Brand Cricket is intact but Brand BCCI needs to clean up: Experts

In lieu of the Star Sports-ESPN title sponsorship deal with BCCI, brand experts feel that BCCI has lost its credibility but cricket as a game will continue to draw advertisers till Team India performs

e4m by Abhinav Trivedi
Published: Oct 15, 2013 8:02 AM  | 5 min read
Brand Cricket is intact but Brand BCCI needs to clean up: Experts

In 2012, when Star Sports-ESPN bought the telecasting rights from BCCI for all the domestic and international cricket matches in India for Rs 3851 crore, it sealed a deal for six years. Recently, when the broadcaster duo bought the title sponsorship rights for domestic and international matches in India for the 2013-14 season, eyebrows were raised.

BCCI did not get a single bidder. Micromax had bought the draft document but it backed off at the last moment. Experts we spoke to, on condition of anonymity, mentioned that Micromax could not find associate sponsors for a collective bid. Subsequently, BCCI asked Star Sports-ESPN, its telecast partner, to become the title sponsor. Senior industry sourced said, “It was face saviour act for BCCI. Look at the discounted price the deal has been taken at!”

The broadcaster duo has brought the title sponsorship at Rs 2 crore per match, which was the base price set by BCCI.

Has BCCI lost its credibility?

Experts we spoke to have a resounding yes as the answer.

“When one learns that the Chief of BCCI, in some form or other, is involved in a scandal, there is a decline in confidence. Spot fixing, Srinivasan issue and corruption has dented the image of the board. No brand would like to associate with an organisation which is tainted and is known for all the wrong reasons. BCCI exists only because of cricket; it is not the other way round. Brands currently might be using a carrot and stick approach towards BCCI, signalling a cleanup,” said Shreyas Bangad, Creator and Director, brandmatterz, a brand consultancy firm.

Srinivasan, apart from being BCCI Chief, is also the Managing Director of India Cements and owns Chennai Super Kings. N Srinivasan’s son-in-law and the CEO of CSK franchisee, Gurunath Meiyappan was allegedly involved in betting and fixing matches. Recently, Supreme Court allowed Srinivasan to re-assume his office after he was unanimously re-elected as BCCI Chief. But the APEX court also ordered an independent inquiry into the spot fixing case.

Srinivasan, on the other hand, has always maintained that he has not done anything illegal and that all allegations against him are baseless.

Multiple sources have reportedly confirmed that allegations of spot fixing, rampant corruption and political clout over the cricket board has brought disgrace to the cricket community.

A senior advertising official has also confirmed that a cola major is rethinking its association with the board.

Will the game of cricket be affected?
Experts believe that BCCI not getting bidders for the title sponsorship cannot be a result of decline in the credibility of the board alone. Reasons such as economic slump and saturation of cricket are other reasons.

“Cricket is like a religion in India. To a certain extent, there has been a damp in the spirits of the fans, but people watch cricket because of the players and not the board. They are not concerned with BCCI as long as the matches are exciting. If the performance of the team is good, people will tune to the TV sets. Advertisers are concerned more with the eyeballs. Cricket will not be ruled out. But if BCCI does not get into a cleansing act and continues to operate the way it has been, there could be serious crisis in the future,” said Mayank Shah, Group Product Manager, Parle Products.

He further added, “Cricket today has turned into more of entertainment than sport; so one places a cricket tournament in the same category as entertainment programmes.”

Arshad Nizam, Director, Alliance Advertising mentioned, “With the on-going controversies surrounding cricket, BCCI has suffered loss in credibility. But major factors for BCCI not getting bidders could be economic slump and too much cricket throughout the year. Having said that, cricket in India is serious business. People watch India’s matches with keen interest. Till an advertiser is getting his objectives, getting advertisers on board will not be a problem for BCCI.”

A senior media planner, on condition of anonymity, shared, “BCCI has created a strange situation for the game of cricket. Today, if a player misses a catch, misfields or is not able to score runs, people assume that the match is fixed. Though on an individual level, respect exists for some players such as Sachin, Dravid, etc. But the administrative structure of BCCI is rampantly corrupt and this cannot be repaired easily. If Team India starts performing weakly tomorrow, BCCI, with its present image, can sustain neither advertisers nor broadcasters. It is a body governed by people with vested interests in themselves and not cricket as a sport. This is a tragedy. Hence, if you ask about Brand BCCI, it does not exist. There is only cricket and till players perform, money would pour. The day that stops, everything stops.”

