Abhinav Anand
Brands and Sports marketing

IPL on TV supersedes other genres; SOV & recall value among top parameters

With the opportunity to establish effective communication with the critical mass, IPL on TV helps brands achieve viewership scales and share of voice (SOV) which would otherwise take 3-4 months or more to attain.

India is a nation of vast diversity and the one element which brings this vastly diverse nation together is cricket. The craze that Indian audiences have for their team is immense and unaccounted for. Thriving on this emotion is India’s homegrown cricket league, IPL. With 13 successful editions, IPL on TV has become the prime property that delivers massive reach across the nation. While the league has had phenomenal ratings in metro cities, last season saw non-metro cities show aspirational growth, which was ideally because of the reverse migration that took place during the lockdown. With each year strengthening their viewership share, IPL broadcast has managed to effectively widen their leadership gap.

While being termed as a prime marketing aid at a marketer's disposal several aspects come into play. Being a sporting league that caters to the whole nation with multilingual broadcasting, IPL broadcast offers a lot more than any other impact shows. With each passing year, they have been clocking record-breaking viewership and that is something that clearly talks about the stature of the league and the power it has over the audience.

While throwing light on the record-breaking numbers that IPL broadcast garners, the league has seen a 17% growth in TVR since its last edition. Along with the 2020 season seeing the highest ever opening in IPL’s history of 10.4 TVR, they also summed up a staggering social chatter of 827K opening day mentions. IPL’s broadcast in 2020 achieved a monumental live reach of 405 million which stands to be greater than the combined reach of several popular GEC shows like Kapil Sharma Show, Dance India Dance, Bigg Boss, Indian Idol, KBC and several others.

Along with these phenomenal numbers, it is also essential that the marketers achieve the most out of their association with the league and that is exactly where IPL hits the spot. Proving this, data sourced from BARC shows that even the bottom 10 matches of the IPL in terms of reach, still rate higher than the top-rated GEC festive shows. It is also important to note that this comparison is drawn when the timeline of those 10 matches are for 10 days and the above-mentioned GEC/Impact shows run across weeks/months delivering the said reach.

Being a live sporting event that attracts unmatched attention from their viewers, the ad pods during IPL broadcast also enjoy great attention. With shorter ad pods, IPL offers less clutter and much higher attention in comparison to other genres. Not only has this helped brands break through the clutter and increase their visibility, but IPL has also been the fastest way to reach maximum audiences within the initial week of commencement. Attention measurement data suggests that ads on IPL get up to 60% higher attention than those on all other genres combined. The excitement of the live game keeping the viewers glued in anticipation ensures higher break TVRs and attention which leads to an increased brand recall of the ads.

Over the years, several brands associated with the league and some campaigns went through the roof during the season, achieving astronomical numbers. Being the marketers’ favourite proposition for promotions, opportunities offered by IPL broadcast is immense.

IPL’s 2020 season broadcast also saw multiple brands from the same category associate with the league. Several brands from the edu-tech and fantasy gaming categories were seen to have actively spent on the last IPL season. Even though there were multiple brands, each and every brand enjoyed great results from their association. The last season of IPL was also edu-tech brand, upGrads first association with the league. Despite having other edu-tech brands advertising on IPL broadcast, upGrad enjoyed high success with their app adding over 7 lakh users and achieving a 1.5x growth in average daily downloads since the tournament. Brands like Byju’s and WhiteHatJr also effectively used the opportunity of advertising on IPL broadcast to achieve their marketing goals.

Another category that leveraged IPL broadcast is Fantasy gaming. With brands like Dream 11, My11Circle, MPL to name a few, they too fall in the segment where multiple brands from the same category associated with IPL. As per reports, Dream11’s leveraged IPL broadcasting to achieve over 5x time growth in their daily downloads and also a 44.4% surge in traffic volume.

These numbers have been equally monumental for the other brands as well, this is because all these brands got their share of voice through their advertising on IPL broadcast.

While there are questions raised around clutter in broadcast advertising, the above talked about points prove the theory. IPL broadcast has not only helped big brands but has also aided budding brands to build their name. With not more than 2-3 advertisements during an ad break, every brand associated received their share of the spotlight, irrespective of their size.

Brands over the years have vastly leveraged this combination of attaining large-scale reach along with impactful and effective returns using IPL broadcast. It has been seen that even with shorter ad pods on IPL broadcast, brands have been able to garner greater attention and engagement from their viewers which aided them in attaining their desired opportunity-to-see (OTS) results. Owing to this, brands have been leveraging IPL on TV to establish their messages with the viewers in a shorter span of time, which would otherwise take anywhere around 3-4 months or more. Putting all these points together, IPL broadcast stands out to be one of the most effective propositions that marketers have enjoyed associating with. By providing results and numbers that remain unmatched by any other show or genre and offering an equal share of the spotlight, they have rightfully come out on top. With IPL gearing up for its 2021 season, it is only a matter of time till we see more and more brands join this broadcast bandwagon.