Hyundai puts ICC in driver's seat

Hyundai, which has signed on as the official automotive partner for the ICC World Cup 2011, has big plans around the tournament. The carmaker has earmarked a budget of Rs 200 crore over the next five years.

e4m by Gopal Sathe
Updated: Feb 9, 2011 7:05 AM
Hyundai puts ICC in driver's seat

The ICC Cricket World Cup starts in just a few days now, and Hyundai has signed an agreement with the ICC to be the official automotive partner for the ICC World Cup 2011. The company will be providing cars for transportation of players and officials, and will also be involved in a number of activities to promote their brand along with the World Cup.

Arvind Saxena, Director, Sales and Marketing, Hyundai, spoke to exchange4media about some of the plans that the company has to promote their cars during the World Cup.

He said, “Aside from branding and advertising, Hyundai will also be reaching out to the audience from a variety of touch points. We are exploring digital, radio, television and ground activities. Showrooms will all have branding for the World Cup and all buyers will get a free kit as well. There will be Fan Parks, which we will set up in select metros where people can get together and watch the matches and take part in activities and even win tickets to watch the match in the stadium. The first ball will be taken through three cities in a specially branded car as well, and fans can wish the team luck this way.”

Of course, with over 250 sponsors tied up with the ICC for the World Cup 2011, there is a risk that brands will be lost amongst the clutter. Brand fatigue is a concern, but according to Saxena, good planning should take care of this. He said, “Obviously, one cannot just advertise and hope that things work out. We have to engage the customer for a longer period regardless of the touch point, and so we use a number of approaches, from advertising to creating a special song for the ICC World Cup and engaging mindshare.”

“We are not just advertising our products during the games, but also working to efficiently get the brand message to the audience. It requires a scientific approach which takes into account a number of factors, including this,” he added.

At the same time, he said, the company had not set any targets for their advertising from the World Cup. Saxena said, “We are not looking at a specific number directly from the association with the ICC. Cricket is the biggest property in India across all media, and we are looking to engage with the consumers and create top of the mind recall. Down the line this will lead to sales, but we are not looking at instant results or specific targets.”

More important, he felt, were, the core values of the brand. He said, “We have long been associated with sporting events, including the IPL, the ICC Awards and FIFA. We are a very dynamic brand and want to be associated with such events. We have a budget of Rs 200 crore over the next five years, which will be spent in part on television, in part on cricket, and also through other mediums. We are very committed to the World Cup and are looking at this as a long term investment.”

At the same time, the company will be shifting some of its spending away from GECs during the World Cup to focus on the changes in the audience during the same time. He said, “The interest generated by cricket means that people who would be watching other channels turn away from them. When India is playing the numbers are huge and when India is playing a high profile match, nothing can compete. So it only makes sense to shift some of the budget away from the other programming, which will lose out some of the audience as well.”

He also spoke about the importance of cricket from an advertiser’s perspective, giving the example of the plans for Hyundai. He said, “We are reaching out to the consumers in a number of ways across various platforms. We are going to invest Rs 200 crore by 2015, because the interest in cricket in India is phenomenal, and this will be an ongoing spend, which we hope will build engagement through digital, radio, print and television campaigns, and also ground events like branding, and the fan parks, and tours through the country. Part of the tie-up with the ICC also allows us to have the cricketers be part of our branding, which we will explore.”

“Cricket gets a phenomenal response from India. When India is playing, even if it is taking place outside the country, people will tune in to watch the match. The TRP generated by cricket is phenomenal, far beyond any other sporting event or show. Also, advertising on cricket transcends geography, language and other boundaries, and is highly universal. The brand values are well integrated with cricket as well, and will help build a powerful engagement with the consumers,” he added.

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