Other industry experts have also highlighted that since the spot fixing controversy that erupted during IPL, questions over integrity, dignity and reputation have regularly been discussed among the marketing fraternity. Post IPL fiasco, many brands were genuinely concerned over the impact of their association with the cricket tournaments in India. But the questions have been dumped because of the huge eyeballs the matches garner.

The day people start watching matches with prejudices, it would directly impact advertising associations. It is critical the board handles the crisis well, say senior industry sources.

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The game changer: How digitalization is opening doors for consumer appliance brands

Guest Column: Priyanka Sethi, Director - Head of Marketing, Haier India, writes why digitalization is not only the need of the hour but also the road ahead for brands to strengthen marketing

By Priyanka Sethi | May 29, 2023 9:10 AM   |   6 min read

Priyanaka sethi

In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, the marketing strategies employed by are undergoing a paradigm shift. The advent of digitalization has opened a world of opportunities, allowing brands to reach a vast audience, engage with consumers on a personal level, and build lasting relationships. It has dismantled geographical barriers and provided brands with an unprecedented reach. Through online and social platforms, brands can connect with consumers across India, from bustling metropolitan areas to remote rural regions. 

The marketing landscape has been revolutionized by the growing interconnectedness and the rise of mobile-based solutions. In India, the digital advertising industry witnessed substantial growth from fiscal years 2015 to 2020. Its market size surged from around 47 billion Indian rupees to approximately 199 billion rupees. This upward trajectory is expected to persist, with projections indicating that by the fiscal year 2024, the industry will expand even further, reaching a market size of approximately 539 billion rupees. This demonstrates the remarkable growth potential and significance of digital advertising in the coming years.

Digital marketing now holds a larger footprint

Brands are significantly increasing their utilization of digital marketing tools and their various forms, surpassing the scale and reach of traditional marketing methods. This shift is driven by the fact that users now spend an average of approximately seven hours per day on their smartphones, resulting in heightened engagement rates. Brands recognize this as a valuable opportunity and capitalize on it accordingly. Moreover, as digital advertising expands its presence on emerging social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp Business, and Snapchat, brands will effectively tap into the interests and preferences of a vast number of potential and existing young customers. These platforms have become a perpetual presence in the lives of many individuals, offering brands an extensive reach.

Additionally, the increasing popularity of Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms, Connected TV, and gaming serve further motivation for brands to prioritize digital marketing strategies. The growing prevalence of these mediums provides brands with additional avenues to engage with their target audience and drive their marketing efforts.

Video marketing is expected to continue its dominance

Videos have the power to captivate and engage audiences more effectively than other content formats. The visual and auditory elements of videos create a compelling storytelling experience that resonates with viewers, leading to increased engagement and better message retention. India has witnessed significant growth in mobile and internet penetration, with a large portion of the population accessing the internet through smartphones. This accessibility makes video content easily consumable, leading to its widespread popularity among users. With the availability of affordable data plans, users in India are consuming more online content than ever before. This includes videos across various genres, such as entertainment, education, news, and brand promotions. Brands can leverage this trend by creating compelling video content that aligns with the interests and preferences of their target audience.

The need for regional-digital customization in India, regional digital too has become dominant in the online market space. With the government's push for Digital India and the pandemic-induced surge in remote, device-based working, the number of digital connections has already increased to more than 830 million. With rapid urbanization across regions and the decentralized growth of tier 2, tier 3 and tier 4 cities, regionalization of our marketing efforts is inevitable. In 2022, India's rate of urbanization was 35.9%, and by 2047 this is expected to increase to approximately 50.9%. Our customers are becoming more diverse and your typical ‘one size fits all’ selling efforts will no longer make the cut. Digitalization will be the go-to in the foreseeable future.


The digital payment revolution in India

Digitalization of payments too has disrupted the traditional marketing channels. Due to a lack of confidence and security concerns with internet payments, cash payments have traditionally been the preferred payment method in India. However, digital payments are predicted to account for 80% of all transactions in India by 2025 due to a large young population with access to smartphones. The Indian consumer has been adopting digital eWallets faster than the US, the UK, and China, according to ASSOCHAM (The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry). This provides an opportunity for brands to utilize e-payments and e-wallets to promote OEM after-sales services online and monitor post-product purchase behavior for greater customer retention.

