Brand Play On Ipl: To Be, Or Not To Be Hitting It Out Of The Park?

Since IPL enjoys a wide viewership, ads released during the IPL season also target consumers across demographics such as age, gender, location and income groups. There’s something for almost everyone here. 

Brand Play On Ipl: To Be, Or Not To Be Hitting It Out Of The Park?

The clutter-breaking IPL campaigns have gone big on quirk, humour and creativity. With the ever-growing popularity, advertising is also becoming louder and fancier, garnering the attention of millions of Indians. Therefore, brands are also looking to take this opportunity and advertise on IPL.

The year was 2008. But across television screens in India was playing an advertisement reminiscent of Bollywood tear-jerkers of the 1980s. Twins Ranjan and Mano, who live with their mother, are taunted throughout their young lives because they don’t have a father. Unable to bear the humiliation, their mother is about to commit suicide one day when she is stopped by her children, who tell them that their father has arrived. The television screen at their house announces, “Aa gaya manoranjan ka baap” — a clever take on the Hindi word for entertainment. And that is how the Indian Premier League first arrived on our screens, promising the action of sports with a dash of entertainment on top. It became a heady cocktail of money, glamour, sports and showbiz that continues to give cricket fans a buzz 14 years later.

Since IPL enjoys a wide viewership, ads released during the IPL season also target consumers across demographics such as age, gender, location and income groups. 

There’s something for almost everyone here. 

Also read: Cricketers Or Actors: Who Do Most Brands Prefer?

So while Fogg — marketed as a pocket-friendly deodorant — put out an advertisement this year which shows two women discussing flirting with a man, catering to a young audience of 18-24 years, ads for Tata Punch eye a relatively older target group of ‘go-getters’, fantasy gaming app Gamezy — endorsed by Lucknow Super Giants skipper K.L. Rahul — speaks to a tier-2 city audience, and a new Swiggy Instamart ad revolves around a young couple living in a metropolitan city.

         

In 2020, advertisements targeting women jumped by a record 57 per cent, owing to an increase in female viewership. 

Lucrative Revenues, Brand Echo 

IPL is often referred to as India’s Super Bowl of the West regarding its advertising worth. An intermingling of international cricketers in a fast and exciting format that catches the attention of millions of Indians every year makes for a remunerative marketing opportunity for brands. Naturally, brands will look to leverage it for maximum eyeballs, making ads a major source of revenue for those connected to the tournament. 

In 2021, Star — which bagged a five-year contract to be IPL’s television broadcaster in 2019 — reportedly garnered Rs 3,200 crore in ad revenue and was eyeing earnings of Rs 4,000 crore this year. A 10-second ad spot during the IPL costs advertisers approximately Rs 16 lakh, while a 30-second ad during breaks in the match for the duration of the tournament costs Rs 37 crore. 

Start-ups, especially in the quick loans, e-commerce and ed-tech spaces, have been among the most visible advertisers for the ongoing IPL season. 

Ipl’s Allure Still As Young As New Brands 

CRED is known for its out-of-box advertising and had made quite a splash in the last season of IPL. The next year, it sent social media into a tizzy with its entertaining campaigns, starting with Rahul Dravid morphing into "Indira Nagar Ka Gunda", followed by Jackie Shroff learning Zumba and Kumar Sanu selling insurance with a song routine.  Cred’s campaign this year — ‘play it different’ — a ‘hatke’ take on iconic ads from the past, includes one that features Karisma Kapoor in a rehash of an old detergent ad.

Slice Super Cards, which allow users to split their bills, have also been heavily advertised on digital and television media this year. It has managed to grab potential customers’ attention too.

Smaller brands are also edging out bigger ones because the IPL is the only time they get wide attention. Now, in the world of OTTs, where consumers are fragmented on different platforms, IPL is arguably the only single platform that has the attention of so many consumers at once. So a lot of brands vie for these expensive slots.