‘Vivo plans most big launches and announcements around the IPL’

Conceptualised by Dentsu Impact, Vivo's #DelightEveryMoment campaign was heavily advertised on TV during IPL 2020. Lowe Lintas too worked on other aspects of the campaign

e4m by Raushni Bhagia
Updated: Mar 26, 2021 8:26 AM
#VivoV20 Campaign

IPL has played a vital role in putting Vivo on the map of top smartphone brands in India. While the brand tied up as title sponsor in 2018, it shot up to the top two positions soon after. As of now, it is the leading brand as per the GFK data in volume and value. While the brand had to temporarily discontinue its partnership with the tournament for a year, it did not shy away from spot buys in 2020, continuing their success.

In the upcoming edition – IPL 2021 – the tournament will be back to becoming Vivo IPL as the smartphone manufacturer is back on. Speaking about this continuous connection with IPL, Nipun Marya, Head, Brand Strategy at Vivo Mobile India, said, “IPL has been an integral part of Vivo’s marketing strategy. The IPL months (April and May) hold a special significance in our product launch and marketing calendars. Most big launches and announcements have been around IPL, be it the association with Aamir Khan or the launch of V-series – which is the most popular of our entire range.”


Vivo India did a lot of spot buys on TV during IPL 2020, while on digital, the brand had a new product launch around the same time for V20. Conceptualised by Dentsu Impact, the campaign #DelightEveryMoment was heavily advertised on TV during the IPL matches in 2020. Lowe Lintas too worked on other aspects of the campaign.

“Before we came onboard the IPL, very few people knew about the brand and brand awareness was a major objective in bulk of our marketing and communication campaigns. As we have grown from strength to strength over these years, increasing our market share, the focus on brand awareness has now considerably come down, as we have achieved it considerably well. With IPL, our shift is more about how we launch the product and increase the reach of messaging. The objective was to portray and communicate the newly launched product through IPL,” Marya explained.

IPL 2020 reached almost 50% of the total TV viewing universe in the country – 400 million. Even the total number of minutes watched on IPL was at 400 billion minutes, over the span of 60 minutes. Adding to why IPL on TV was chosen to fulfil brand objectives, Marya opined, “IPL on TV is a very strong property. It cuts across all age groups and demographics. It is a perfect mix of cricket and entertainment – cricket being the passion point for Indians. IPL, hence, becomes crucial for us and it has delivered results every time we have partnered with it. Considering the kind of viewership it has got, IPL was and will remain a very strong investment opportunity for marketers.”

Vivo India has been associated with IPL for well over six years now. It stepped in as the title sponsor in IPL 2016, when PepsiCo decided to walk out of its 5 year deal. Vivo India has since been holding tightly to the title sponsorship spot and is willing to continue for longer.  “While the evolution is a given, we have to also understand that the media pie is much bigger than before. TV has always been a major chunk and it remains the same, even if digital has become bigger too. TV is the strongest medium. Especially for sports, television screens are much preferred. And IPL on TV is the biggest marketing event,” said Marya.

Delving deeper into how the brand feels like a natural fit to the property, he added, “We are offering products across all price-points. We have entry level – Y series with the price point of Rs 8K and onwards, Y premium which is close to Rs 15-20k, then, V series in the range of Rs 20-30K and then, we have X series priced above Rs 30K. So, we target a huge range of consumers. Similarly for IPL, people come from all walks of life to watch and enjoy the game. So, the synergies between IPL and Vivo are very strong.”

Having found the right audience to cater to and the objectives being fulfilled to the T, the brand also worked amazingly well with the creatives. Anupama Ramaswamy, Managing Partner and National Creative Director, Dentsu Impact talking about the Delight Every Moment campaign which ran on TV said, “The aim was to highlight the key feature of Vivo V20 – Eye Autofocus, in a clutter-breaking way. The idea was to demonstrate the product feature to the millennials without making it boring. As the feature was all about creating the perfect video in motion – we thought giving it an interesting visual twist will add to the delight.”

The campaign worked wonders for the brand. Vivo’s brand awareness stands at 100%. Their association with IPL has resulted in high brand recall, especially through TV. IPL 2020 on TV generated total Impressions of 524 million for Vivo in their target market which is All India (urban). The average TVR stands at 5.8 for the same market. The brand witnessed 10% increase in viewership in 2020 as compared to 2019. Along with all this, on the business end, Vivo V20 received record pre-bookings, which was more than 1 lakh within just six days of launch. 

Speaking further about the impact of the campaign that ran on IPL on TV, Marya said, “In terms of the product metrics, whenever we have launched the V series with IPL, the results have been very strong. We have launched many V series models in the last 4-5 years. As for the brand metrics, whenever we advertise, we always check the effectiveness of our communication and efforts. We did that for IPL too and the results are promising in terms of top of mind recall, spontaneous awareness and other parameters. Along with our leadership in volume and value, we are also leading the 20-30K segment which is most advertised during IPL.”

Adding to that, he said, “We are operating in a market that is quite dynamic and competitive. This makes it important to maintain brand salience at a good level, at all times and this is where IPL on TV helps. Despite being on top in offline sales and among the top three in the smartphone market, we have to keep working on improving brand awareness. If your creatives are delivering awareness and perception, IPL on TV is the perfect platform to achieve these.”

While lending a piece of advice to the other brands wanting to partner with IPL, Marya stresses on a tailor made strategy. He suggests looking at the simple approach of horses for courses.  Ramaswamy on the other hand shares her experience about making ads for the IPL, “IPL is the biggest live televised event in India for both viewership and ad spends. Over the last decade, it has proved to be a 'game-changer' not only for cricket, but also for the entire Indian advertising industry. Advertising during IPL is always a great opportunity to connect with the relevant audience especially for a brand like Vivo.”

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