Ad campaigns for IPL have seen an interesting evolution over the years in their positioning and an uncanny ability to capture the pulse of an entire nation. BestMediaInfo takes an in-depth look why these ad films have rocked
Aanchal Kohli | Mumbai | April 22, 2015
The T20 Indian Premier League (IPL) has grown over the years with a unique combination of cricket and entertainment. Coming close on the heels of the ICC World Cup 2015, IPL Season 8 sports a festival fervour reflected in its ‘India ka Tyohaar’ campaign.
According to data released by TAM for CS 4+ All India, the Pepsi IPL 2015, which is being aired on Sony Max, Sony Six and Sony Aath, has seen a 42 per cent jump in ratings to 4.5 TVR for the first five matches. In the previous edition of the tournament, the first five matches had registered 3.1 TVR. Overall, 39 per cent of the All India Universe tuned in to watch the IPL 8 matches.
Along with the tournament itself, the ad campaigns have also found a place in the hearts of the people and the creative community alike. Be it the ‘Manoranjan Ka Baap’ campaign for the inaugural year or the latest ‘India ka Tyohaar’ campaign, the ads have had high recall value and have been well appreciated.
BestMediaInfo takes an in-depth look at how the tournament has grown in its eight years as well as the campaigns that have engrossed viewers.
The IPL journey
IPL was inaugurated in 2008 at a time when the Indian Cricket League was still operational. Till 2012, IPL was sponsored by DLF; Pepsi took over the title sponsorship from 2013 onwards. Multi Screen Media’s (MSM) Sony Max bought the broadcasting rights and has steadily made the property grow bigger and better every year.
Vaishali Sharma, Marketing Head, Sony Max, commented, “Over the years it has become a biggest brand property. The biggest growth that the property witnessed was the kind of accumulative reach that it has witnessed. We have seen more and more audience coming in every year. We have seen newer and newer age groups viewing the property. The property has also created a buzz in smaller markets. Looking at the kind of growth that the property witnessed in the last couple of years, we have introduced language feeds as well.”
From ‘Manoranjan Ka Baap’ to ‘India ka Tyohaar’
A high-decibel campaign has been preceding the tournament since its inception. One might recall the highly entertaining ‘Manoranjan Ka Baap’ campaign which was rolled out in the inaugural year of the IPL. The campaign sought to promote the tournament as the biggest entertainment blockbuster on Indian television, marrying cricket with entertainment.
Harping on the nation’s favourite game and the super success of IPL 1, the second year of IPL highlighted the passion that united the nation through the campaign thought ‘Ek Desh Ek Junoon’. Since in the second year the tournament was held in South Africa, the idea was to get it back to India and, hence, the message for the third year was that the IPL had returned to India, thus building it as the pride of India through the campaign, ‘Saare Jahan se accha/ Back in India’.
To highlight how the entire nation comes to a standstill during a cricket match, the campaign for IPL 4 took on the positioning of ‘Bharat Bandh’. For the fifth year, the campaign positioning was based on the insight that IPL brings people together, hence the tag ‘Aisa Mauka Aur Kahan Milega’.
For Season 6, the campaign thought – ‘Sirf Dekhne Ka Nahi’ – revolved around creating a radical shift – engaging, entertaining and involving audiences, not just around the grandeur of IPL, but with the clear route of engagement. Taking the property to the next level, last year IPL came out with the hugely popular ‘Come on, Bulaava Aaya Hai’ campaign, which was based on the premise that the year’s most awaited cricketing event had finally arrived and no one should miss it at any cost.
In Season 8, the thought has been more geared towards creative and engaging showcases and the fact that ‘India ka Tyohaar’ invites people to break their differences and join in the revelry, which has been communicated through a heart-shaped mnemonic that exudes the ‘spirit of togetherness’.
While the campaigns for the initial two years were conceptualised by TBWA, JWT designed and conceptualised the IPL campaigns for four consecutive years. Last season’s campaign was designed and conceptualised by Havas Worldwide India, while this year it is DDB Mudra that has created the ‘India ka Tyohaar’ campaign.
Claimed to be the biggest ever campaign of IPL, this year’s campaign kicked off with a series of three prequels set in distinct situations of people’s lives, ending with the common messaging of ‘India ka Tyohaar’. The films leave viewers with intriguing thoughts of preparation towards the year’s grandest tournament. Continuing the fever, Sony Max launched three more TVCs, including a College set-up; In-Laws, wherein the TVC urges all the members of the family to sit together and watch IPL; and the Sweet Shop, which again highlights the cricket fever and joining in the celebrations.
