Vodafone's Digital-Led Campaign Bears Fruit This IPL Season

CMO Siddharth Banerjee speaks about the Unofficial Sponsor of fans Campaign by Vodafone

e4m by Venkata Susmita Biswas
Updated: May 28, 2018 8:57 AM

Breaking a ten year tradition, Vodafone opted out being an official sponsor of the Indian Premier League in 2018. The brand was only a spot-buyer with Star India for the eleventh season of IPL. Yet, the brand is emerging as one of the most prominent brands of the season. 

Vodafone, which is known to spend around 20-30% of its annual ad spend (estimated to be around Rs 200-300 crore as per the Pitch Madison Report 2018) on IPL, cut its spends with IPL 11. Instead, the leading telecom company pursued a digital-led campaign this season. “For a fraction of the cost we have been able to get the most amount of engagement,” said Siddharth Banerjee, CMO, Vodafone India. 

Declining to reveal the company’s budget for IPL 11, Banerjee likened the Vodafone efficient media strategy to special recipes that are safely guarded and never shared. According to some media reports this number is pegged to be around Rs 25-30 cr. 

“A lot of audiences are actually on the digital medium and a lot of conversation happens on social media platforms. Hence we wanted to do an insight and data-led marketing activity which captures the imagination of the audiences,” Banerjee further explained. 

The company once again captured the attention of IPL viewers with its much loved brand assets - ZooZoos. This time in a ninja avatar Zoozoos were seen solving problems for fans from home delivery of SIM cards to completing bill payment tasks at the click of a button. 

Banerjee believes that breaking the mold with its advertising strategy backed by authenticity and creativity propels brand Vodafone ahead every time. Be that the Zoozoos in the second season of IPL, Asha-Bala in IPL 10 or as the Unofficial Sponsor of Fans in 2018. “By understanding consumer insight and consumer emotions and unlocking it with creativity has allowed us to have a superior marketing strategy,” he further said. 

The digital magic is driving up engagement for Vodafone. “The social media engagement for Vodafone is currently at 51 million and counting,” added Banerjee. 

According to a report by Wavemaker MESH, Vodafone emerged as the buzziest brand on social media this IPL season between April 7 and May 4, followed by official sponsor Vivo and competition brand Jio. This was mainly driven by the FANtastic Breaks Contest. The report said the content helped the brand rake in over 400K comments on Facebook, driving Vodafone to the No.1 spot in the most buzziest brands list.

The ZooZoos campaign which continues to be popular was the most watched ad on digital this year, followed by Coca Cola – Share a Coke and Tata Motors’ series of videos promoting Nexon, as per the report. 

This is How Vodafone was the Unofficial Sponsor of Fans this IPL: 

Happy To Help Bus: The “Vodafone Happy to Help Bus” helped fans who have match tickets to commute to the stadium. The Vodafone Bus picked them up from designated spots and dropped them at the stadium.

FANtastic Breaks Contest: During the match ad breaks, Vodafone consumers could dial in or log on to Vodafone Zoozoo Facebook page and answer simple questions. The winners stood the chance to win an iPhone daily and one mega winner could get a Round Trip for two to England, along with match tickets to watch India Vs. England at Lord’s. 



Vodafone Match Day- Karnataka: For those who can’t get tickets to watch the mathes live Vodafone screened IPL matches LIVE with stadium like experience at “Sherlocks Pub” right next to the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore. To participate: listeners were asked to Whatsapp their fan cheer as a voice note on 9019104104. The best shout out was chosen and the fan and his gang was invited for match screening at Sherlock’s Pub with Free Food.

Giant LED Screen featuring the FAN- Pune: As the spectators walked into the stadium, Vodafone India had made special arrangements for spectators to get their GIF clicked. These GIFs were then displayed on a large LED screen put up on a giant Vodafone Unofficial Sponsor of Fans™ hoarding outside Gate No.2.

Play quiz on My Vodafone App and win upto 100 match tickets – Delhi & NCR: For its customers in Delhi & NCR, Vodafone arranged for a quiz contest on My Vodafone App. Answering a few simple questions could fetch customers upto 100 match tickets. These winners were also be eligible for a free ride to the stadium in Ubers.

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