Brands take the programmatic advertising route to target customers during World Cup

An inexpensive option to explore, programmatic advertising budget for brands during World Cup 2019 starts at as low as Rs 1 lakh, and shoots up to millions of dollars

e4m by Tasmayee Laha Roy
Updated: Jun 19, 2019 9:54 AM

With the medium of watching sports shifting rapidly from traditional TVs to mobile phones and smart TVs, brands have also started aggressively investing in advertising in the digital space. With Cricket World Cup being the Mecca for mass viewership, brands have taken to programmatic advertising to target customers at a lower cost with higher returns on investment.

An inexpensive option to explore, programmatic advertising budget for brands during World Cup 2019 starts at as low as Rs 1 lakh and shoots up to millions of dollars.

Ranging from e-commerce giants to travel portals to food delivery platforms, brands such as Myntra, Thomas Cook, Paytm, Bira, ATS and many others have been actively investing in programmatic advertising.

According to Ashish Shah, Founder and CEO at New York-based programmatic advertising company Vertoz, with the rise in the adoption of digital platforms as the preferred medium to catch up with cricket matches and live score updates, it has become rather imperative for brands to reach out to viewers digitally.

“Being an internationally popular sport, Cricket World Cup attracts audiences from diverse demographics, behavioural and cultural background. It can get really difficult for brands to target the relevant set of audience amongst this deluge of cricket fans,” he reasons.

Shah says that there has been a 100 % increase in the use of programmatic advertising this season against World Cup 2015.  

So what is programmatic advertising and how is it used?

“Programmatic advertising provides a perfect solution for brands to reach their relevant audience. Programmatic advertising uses advanced data-crunching capabilities to find the right target audience for the brands. Data Management Platforms (DMPs) can be used to reach the right cricket fans. Through Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) brands can offer high level of personalised ads to their customers while targeting or retargeting them. DCO dynamically changes the ad creative copies as per the viewers’ past browsing history and their real-time preferences,” explains Shah.

Most cricket fans are targeted on platforms like Crickinfo, Crickbuzz, Hotstar and re-targeted on other platforms. 

Talking of brands, programmatic advertisements have a track record of working well, especially during cricket tournaments because of there being an increase in the number of users. Brands have done integrations, designed especially for the Cricket World Cup.

A classic example of programmatic integration is food ordering app Swiggy. During IPL this year, Swiggy and Hotstar came together to allow consumers to order food from Swiggy without taking their eyes off a single ball. Swiggy POP, Swiggy’s curated option for single-serve meals from top restaurants across neighborhoods, was integrated on the Hotstar app. The integration has been extended for the World Cup season too.

Swiggy’s food ordering analysis from the cricketing season last year indicated an increase in online orders during the period. Considering the sporting event is all about action, suspense, drama and food, last year, Swiggy saw a 25 per cent increase in order numbers during the season compared to the pre-season, with the highest number of orders received on the day of the finale.

A host of other brands are also leveraging the trend. Talking about it, Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head, Holiday, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited, says, “With e-business becoming one of the key drivers for World Cup, Thomas Cook India has witnessed a surge of 22% in online enquiries for UK packages in comparison to last year. Apart from attending the World Cup matches, those visiting the UK are also extending their travel to locales like the Lake District, Manchester, Birmingham, London, Windermere, Liverpool, Windsor, Cambridge, and York, among others, which are rapidly emerging on the Indian traveller’s radar.”

So, who is spending the most in the category of advertising?

“Technology clients are spending close to 50%-60% of their budget on programmatic advertising. Sometimes, the spend goes as high as 100 %,” says Latish Nair, Chief Digital Officer at media communication agency Mediacom.

“With more number of users because of elections, IPL or an event like World Cup, there is more inventory. Programmatic advertising brings in data science to inventory and guides brands on who to target and where to target to make targeting accurate and effective,” adds Nair.

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