How this year's festive IPL is an opportunity for brands to occupy consumer mind-space

With just 31 high-intensity matches left, IPL phase 2 offers unique opportunities to invest at relatively lower & affordable outlays in an array of advertising solutions to both big & small brands

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Aug 6, 2021 5:09 PM

With just 31 games left in the tournament and top teams from part one of the tournament locking horns in passion, the viewership involvement and engagement for IPL is expected to be higher than a regular season for the second half.

The industry opines that having a second opening match, that too between the two mass favourites, MI and CSK will be a revolutionary moment, not just for the league, but also for the brands associated. To give an indication of the spectrum of eyeballs that an IPL opening match enjoys, the opening match of IPL 2020 between the same teams garnered record viewership as 20 crore watched the match, recording the highest ever opening day viewership for any sporting league. And to add to that, the final match of the league coincides with the Hindu festival of Dussehra, which is sure to amplify not just the eyeballs but also the excitement around the game.


What’s in it for the brands

There is no denying the fact that IPL is a goldmine of eyeballs for any brand categories that choose to advertise on it. The last festive season again demonstrated that the tournament dominates the prime time when it’s on. Major GEC shows like KBC and Bigg Boss witnessed ratings fall while IPL gained 24% in viewership as compared to 2019.


What makes IPL such a lucrative opportunity for the brands is the whole gamut of partnering opportunities it offers.

Pre and Post Match Expert Talk Show: The pre-show Byju’s Cricket Live itself generates higher ratings than the GEC impact shows and by itself is the highest rated non-live property and makes for a good deployment which generates good value in reach and ratings along with positive associative value of the IPL for brands. Cricket Live today in the league of top impact shows in the country amassing a reach of 300 million last season.

And it also resulted in some spectacular results for advertisers as well. While Titan received higher attention and recall compared to pre-covid period, Tanishq also managed to grow its y-o-y sales. 


Closer to live spots are another interesting asset which is finding a consistent place in the media strategy of some brands like Sensodyne, Pan Bahar and Kent. It is almost like an appointment viewing for certain ads owing to ownership by brands of a fixed position in every match and many brands have seen benefits for themselves by taking a long-term approach to owning this spot.

Features are another asset which can work on driving saliency and contextual messaging when the match is on and viewers are fully engaged. It offers an excellent opportunity for brands to associate with IPL and be visible and entrenched in consumers’ minds during live content. In the last season Muthoot Fincorp witnessed a spike in its brand awareness and consideration during the IPL

Additionally, the contextual messaging run by Muthoot Fincorp led to an 168% increase in google searches for the brand, 54% higher brand recall during IPL.

The growing digital community of Star Sports is another interesting opportunity available for brands to associate and leverage the growing star sports digital community and engage with fans and intertwine their campaigns with the associate power of IPL through a digital community of fans.

Opportunities for emerging brands

It is often complained that IPL is only for the big brands who can afford to spend big on marketing activities. However, this time, there is a great opportunity on the horizon for smaller brands as well who want to test the power of this marketing extravaganza.

The second leg of IPL 2021 is a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity for even smaller advertisers to associate with IPL as the number of games in the session is reduced so the outlays required for associating with the IPL platform would be much smaller and affordable even for smaller players.

Lupin's presence on CTL in IPL 2020 led to its Google search traffic increasing and a surge in the attention they got. Lenskart too had shown some exceptional results, especially in the female TG.



“This was a brand-building campaign and the two big benefits were seen in brand lift and impact on business. On the brand lift, we surpassed the benchmarks that we had initially set and superseded that by a couple of points. In terms of business, we saw more than 25% increment in business at our stores and a 10% increment in online business,” said Hitesh Malhotra, Chief Marketing Officer, Lenskart

It isn’t surprising that the upcoming leg of IPL 2021 has already onboarded three co-presenting sponsors and nine associating sponsors, as soon as the schedule was fixed and announced by the BCCI. It is  testimony to their positive outlook on the upcoming period for business, as well how the brands view the value and returns they are getting for their investments on Vivo IPL broadcast.

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