Emerging brands gear up to go big on IPL advertising this year

Education technology, pharma, disinfectant brands, BFSI, delivery facilitators and contact-less dining services are some of the sectors expected to be the newcomers of IPL advertising

e4m by Tasmayee Laha Roy
Updated: Aug 12, 2020 10:28 AM

The 2020 Indian Premier League is novel in many ways - new dates, new venue and new title sponsors. The biggest cricket property in the world is all set to welcome new advertisers on board.

Brands, both old and new, some which have come to the forefront in the lockdown are warming up to the idea of cashing in on the reach and popularity of the cricketing spectacle.

Education technology, pharma, disinfectant brands, BFSI, delivery facilitators and contact-less dining services are just some of the sectors expected to be the newcomers of IPL advertising.                                                                                                 

“For IPL this year, while it’s anyone’s guess on who the leading advertisers might be, one will definitely see a significant uptick from categories that are ‘digital first’. We will be able to distinguish brands in two broad buckets - Business of Atoms vs Business of Bits. One might also expect advertising from social and digital media platforms, going beyond the usual names of Swiggy, Zomato, Dunzo, Amazon and Flipkart,” said Preetham Venkky, Chief Digital Officer, DDB Mudra Group.

My11Circle, MyTeam11, Unacademy, Khatabook, and Dunzo are some of the names that will debut in IPL advertising this year.

Interestingly, the new brands are also looking at spending generously on ad slots for the series, both on traditional media and digital.

“We are suggesting new brands to spend anywhere between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 15 lakh at least to get optimal returns this IPL and they are not shying away from spending that amount. This is just an entry-level estimate. Some new brands that have seen success in the lockdown are ready to spend big bucks running up to crores this IPL,” said Ankita Kulkarni, Group Account Manager - Brand Strategy, at full service agency SoCheers.

According to Kulkarni, new advertisers generally start with investments between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 10 lakh but for this IPL they are ready to push their budgets.

Rajesh Patalia, Chief Strategy Officer, at digital marketing agency AGENCY09, further says:  “IPL is valued at Rs 47,500 crore or $6.8 billion. Brands, which cannot be sponsors, co-sponsors, associate sponsors or jersey sponsors for big ticket investments that these associations call for, will pitch in as advertisers to buy maximum visibility for their brands. While we will be having new names on board, lot of bigger brands that have stayed away from IPL like HUL may also just be a part of the series for the sheer reach that it offers in a market, which has only seen a southwards trend in the last four months.”

In a slow year with poor market sentiments why are brands gung-ho about spending in IPL?

Summing up brands’ sentiment was Pooja Jauhari, CEO, at WPP’s digitally led creative agency The Glitch. “IPL announces that joy is coming back to life. It’s simply the eyeballs this event attracts.”

Coming to viewership and related numbers, Venkky said: “This year, more than ever before, IPL is well poised to command not just a massive reach but also undivided attention. That’s a great combination to have. With audiences still working from home, IPL will see an increase in total time spent as compared to the years before. Expect audiences to be glued to their screens; large or small.”

The numbers too back IPL’s place as the mega festival of the cricket world.

According to BARC, last year IPL garnered 424 million viewers - 51% of total TV viewing population watched live matches of IPL 12 on 24 channels over 60 matches .With 326 billion viewing minutes, IPL recorded a total of 1.58 billion impressions.

The numbers are only expected to grow this year. According to experts, the viewership is expected to be over 500 million (on TV) this year. 

As for digital, as per Hotstar’s records, the platform saw a 74% increase in watch time in 2019, an unprecedented growth from the previous year. The number is expected to grow further and bring not just more viewers but also advertisers on board.

Many expect the digital medium to be a hot favourite among brands. Experts are looking at close to 30% of ad budgets to go into digital and the rest to be divided between TV, Print and Radio.

“The ideal media mix will be to focus spends on the large screen, but at the same time surround the audience on the small screen as well. Different categories will use different ratios of spends based on whether you are in the Business of Atoms or Business of Bits. Ideas that focus on innovative use of digital media will cut through the clutter and will be much talked about,” said Venkky.

With more and more brands coming on board this year, IPL 2020 is just getting bigger.

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