Cricket is almost an independent medium for us now: Jaskaran Kapany, Paytm

The Vice-President, Marketing, Paytm, on how brands can get maximum ROI & guaranteed eyeballs from cricket association and his perspective on advertising during cricket tournaments.

In India, cricket is more than just a sport; it is akin to a religion. Each cricket game or tournament that features India finds almost the entire nation glued to the TV screens with bated breath. It is, therefore, no surprise that all brands looking to create an impact and recall value associate with the sport. Several brands have actually launched themselves on the back of cricket tournaments, and some have even seen a huge growth and recall with cricket-centric campaigns.

Asia Cup is round the corner and there is a prospect of arch rivals India and Pakistan taking on one another on the pitch. We talk to Jaskaran Kapany, Vice-President, Marketing, Paytm, to get their perspective on marketing and advertising during cricket tournaments. Read on to know his advice on how brands can get maximum ROI & guaranteed eyeballs from a cricketing association, and also his favourite India-Pakistan game moments:

How impactful is cricket as a vehicle for brand building?
If done well, cricket can give an immensely different stature to a brand. There is nothing bigger than cricket in India. It is like a religion and undoubtedly the most followed sport, across geographies, with an unparalleled reach. Not only this, it has a unique position in the minds of consumers. It is mass and at the same time premium. Hence, it delivers phenomenal perceived value for a brand. For Paytm, cricket has worked exceptionally well and it is almost an independent medium for us now.

Take us through some of your recent cricket-based campaigns. How have they worked out for Paytm?
We have the unique distinction of being long-term ‘on-ground’ partner with both BCCI India cricket since 2015 and now with the IPL for five years. Over the years, we have done many innovative on-ground activations ranging from the ‘Paytm se Stadium’ initiative wherein Paytm customers had a chance to get their shopping packages ‘delivered’ by leading Indian cricket players before the match, to the innovative 'Digital Money Transfer’ and the ‘Man of the Match’. Our recent giant screen QR code initiative also did very well for the brand.

What can brands do to derive greater ROI from cricket campaigns?
Brands must create and deliver compelling propositions in ways that break the clutter. Else, it is easy to be swept away in the sea of clutter.

How can brands leverage India-Pakistan rivalry to its maximum?
Amongst other things, brands chase audiences or reach. Without a shadow of a doubt, India-Pakistan clashes are known to garner maximum eyeballs on TV. Looking at facts, the India-Pak ODI match in the 2017 Champions Trophy garnered over a 200 million eyeballs. Now, if you add consumer passion on top of these eyeballs, it becomes a very impactful and premium TV property that any brand would want to be a part of.

Your favourite India–Pakistan moment?
There are many. Who can forget Venkatesh Prasad’s royal send off to Aamir Sohail in the 1996 World Cup! And more recently, India’s win in the inaugural T20 World tournament in 2007, with just 6 runs to go off 4 balls. Misbah mistimed his shot to land India a thrilling victory!

Do you think the standard of cricket has improved among Asian countries?
South Asia boasts of some serious cricketing nations. India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan have all won World Cups in the past and hence the quality of sport is extremely competitive in this part of the world. Within these, India obviously is clearly leading the way and has delivered a world-class exhibition of sports and talent development over the years. For more updates, subscribe to exchange4media's WhatsApp Channel- https://bit.ly/2QUdLCK

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