ICC World Cup: Brands chalk out gameplan

With over 150 sponsors and non-sponsors associating with the ICC World Cup 2011, a lot is riding on the cricket extravaganza. For brands it’s a fight to break through the clutter.

e4m by Shubhangi Mehta
Published: Feb 16, 2011 7:12 AM  | 3 min read
ICC World Cup: Brands chalk out gameplan

With over 150 sponsors and non-sponsors associating with the ICC World Cup 2011, a lot is riding on the cricket extravaganza, which gets underway from February 19, 2011. The excitement and expectations are all the more this time as the tournament returns to Asia after 14 years.

As mentioned in an earlier report in exchange4media, eight brands have come on board as partnering or associate sponsors. Some of the big names include Castrol, Sony India, Hero Honda, Vodafone, Airtel DTH, Nokia, Maruti Suzuki, Philips and Pepsico, among others.

With so many brands jostling for mind space and eyeballs, there are also apprehensions of getting lost amid the brand clutter.

As Harish Bijoor, brand-domain specialist and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, put it that most brands tended to do the obvious and what anybody else would also do.

Santosh Desai, CEO, Future Brands, too felt that there were certain creatives that were repetitive and “certainly annoying”. This point was stressed on by Bijoor, too, who said, “Statistics prove that if the same creative repeats four times, it becomes irritating for the viewer, more than eight times, the viewer tends to get negative towards it, and if it repeats more than 12 times, a viewer doesn’t even bother to watch it.”

Offering his suggestion for brands to stand out, Desai said, “What is important here is to have a large number of creative units like the ZooZoos. What actually works is interactive and distinctive ideas essentially made to use the content to its advantage.”

While disagreeing that brands would get lost in the clutter, Suman Srivastava, who recently quit as CEO of Euro RSCG, noted that it was not about being publicised or advertising when other brands too were advertising, as this happened all the time and was nothing new.

According to him, the World Cup would get the brands larger audiences, which in turn would help the brands majorly. However, the catch here was that one should take the help of different creatives to get rid of monotony, Srivastava said, adding, “There is no formula for a successful campaign, one needs to commit first. The World Cup 2011 is actually a wonderful opportunity for brands; some will use it mindlessly, while some will use it brilliantly.”

Agreeing with this view, Bijoor, too said that creatives would take the cake since they connected better with the audiences. He suggested that the focus should be on the story. “Someone who is doing the obvious will definitely not be found anywhere; but someone who has the courage and idea to do the ‘unobvious’ will be the one who will stand out and dominate. The ability to do something new by adopting new and under-exploited mediums and doing something innovative is what a viewer wants. Spending more time on thinking is the strategy here,” he added.

According to the advertising fraternity, fresh creatives, less repetitions, and focusing on the story are factors that will help brands break through the clutter. The enormous number of brands is not a matter of concern for them. It remains to be seen whether the brands will be able to break the mould this World Cup season.

Also read:
ICC World Cup: Let the games begin...

Noorings: As Cricket World Cup nears, another ad war begins...


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