Advertising

IPL sponsorship: which brands benefited the most?

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Telecast sponsorship and spot-buy hasn’t been cheap during IPL 3. The impact shows – most of the ads on air are of short duration. IPL is clearly the premier sporting event on TV, quite like the Super Bowl. The ads have largely been shorter edits of theme commercials with some like Axe and Idea’s Oongli Cricket using the event smartly. Even though Vodafone had a brand new series of the Zoozoo escapades, I am not sure if this year’s series created as much buzz as last year. According to ‘Day After Cricket’, a research product from Ormax Media which measures advertising effectiveness of cricket – Vodafone has emerged as the most visible brand during IPL3 for the period March 12-20, 2010. The top 5 was completed by Karbonn, Pepsi, Nokia and Idea’s Oongli Cricket.

There have been a handful of big advertisers on IPL and by virtue of their spend levels and past advertising may have been successful in creating an impact during IPL. The smaller brand have had to rely on smart sponsorship deals to be noticed. I am not aware of the amounts involved in sponsorship or the monies invested in spot buys – but I think the following brands got the best paisa vasool and ROI as far as the IPL telecast goes:

MRF Blimp

Not surprisingly, the blimp has been the butt of several jokes on Twitter. Many have wondered why this is being given so much publicity and spewed venom on the concept. For cricket lovers like yours truly, it’s painful to hear legends like Sunil Gavaskar mouthing promotional phrases like ‘MRF is at the forefront of technology and is the leading car & two-wheeler tyre manufacturer in India’ as part of the commentary. I guess the commentators are obliged to do so. While cricket lovers may grimace at the way the mighty have fallen and cringe at the commercialization of cricket, the fact is – MRF has managed to get exclusive screen time, in the middle of the game, almost unobtrusively. Will the negative comments about the blimp by the Twitterati (and the elite?) ruboff negatively on the brand? Don’t think so. Given the clutter of brand messages on IPL, to have exclusive visual and audio focus on the blimp and have it mentioned by the commentators made this a unique deal.

Maxx Mobile Strategic Time Out

Another one of those sponsorship deals which is part of the telecast, not an interruption. The screen time devoted to the brand may not be as much as it is for MRF, but since it is part of the ground activity & the telecast, this was a smart deal. And looking at the crowd respond to the countdown on the giant screen, Pavlov would have been happy.

Karbonn Kamaal Catch Contest

The advertising maybe be nothing to write home about, but the ‘catches contest’ involving spectators is worth writing to the IPL Commissioner at least. The branded phrases for cricketing terms (DLF Maximum for a Six) or a Citi Moment of Success have an air of tamasha about them. So the good catches from players get a ‘Karbon Kamaal Catch’ mention but the ones involving spectators gets more mileage me thinks.

The branding of IPL and the telecast will only get worse in the coming years with everything from the coin (Britannia 50:50?) to the bowler’s run up (Ford – Built for the road ahead?) will be branded. It’s tough to be noticed in this clutter and I thought the 3 brands mentioned above did that, despite the flak. What say?

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A marketing communications professional with a keen interest in all things advertising. I share creative ads and views on the ad industry here. Views are personal. See Disclaimer for more.

2 Comments

  1. Karbonn Kamaal Catch would be the highlight.
    Every commentator was mentioning it after every catch, drop catch etc.

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