The pervasiveness of e-commerce platforms

E-commerce websites like Amazon and Flipkart have revolutionized the way people shop, making it possible for customers to buy anything from anywhere with just a few clicks. These websites have played a significant role in digitalizing the market by providing a platform for businesses of all sizes to sell their products online. They have made it easier for customers to compare prices, read reviews, and make informed purchase decisions. The importance of e-commerce websites lies in their ability to reach a larger audience, provide convenience to customers, and offer a seamless shopping experience. With the rise of e-commerce, traditional brick-and-mortar stores are now facing increased competition and are also forced to adapt to the changing market.

The rise of data analytics

An important opportunity presented by the digital economy is the ability to collect and analyze data about consumer behavior. Tracking website traffic, social media engagement, and purchase patterns, we gain valuable insights into what drives consumer decision-making and give us the ability to tailor our marketing efforts accordingly. This assists us to optimize our product offerings, pricing strategies, and promotional campaigns for maximum impact. It provides a wealth of data analytics that can be used to optimize campaigns and improve ROI on our investments in marketing.

Ecommerce platforms can be effectively used to leverage data analytics to better understand the customers’ needs and how they interact with the brand as it is critical to determine what appeals to them. To improve customers’ end-to-end purchasing experience through personalization of various platforms, use data to understand customer demographics and tailor their marketing messages through data and analytics based on factors such as location, demographics, and online buying behaviour such as monitoring the purchasing behavior of customers, their browsing on the website etc. With constantly changing needs of the buyers and unlimited options available in the D2C brand segment brands will need to focus on improving their capabilities. Hence, data-driven decision-making is necessary for success. 

Hence, digitalization is not just the need of the hour but also the road ahead for brands to strengthen their marketing strategies, reach out to a wider audience and deliver the right messages across domains to create impactful and meaningful campaigns, resulting in an overall increase in brand awareness, perception, and consideration. 

(The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of

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RK Swamy, the creative power behind the Sengol story

The agency has created all the communication material for the project

By exchange4media Staff | May 26, 2023 6:41 PM   |   1 min read

rk swamy

The Sengol story, a project that captures the journey of Sengol that signifies the transfer of power to Indians in August 1947, has been creating quite a buzz. Marketing agency RK Swamy has created the communication material for the project.

Working quietly behind the scenes for the project that brings to life a piece of the nation’s history, RK Swamy has created all communication materials for it.

RK Swamy conceptualized the communication architecture, the website, eight videos and ebrochures, FAQs and every other piece of work that was required for this. All of the work has been done in 13 languages.

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Amul Lassi video goes viral over fungus claims, company responds

The dairy co-op has hit back at the video, saying that it was aimed at creating 'misinformation'

By exchange4media Staff | May 26, 2023 1:06 PM   |   2 min read

amul lassi

Amul has addressed a viral video, which claimed that the company's lassi packs has traces of fungus. A video that went viral on social media said that the beverage packs were tainted with fungus well before their expiry date.

Amul has hit back at these claims, calling the viral video "fake." The company shared its statement through its social media handles, clarifying that the creator of the viral video has neither contacted Amul for clarification nor shared the location where the so-called tainted lassis were purchased from.

"We wish to assure you that Amul Lassi is made at our state-of-the-art dairies and undergo strict quality checks for product quality and integrity of packaging," said Amul.
"We noticed in the video that the packs are damaged from the straw hole area. It can also be seen in the video that liquid is leaking from this hole. The fungus development in these packs are [sic] due to this hole which the maker of the video is most probably aware of," it added.

The company then went on to say that all its products have a declaration for consumer safety, which says, "DO NOT BUY PUFFED/LEAKY PACKAGES."

The company alleged that the video aimed at creating misinformation and spreading unnecessary fear and concerns among consumers.

Recently, a de-influencing video featuring Revant Himatsingka put Cadbury's Bournvita on full blast about its health claims. The company reacted by sending a legal notice to Himatsingka and refuting the allegations.

Cadbury was severely criticised for what was called a disproportionate response to a viral video. Child rights' body the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights even asked the company to withdraw all its 'misleading' ads.

