Sanjeev Kotnala: IPL is any day a better bet for brands!

12 Feb,2015

By Sanjeev Kotnala


The Indian Premier League or Cricket World Cup is a choice or problem for a few brands. You either have money to splurge on both tournaments or you don’t. Those who have money either have a campaign to run or they don’t. And brands with money and campaign, it is only the rate and ROI issue. ROI can never be guaranteed and remains a gamble. So, if you have the money and a campaign and need to advertise during these times you may want need to look at it differently.


World Cup 2015 is unpredictable. Not for which team would win but for marketers, brands and the media. Success here depends on audience interest, viewership, viewer’s empathy and apathy towards the team. Oh yes, the die-hard will watch anything, but the deciders are the real consumers; the fringe audience that makes the numbers advertiser look at. Match timings are big spoiler for them. We can expect non-India matches to be completely blanketed. Unfortunately, such matches form a large percentage of the tournament. The main sponsor get these ineffective buys as a package helping them show lower ER.  Non-sponsor brands try avoiding them but are served as no-option as channel has to square off the investment.


IF (a capital, bold IF) India plays well in the 1st final (India Vs. Pak) it could change the whole game. We as a nation are currently feeling low entering WC15 after a series of losses. Cricket is suffering from lack of empathy and viewers apathy.


On these qualitative counts itself IPL outscores WC-15 with a high percentage of your real TG hooked on to every match.


Srini or No-Srini, 12 or 8 teams, ball-tampering or fixed matches nothing changes the ground rule; IPL is a festival, a mela, a tamasha we all enjoy with a spicy tadka of regionalisation. IPL demands less of your time, give you much to discuss and is much more fun. It is realignment of interest, supports and stars. The audience loves this cut-throat high intensity not giving an inch of attitude. They smile, so can the channel and the advertisers. The patriotic feeling is understated or completely dead and that makes team losing a bit more manageable for the viewer.


I firmly believe that even a low WC-15 performance by the Indian team will fail to dampen the IPL spirit. Good or near decent show will help IPL. In gambling terms, with IPL you hold the royal run. IPL is always a new beginning. With auctions, there is always a new team under every banner. It has a clearly differentiated taste and flavour.


On the other hand, the hard focus on TV impact in these tournaments creates blinkers and brands end up underutilising or missing opportunities with other media. Radio and hoarding are good bets. In WC, by the time newspapers share the result of a match, the audience would be watching the next day’s match.  But if you want to add regionalised tadka in IPL making it exciting for your brand, go talk to your print guy and be pleasantly surprised with the ideas they have.


Sanjeev Kotnala is Head Catalyst at Intradia and believes the best way forward for an organisation is to enhance the potential of  internal teams instead of depending on external resources. He is a management- marketing-media consultant and also conducts specialised workshops in the area of ‘Harvesting and Liberating Ideas’ and Innovation.  To contact email or tweet at s_kotnala visit The views expressed here are his own.




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