On the evolution of the campaign, Sharma said, “The campaigns have evolved every year, but the interesting fact is that we have been true to our product positioning of IPL being an entertaining form of cricket. We kept on adding flavours and more entertaining things like Extra Innings, etc., but we have stayed true to the brand ethos and essence.”
She also mentioned that every year, they went back to consumer insights to understand the needs and demands of the consumers. “We sit and work out innovations according to every year’s marketing objective, thus making it more engaging and entertaining,” Sharma added.
Sharma stated that they had always got good response for all their campaigns, not only from the consumers, but from the advertisers too.
MSM’s President, Rohit Gupta, explained, “Every year the response from the advertisers has been really good and has been growing. Out of all the seasons, this year’s IPL has seen the maximum number of advertisers and sponsors, including all possible categories like e-commerce, telecom, auto, FMCG and more. After a great struggle of so many years, today IPL has reached a mature position and marketers feel that this is the right platform for them to build necessary reach.”
Since the last couple of years, IPL’s inventory has been getting sold quite early, even before the start of the tournament, which is a clear indication of the right positioning and growth of IPL.
Sharma said, “IPL 2015 has been one of the best years for IPL compared to the last seven years. This year we have got quite a few new brands and marketers coming on board. While every year used to see a good response, but this year it was a remarkable one with 11 to 12 sponsors, unlike the previous years.”
Ad rates for Pepsi IPL 2015 have seen a spike. According to industry sources, ad rates have seen an increase of 10-15 per cent this season, with an even higher increase for the final stage of the tournament as the inventories are much sought after by a host of advertisers.
Sonal Dabral, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, DDB Mudra Group, said, “The brief given was a simple, yet very exciting and challenging one. IPL is a unique cricketing event and has got high energy, glitz and glamour and, of course, great teams providing thrill and excitement to millions of Indians every year. Unlike the previous years, the brief this year was to not only capture and promise the huge energy and excitement that only IPL brings, but also to give the event a meaning, a purpose. Is it just an exciting cricketing event? By no means, it is much more than that. The brief was to find that truth about IPL and then establish it as its new positioning. It was Neeraj Vyas and Vaishali Sharma and their team’s passion, energy and clarity of purpose that helped all of us in finding that truth about IPL and then shaping it into ‘India ka Tyohaar’. Great things happen when the client and agency work together as a team with no boundaries. This is exactly how the big idea of ‘India ka Tyohaar’ took birth.”
Sharing his thoughts on the campaign, Dabral said, “It’s been an amazing journey working on this campaign. IPL is watched and loved by millions of Indians every year. If cricket is a religion in India, IPL is its only true festival. Unlike any other sporting event in the world, it’s a microcosm of the passion, fervour and madness that envelop our country whenever cricket is played, uniting hearts and minds in its wake. And unlike any other festival in India, this is one festival that every Indian celebrates. It’s got the colours of Holi, the festivity of Diwali, the brotherhood of Eid and the joy of X-mas. What else can you call it but one amazing ‘India ka Tyohaar’? I’m really thrilled that people across India are loving this campaign as much as we enjoyed creating it.”
When asked if creating something innovative and entertaining every year was a challenge, he said, “When you create ideas and stories that have to connect to a wide variety of Indian audiences it is always a huge challenge because of the huge diversity in this country. Coming up with not just one but a series of stories for this campaign was hence a tough task. We really dug deep into our collective memories, mined for insights around IPL, its diverse fans, etc., to come up with so many stories all bound by the central thought that IPL with all its energy and celebrations is truly ‘India ka Tyohaar’ and, at the heart of it, connects people, brings them together.”
Anita Nayyar, CEO India & South Asia at Havas Media, said, “Yes, IPL has grown tremendously every year and has received encouraging response. I really like the current campaign, ‘India ka Tyohaar’, as they have taken the event to a different level and have got entire India celebrating it like a festival. It could not go better than this. This is the benchmark and now I am curious to know what will be next. The property has grown every year. It has come to a stage where the advertisers feel that this is one property that can help them get better reach. They have never disappointed any advertiser in terms of delivery. It has been a perfect ROI platform. IPL is one property that assures right delivery for the advertisers. It is a perfect platform for any advertiser.”
FCB Ulka’s Chief Creative Officer, Satbir Singh, who recently left Havas Worldwide, remarked, “The IPL campaigns have always been looked forward to. Needless to say, my favourite campaign has been last year’s ‘Bulava Aaya Hai’ that I worked on with my team at Havas. It was a call for action to viewers to watch.”
Going by data in the Brand Value Report on IPL 2015 by American Appraisal, despite the recent controversies, many of which continued into the seventh season of the IPL last year, the cumulative reach of the tournament increased from 155 million for the 2013 edition to 190 million for the 2014 edition. The TV reach of IPL has been consistently growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10 per cent since the first edition.