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Shah Rukh Khan is the face of Myntra's EORS

Under this association, Khan will be seen in a series of ad films

By exchange4media Staff | May 26, 2023 12:30 PM   |   2 min read


Myntra has roped in Shah Rukh Khan as the face of the 18th edition of Myntra’s End of Reason Sale (EORS), its marquee bi-annual fashion festival.  

Under this association, Shah Rukh will be seen in a series of ad films. The brand campaign will be amplified extensively via multimedia channels leading up to and during EORS-18. Shah Rukh will also have extensive visibility on the app, to further garner the audience's attention.  

Talking about the association with Shah Rukh Khan, Sunder Balasubramanian, CMO - Myntra, said, “We are thrilled to have Shah Rukh as the face of EORS-18, and are confident that this association is poised to undoubtedly elevate the event to new heights of glamour, style and excitement. SRK stands among the few iconic celebrities whose popularity knows no boundaries and transcends age groups. He is loved by all, which perfectly aligns with the essence of Myntra EORS - an inclusive fashion extravaganza that brings the best of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle within reach for people across the nation. With Shah Rukh Khan as the face of the 18th edition of EORS, we are confident that it will be an unforgettable celebration of fashion, creating waves of inspiration and captivating experiences for all.” 

Speaking on the association, Shah Rukh Khan, said, “Fashion, for me, has always been a means of self-expression. It is a way to embrace one's unique style and create a statement that truly reflects your personality. I am excited to collaborate with the incredible team at Myntra and play my part in promoting an unforgettable experience for fashion enthusiasts across the country, as they gear up for EORS-18 which is India’s biggest shopping carnival.” 

EORS-18, starting June 1.

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AcneStar ropes in Raashii Khanna as new brand ambassador

As part of the collaboration, a TVC will be rolled out soon featuring the actress

By exchange4media Staff | May 26, 2023 11:41 AM   |   2 min read

Raashii Khanna

AcneStar the house of Mankind Pharma has onboarded Raashii Khanna as the new face of the brand for driving better engagement with the audience.

Owing to the popularity of Raashii Khanna across the spectrum through her films and shows panning over different languages, mediums and genres, the brand aims to intensify its reach PAN India with a TVC.

Commenting on the collaboration, Raashii Khanna said, “Acne and skin concerns are universally susceptible problems and as youngsters we are always looking at easier and safer ways to obtain a clear acne free skin. AcneStar employs scientific brilliance to present a product that offers dependable solutions to skin care, I am glad to be associated with a brand that is also vested in the public’s interest and better quality of living.”

Speaking on the occasion, Joy Chatterjee, Associate Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Mankind Pharma said, “We are very excited to onboard Raashii Khanna as the face of AcneStar. In order to expand our visibility and strengthen our foothold in the market, we were in search of a figure who was well-recognized by the audience. And considering that the actress is quite popular and at the same time resonates with the proposition of the brand, we collaborated with her to drive visibility amongst the target audience. It will further help us in augmenting the recall value of the brand amongst the masses. Furthermore, the audience having faith in the actress will aid in driving the authenticity of the brand at the same time.”

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Emami revenue grows by 9% in Q4FY23

EBIDTA growth stood at 22%

By exchange4media Staff | May 25, 2023 5:09 PM   |   4 min read


The Board of Directors of Emami Limited met on Thursday, 25th May 2023 to consider the unaudited financial results of the company for the fourth quarter and year ended 31st March 2023. 

The FMCG industry witnessed a mixed demand environment in Q4FY23, as discretionary categories like personal care continued to remain muted on account of reduction of non-essential expenditure by rural consumers. Inflation in rural areas reached 6.8% in FY23, the highest level in the previous nine years, and rural inflation surpassed urban inflation for the first time since FY18. Additionally, excessive rainfall in many areas of the country in March impacted the demand for summer products. In the given macroeconomic context, Revenues at ₹ 836 crore grew by 9% over previous year during the quarter. 

Domestic business grew by 5% during the quarter. Excluding the sales of Healthcare and Pain management range which had a higher consumption during COVID period, Domestic sales grew by 11%. New age channels like Modern Trade and eCommerce continued to perform well, growing by 18% and 64% respectively over previous year. The contribution of both these channels to Domestic sales increased to more than 20% of Domestic net sales, a 500 bps growth over previous year. 

