Media planners see no dampening of advertiser interest

Dinesh Vyas, GM, OMD does not think that India’s loss in the two tournaments in the series will reduce advertiser interest for the tournament. However, he said that there could be a dip in the ad rates as it will give space for marketers to ask for a reduction in ad rates. “Test matches as compared to the ODIs and the T20s will certainly draw lesser rates that is for sure. This is in context to the viewership it draws as not many are glued on to test matches as they don’t have the time. How much will they discount the ad rates is anybody’s guess. The existing advertisers even may ask for them to give some value adds because of India’s performance,” he said.

Atul Sharma, GM, Lodestar Universal, says that advertisers will continue to buy ad spots on the tournament despite these losses of India. “The ups and downs are part and parcel of the game. There are times when the ratings are going to be high but in terms of people interest I don’t think it is going to go down,” he said.

According to another media planner from Maxus, the losses in both the tournaments will even bring marketers towards it. He said, “This is because the sentiments that you are still waiting for India to bounce back and win a series. So this is going to have people glued to it. I don’t see the viewership being affected too much.”  

The ongoing series, according to the latest BARC numbers, has seen a staggering growth in ratings despite the India losing in the T20 tournament. In the latest week 42 ratings the ratings of the series has grown two-fold as the highest ratings registered was 6.1 million for the 3rd ODI on Star Sports 3 (Hindi feed). This in comparison to week 40 in which the 2nd T20 match brought in the highest ratings of 2.1 million on Star Sports 3. While viewership has grown, it will be expected to take a dip during the test series due to the long format of the game. Though marketers can be expected to be there, the ad rates, however, will be a point of battle. 

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