Ad rates soaring for this cricket World Cup’s first Indo-Pak game

Brands to ride on the craze for the June 16 match; industry experts say rates currently as high as Rs 20 lakh per 10 sec

e4m by Tasmayee Laha Roy
Updated: Jun 13, 2019 8:13 AM

While the 2019 offspring of Star Sports’ Mauka Mauka ad campaign, launched during the 2015 ICC World Cup to promote the India vs Pakistan match, has been grabbing a lot of attention, brands are all set to cash in on the Sunday June 16 match between the two nations. 

Media planners have a packed schedule ahead of this World Cup’s first India-Pakistan match. Each of the brands have been trying to get themselves a spot during the match. 

With an India-Pakistan game always being one of the must-watch games of the tournament, ad slots for the day are touching sky high rates. According to industry experts, the rates currently are as high as Rs 20 lakh per 10 sec. 

“Broadcasters will look forward to cashing in on the India-Pakistan matches due to the heightened emotions of Indians around these clashes. Mega emotions demand mega screens and this World Cup match is no different. It is like the Superbowl of India and more,” said Jyoti Bansal, CEO, PHD India.

According to Sejal Shah, Managing Partner and Head of Publicis Media Exchange (PMX - Mainline), India-Pakistan matches have always sold at a premium. “The premium could go up to three times the asking rate in any tournament. There is much anticipation and expectation around an India versus Pakistan match and when the property is as big as the World Cup, the stakes involved are so much more. Emotion and passion runs deep and the match represents the socio-political sentiments of the two countries. This is much more than just a cricket match. The India-Pakistan match is over-sold in every tournament. As a selling tactic, broadcasters create packages—bundle up this inventory with non-India matches which advertisers are compelled to buy,” said Shah.

Talking of history, the India-Pakistan match in the ICC World Cup 2015 was said to have generated a viewership of 288 million viewers and saw around 93 brands on board across Star Network. Likewise, it also scored high in terms of ad revenues. The match was said to have generated nearly Rs 100-110 crore in advertising revenues, according to media planners.

This time, too, media planners are expecting similar revenues and more. According to Sudhir Kumar, Director, Offline Media at marketing agency DCMN India, for brands that are buying slots for all the 48 matches the rates vary between Rs 8 lakh/10 sec to Rs10 lakh/10 sec, and the rates can go up to anywhere between Rs 15 lakh/10 sec and Rs 18  lakh/10 sec if a brand is looking at investing in specific matches only. “However, when it comes to buying slots for the India-Pakistan match on June 16 the price has rocketed up to Rs 20 lakh/10 sec because the match is almost like a war fought on the cricket pitch and that has a guaranteed viewership. The match has the stature of a World Cup semi-final or the final match. So any brand that wants to be heard or seen will be investing in ad slots for the match,” Kumar added.

Experts suggest Star has already sold 90 per cent of the inventory for the match and there will be interest ad content on the day. “Our experience has been that there is always last-minute inventory available. Depending on the client’s objective, we recommend options. The key is to know what we want out of the emotional frenzy to benefit our brands. Watch out for an interesting one from one of our clients,” said PHD India’s Jyoti Bansal.  

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