‘Our post IPL research shows that Gamezy ads had more than 70% unaided recall’

Harish Rawat, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Gameskraft, shares insights with e4m about how the fantasy cricket app leveraged IPL in 2020

e4m by Simran Sabherwal
Updated: Mar 2, 2021 9:29 AM
Harish Rawat

Harish Rawat, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Gameskraft tells us how Gamezy leveraged the IPL in 2020 to showcase its innovations and features thereby building differentiation for the fantasy cricket app in a cluttered and competitive marketplace  

Gamezy took the decision to advertise on IPL for the first time. What factors led to Gamezy investing on TV on India’s biggest marketing property?

As per the KPMG report on gaming, there are more than 70 daily fantasy operators in India. With most of the players offering a similar value proposition to the consumers, there is little differentiation in the category and the only thing that ties stickiness to the platform is product experience and the trust a brand could derive out of positive consumer interactions. Trust also becomes critical to our category as the nature of the games involves cash. For a new and upcoming brand like Gamezy, we were confident that with our campaign idea, IPL would build a positive word of mouth leading to a strong rub-off on trust.

Also, At Gamezy, we had two new innovations – 2nd Innings and Live Fantasy, which clearly differentiated us from rest of the category. IPL offered a strong platform to stand out and engage with a large set of fans, who are directly engaged with both cricket and fantasy sports.

Another factor was that IPL was the first major cricketing event after six months of lockdown during which the entire fantasy category lost out on active gamers and hence good visibility during IPL would have also created a pull to bring back inactive gamers. 

Gamezy conceptualised the campaign ‘Naya Zamana V/S Purana Zamana’, starring brand ambassador KL Rahul to promote fantasy cricket. What was the creative insight behind the idea and campaign?

At Gamezy, we have always focused on bringing innovation to the category, by integrating new features that aim at making the playing experience exciting and fun for our users.  While fantasy cricket as a category has been around for quite some time, it has failed to evolve so as to cater to new age aspirations. This at times makes the game boring to a certain degree. Our innovative features like 2nd innings and Live fantasy brought newness and positive disruption to the category.

The campaign, “Naya Zamana V/S Purana Zamana”, conceived by Aagey Se Right tries to communicate this very essence. The Naya Zamana is a representation of this newness and innovation that Gamezy stands for.  In stark contrast to this, Purana Zamana represents the old and boring. The analogy is apt since it reflects the state of fantasy cricket in general vis-à-vis the freshness that Gamezy brings to the table. 

What was the response from the viewer, particularly when it played during the matches?

Viewers at large appreciated the ads. Our post IPL research shows that Gamezy ads had more than 70% unaided recall! Gamezy also featured in the top 10 most loved IPL ads in the Wavemaker’s IPL Mesh report.

I felt this was mainly driven by three factors:

  1. The proposition of ‘new’ allowed us to pique interest of viewers with our two new features, 2nd Innings and Live Fantasy.
  2. Celebrity: KL Rahul’s stellar performance during IPL, coupled with him being the brand’s face gave the brand strong recognition.
  3. Story: The whole ‘Naya Zamana’ vs. ‘Purana Zamana twist added a delight factor for the viewers as they saw KL Rahul in a new fan avatar. 

The IPL is India’s largest marketing platform when it comes to advertising. What do you think makes this league stand out from the rest?

IPL is not only just another sports league, to us, it’s like a festival that is celebrated agnostic of one’s faith. The entertaining carnival brings family, friends and communities together. The geographical boundaries are broken down and everyone speaks one universal language of ‘Cricket’. For marketers this is a golden opportunity, as one can capture deeply engaged audience, across diverse segments (at mass) on one single platform and the duration of engagement allows enough time to seed meaningful messaging.

IPL from a marketers’ point of view is known to help brands in creating a perception shift or a behavioural shift among key audiences. How has this helped Gamezy connect with consumers? 

With our IPL campaign, we tried to highlight consumer tensions that a typical fantasy user faces and we provided them with positive experiences like 2nd Innings and Live Fantasy, offering them a solution. This allowed us to position Gamezy uniquely in an otherwise cluttered market. By keeping our ears to the ground and closely listening to the needs of our consumers, we were able to open a world of opportunities and helped them stay updated, which is what is expected of any new-age tech.

A key objective for Gamezy was to cater to new age aspirations. How has the IPL on broadcast helped reach your TG? In terms of reach, what was the final reach for the campaign? 

Fantasy sports similar to Cricket has a mass appeal and has an active gamer base that stretches to the last mile. Thanks to digital payment modes, affordable smartphones and cheaper data plans – fantasy sports actually has been able to mine the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid! It is not so surprising to see trends where the percentage of active gamers in tier II and tier III cities is far higher than any metro or tier I towns.

The phenomenal reach that IPL offers, allowed us to reach viewers across all age groups and genders, from metros to Tier III towns. The campaign successfully delivered on the benchmark numbers that we had set for ourselves.  This is also visible in Google trends where we saw a more than 10x increase in search index during IPL compared to pre-IPL levels. 

 A lot of brands believe in the power of TV advertising and its unbeatable reach. What would you say to fellow marketers/ advertisers about this?

TV for sure is a strong channel in the marketing mix. It gives you a reach which moves multiple metrics for a brand from awareness to purchase and from saliency to trust. Over the years, I have noticed that TV also creates a strong halo on performance marketing thereby improving creative CTRs and Click-to-Install ratios.

While there are benefits to TV strategy, it is an expensive medium with high entry cost. To ensure effective ROIs, media planning needs to be efficient and well thought through. Marketers should question every media plan which is typically a function of reach and frequency and map it back to business objectives. There is no point in buying additional reach if your business objectives could be managed with lesser reach. Hence, one needs to put efforts to estimate impact of TV on metrics like traffic, organic searches, revenues etc. Only after this exercise one could be certain of TV versus any alternate strategy!

What would be your advice to marketers in general as to how best to use the IPL platform for their campaigns to address their brand and business objectives?

IPL is exciting because of the possibilities it creates for business but it can equally be scary for a marketer [or business owner] if one is not clear about what to measure/expect from the huge spends a brand incurs by leveraging the platform. Hence I would suggest following:

  1. Be very clear about your objectives and align all stakeholders on defined ‘success metrics’.
  2. IPL as a platform is cluttered with not only your competition but other novel brands, each trying to reach out to their users with appropriate offering, hence there is a strong need to ‘stand out’. Suboptimal creatives even with strong SOVs may not lead to intended results and hence spend enough time in consumer research and creative ideation to mine for a winning route.
  3. Tie your business objectives to reach numbers. If an objective could be achieved with 30% reach don’t waste precious dollars on buying additional reach!
  4. Do keep a healthy mix of digital and new age channels like influencer and content to drive home the intended messaging.
  5. Leverage automation to effectively squeeze juice from the huge top of the funnel one would generate during IPL.

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