What does the World Cup do for brand recall?

Leading marketers cite their reasons for association with World Cup, how it drives brand recall, striking an emotional chord with a cricket-frenzied nation

e4m by Abid Hasan & Collin Furtado
Updated: Feb 17, 2015 8:10 AM
What does the World Cup do for brand recall?

Star India’s sponsors for ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 include Sony, Airtel, Gaana.com, Hero MotoCorp, Karbonn, Crickbuzz.com, MRF Tyres, Amul, Policybazaar.com, iBall, Lloyd, Philips Pro-skin Trimmer, Volini Spray, Britannia 50-50, Vodafone, Sparx, DIU, CarTrade.com, Layers Shot, Livguard, Endura Mass, Set Wet, Hercules Roadeo, Polycab, FedEx, Maruti Suzuki, Nestle, Yepme.com, Paytm, Pidilite - Fevi Kwik, Marico and Raymonds.

More than 30 brands are participating in the cricketing extravaganza, but how good are such sporting events for brand recall?

We spoke to leading marketers on their take.

Sanjay Kapoor, Chairman, Micromax said, “ROI models on many of these big events are always a challenge and they become a debate but I think you cannot expect ROI to come that very year. When you  promote an event over a period of time your brands begins to associate with that and that’s when you begin to get lot of mileage, so I think when companies pick up events they need to have more patience with the return that they need to get but at times they need to make up their minds , if they want to cut their losses short because there is no point holding on to something that is not returning but to really calculate any sort of a return on a immediate basis is not that easy.”

He added, “Cricket World Cup, or soccer are polarised by the youth of the country. Everybody watches with lots of enthusiasm and I have no doubt that there is a lot of viewership and brand recalls comes in.”

Avinash Pant, Head of Marketing, Nike India from Nike’s perspective said, “For us big sporting moments are really important. Because our focus and attention is really in that moment and we want in this case our team to win. So for us it starts from the heart of it. Like I said the national team kit for team India is an incredible innovation in there for the team and of course we bring that product for the people in the country as well to wear and show their pride. That is the work on cricket that we’ve been doing in the past as well. And I would also say that for us when it comes to sporting moments it is also a lot more deeply authentic to the moment.”

He further added, “What I mean by that is there are multiple examples. The Football World Cup that just went past and Nike brought some of its very best football foot wear and apparel innovation for that. So I am just saying you go after it very authentically, it is not the question of because of the eyeballs are there. It is actually because we’re invested in the sport in which we believe and we want the sport to grow. And that is something that when a big moment comes that actually elevates the sport itself and brings our attention to that. That is something that we obviously work on and connect with consumers for.”

Though there is no doubt that this 44-day event will raise good viewership with all the brands participating in the game. With every fall of wicket and when a bowler completes an over, advertising will pop up.

Subhrangshu Neogi, Director – Head of Marketing & Brand, Religare feels conventionally has been a great property to connect with people at an emotional level and at a thematic level. He said, “Cricket is a religion we all know that and it works best to spike your brand recall scores. We as a brand have been on the previous World Cup and have worked wonderfully well. So fundamentally from a brand recall perspective, qualitative rating perspective the World Cup is a great connect. And in terms of engagement there are several options, there is ATL (above the line), digital and on-ground and various such ways where you can connect with consumers in a thematic manner.”

Nitesh Tipnis, Director Marketing & Sales, Hover Automotive India said, “From a marketer perspective, if I look at me personally where I have handled durables, electronics and automobiles, there is no going away from the fact it is religion in India. It is about how do you use the medium, the event and the entire festival around it in a manner that is best in terms of strategy is what is important.”

He added,  “So whether I sponsor the World Cup or I don’t sponsor the World Cup is solely dependent on the amount of money I have and the ability for me to go up on my noise levels. Personally speaking I wouldn’t bet on sponsoring the World Cup because resources are always a constraint. How do you create events which are out of the box which can break through the clutter and get the benefit of the overall festival of the world? So I don’t want to call it World Cup but I want to call it in terms of how do you create a festival around it because it is a lot more than just cricket. It is about fashion, fun, food, etc. now how do you as a brand compliment and blend with this entire festival.”

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