Will out-of-form India dampen adspends on W’Cup?

12 Feb,2015


Much interest in the Cup, but only dampener is India’s form

Some of the brands who are probably fence-sitters today are only wondering what the form of the India team will be


By CVL Srinivas, CEO, GroupM South Asia


We see a lot of interest in the World Cup this year. One of the reasons for this is that it is a once-in -four-years event. But I think there seems to be a lot of innovation coming in to the World Cup product. Whether it is in terms of the number of languages it is going to be telecast in, or the kind of programming and advertising innovations that are available, and the fact that a lot of viewership is going to be on digital and there is also going to be a lot of interplay between digital and TV even when someone is watching the match on TV makes it very interesting for brands, for advertisers, for agencies to come up interesting campaign ideas and innovations. So there is definitely a lot of interest in the World Cup.


The only dampener at the moment is India’s form. I only hope that picks up. This does have an impact on advertising to an extent. While overall the sentiment is still positive towards the World Cup. I think all the big sponsorship has been lined up. A lot of brands are also excited with the innovation possibilities on the World Cup, therefore they have also come in. I think some of the brands who are probably fence-sitters today are only wondering what the form of the India team will be, and whether they would be able to afford the scale of investment required, so if actually all goes well and India perform well in the first few matches, it could be a complete sell-out.



It is the biggest aggregation of consumers possible

The cricket format allows frequent short breaks making it apt for advertisers to be present creating impact and high brand recall.


By Vivek Sharma, CMO, Pidilite Industries Ltd


Cricket is a not just a sport in India, but is in fact a religion, which no one can refute. Not only is the ICC Cricket World Cup the premier flagship tournament of the ICC that comes only once in four years, this year India are the defending Champions, which means higher level of engagement from audiences in India and Indian diaspora. Given this context, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is the right opportunity for our brands to reach out to a large consumer base.


Furthermore, with large number of TV viewers in the country watching the last edition of the World Cup, it is the biggest aggregation of consumers possible. This year, the ICC Cricket World Cup will be broadcast in six different languages making it even larger. The cricket format allows frequent short breaks making it apt for advertisers to be present creating impact and high brand recall. Viewers will get an opportunity to see two of our new TVCs for Fevikwik and Dr. Fixit during this World Cup. Thus we believe that the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 will be an ideal platform for us to create both awareness and connect for the brands with our end consumer across the key target regions.


The unpredictable format of the ODI game makes it more exciting and keeps audience engaged, overall we believe that the ICC World Cup will prove once again to be a win-win situation for all advertisers. Pidilite has supported the game of cricket for long time and will continue to support our boys and the spirit of sportsmanship.



Has the magic diminished?

One great match, one killer performance, one massive win, one boost of hardcore patriotism and heroics, and Indian blood will get to pump again.


By Prathap Suthan


The fact is that the boys in blue, are now more black and blue. Considering that they been blown to the outback in Australia. They seem to be unfocussed. As though there’s a sort of ennui in the team. A lackadaisical attitude.


Nowhere close to what they were when they won the Cup last time around. Worse, very much contrary to the advertising that’s going around featuring the team, they seem to be determined to do everything to give the Cup back.


As a viewer, currently I just don’t feel being inspired to watch. I am all but looking forward to the World Cup. Somehow I am as listless as the team itself. I have no hope, no faith, no conviction in the team.


The problem is that this listlessness is contagious. It comes from the team and affects all of us. All viewers and advertisers. Unfortunately, the team’s motivation, and the team’s resolve, and the team’s body language etc. have all been in the dumps. They haven’t been able to fire any adrenaline back to us.


More importantly, there’s been an overdose of cricket. As a nation we are up to our gills with this game, and sadly, the plentitude is boring. Don’t forget there’s IPL soon after, and there’s just no end to this. I suppose the specialness of the game has waned and much like everything that’s profuse, even the magic of cricket has diminished.


From an advertising perspective, I think regardless of our team, this is great and rich advertising opportunity for brands. In terms of the numbers, million would watch even if India isn’t playing.


This is a game that doesn’t need to be explained to the masses. All of us know the game. And all of us are experts. Including large numbers of our women.


I certainly would advise clients to be part of this. I am sensing a lot of clients are timid and tepid about spending money on this tournament. It is not a bad place to be in, even if we aren’t playing. At some level, we appreciate good cricket and we are fans of the game.


However, everything might change. One great match, one killer performance, one massive win, one boost of hardcore patriotism and heroics, and Indian blood will get to pump again. All it takes is the return of victory and passion into the team, and the wind will fill our sails again.


And at that time, it would be a scramble for slots and spots. Best to hope for a miracle, and be part of this tournament early.


At the end of the day, none of us are anti-cricket, or anti-blue, or anti-anything. As a nation, this is one of the very limited areas of physical excellence that we have the ability and talent to win and dominate. We are poor losers. And poorer patriots.


We are fickle as a nation, and especially when there’s no heart in the team, we give up on the team as quickly as we rally behind them.


Prathap Suthan is Managing Partner and Chief Creative Officer at Bang In The Middle



IPL is any day a better bet for brands!

World Cup 2015 is unpredictable. Not for which team would win but for marketers, brands and the media


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 netkot@yahoo.com or tweet at s_kotnala visit www.intradia.in  www.sanjeevkotnala.com. The views expressed here are his own.




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