Complementing the launch of Zandu Fast Relief Gel earlier in August’22, the Company launched Zandu Fast Relief Spray in Q4FY23. Zandu Fast Relief is India’s only pain relief brand, recommended by the Indian Association of Physiotherapists and is endorsed by Dr. Ali Irani, the ex-physio of the Indian Cricket Team. Overall, the Company launched around 20 products in during the financial year, with a majority being digital first launches on its D2C website

International business grew by 19% during the quarter despite high inflation, currency depreciation and geopolitical challenges in several key markets.The growth was mainly driven by strong performances in markets of MENA, CIS and Bangladesh. 

With some moderation in input costs, Gross margins at 63.1% expanded by 60 bps in Q4FY23. EBIDTA at ~ ₹ 200 crore grew by 22% with EBIDTA margins at 23.9% expanding by 260 bps. Profit before Tax at ₹ 148 crore also grew by 51% over previous year. 

For the full year, revenues at ₹ 3,406 crore grew by 7%. Domestic business grew by 4% in FY23 on a higher base of COVID contextual categories like Pain Management & Healthcare range. Excluding sales from both the categories, Domestic Business grew by ~7% in FY23.  International Business also grew strongly by 20% during the year. 

In FY23, Gross Margins at 64.7% contracted by 160 bps due to inflationary pressure and unfavorable portfolio mix in first three quarters. EBIDTA at ₹ 863 crore declined by 9% but compared to pre-COVID period it grew by 4% on a 4 year CAGR basis. Profits before tax at ₹ 670 crore declined by 3% over previous year but it grew by 13% on a 4 year CAGR basis. Profits after Tax, before MAT cr. entitlement of earlier years, grew by 3.5% in FY’23. 

Mr Harsha V Agarwal, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Emami Limited said: “Despite challenging demand scenario on account of high inflation, muted rural sentiments and unseasonal rains,  we have delivered a resilient profit led growth in Q4FY23. After few quarters of ongoing pressure on input costs, we have been able to expand our Gross & EBIDTA Margins delivering 20% EBIDTA growth. Our strategic investments and Dermicool acquisition have performed well and contributed to this growth. We will continue to make significant investment behind our core brands, innovations, channel expansions and digital optimisations which are expected to contribute immensely to future growth” 

Mr Mohan Goenka, Vice Chairman and Executive Director, Emami Limited said:  “Our sustained marketing interventions delivered higher penetration levels for our brands which continued to maintain their category leadership. While, new age channels such as Modern trade and e-Commerce plus D2C grew strongly by 18% and 64% respectively in domestic market, International business also reported a strong growth of 19% during the quarter despite economic and geo-political challenges in our key markets. With softening of input costs and decreasing inflationary pressures we are hopeful of a better demand scenario and improved margins in FY24”

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realme gets Shah Rukh Khan as brand ambassador

The first product Shah Rukh will endorse is the realme 11 Pro Series 5G

By exchange4media Staff | May 25, 2023 12:59 PM   |   1 min read

Shah Rukh Khan

realme has announced superstar Shah Rukh Khan as its brand ambassador for the realme smartphones.

This collaboration further reinforces the brand's commitment to inspiring the millennial generation and setting new benchmarks in the smartphone industry.

The first product Shah Rukh Khan will endorse for realme is the realme 11 Pro Series 5G, a testament to the brand's dedication to providing cutting-edge technology to its customers. With this collaboration, realme is poised to continue thriving and growing in the future, while staying true to its 'Dare to Leap' philosophy

Shah Rukh Khan shared, reflecting on the collaboration, “realme’s 'Dare to Leap' philosophy truly resonated with me. The brand's unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries aligns perfectly with my own pursuit of excellence. Together, we aim to ignite innovation and fuel the growth of realme globally. I am looking forward to joining the realme family as their brand ambassador and hope to inspire others to embrace challenges, take bold steps, and achieve greatness.”

Commenting on the association, Tao, Chief Marketing Officer at realme India, stated, "We are extremely excited to have Shah Rukh Khan on board as the brand ambassador for the realme smartphone category. His dare-to-leap spirit perfectly resonates with our brand's philosophy. With this collaboration, we aim to reach new heights of innovation and redefine the smartphone experience for our users."

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