Abhinav Anand
Brands and Sports marketing

Reach of television remains unassailable with live sports having its back

Television withstands the digital waves to remain the prime preference of marketers.

Television has over the years become an integral part of every household. The influence and impact that television has on the users has always been deep-rooted and long-lasting. Over the years it has been able to capture a vast audience alongside witnessing a momentous growth over the decades. One of the prime reasons for this is the necessity that TV has created for itself. Surveys suggest that when a household receives electricity, the first electronic product that they prefer purchasing is a TV. It has played a vital role in captivating long hours of media consumption in the lives of every Indian. With over 50 million TV sets and more than 20 million homes linked with DTH telecast in the country, TV not only acts as a medium that informs and entertains but also has a remarkable impact on educating the masses. With the extensive reach that television has been developing, it has been able to retain top spot on a marketer's list. In an era where several digital platforms are gaining attention, the competition has been tight. But despite this intense competition, TV has been able to perpetuate its stronghold over the audience giving them multitudinous reasons to stick to it.

The affair of the Indian audience with drama can never be undermined. The key factor for television's stronghold is its ability to continue the legacy of masterfully creating content that keeps the audience of both, the Urban and Rural markets – hooked. Marketers have been effectively utilizing this aspect to gain maximum reach for their brands. In addition to this, the inception of live sports into the broadcasting platform brought about a completely diverse perspective for the marketers to work around. The booming success and incessantly increasing viewership of homegrown leagues like IPL, ISL and PKL has staged an ideal platform for marketers to indulge in live sports for their marketing communication. Viewing the opportunity that live sports provide, brands have been cashing in on the opportunity to reach out to their TG and create an impactful recall.

India's largest air conditioning brand, Voltas has constantly been in and around the growing home leagues. They have ensured that they keep up their avid participation, which has made them one of the top marketers with live sports. Brands alike have been looking up to the popular traditional medium as a key component for reaching out to masses, hence rarely missing out on the opportunity to leverage this medium via sporting leagues like IPL. Commenting on the brand's association with IPL, Deba Ghoshal, vice president, marketing, voltas said “We have been associated with the IPL property for almost ten years. Through the IPL association, we have made incremental gains, and are taking incremental steps towards being consistent partners of IPL. Around ten years back, when we were getting into IPL, we used to only do Spot Buys on the telecast ecosystem. Now we have scaled it up, and have grown as a brand, along with the tournament. Any national brand, especially in the leadership space, needs scale; and IPL gives you that scale.”

Reach of television remains unassailable with live sports having its back

He further adds, “Secondly, IPL coincides with our peak season of summer; for air conditioning, air cooling and refrigeration products. All these products have a degree of seasonality, and it is usually between March and June, that the sales peak.

Thirdly, this property cuts across multiple consumer segments. So as a wide spectrum brand like Voltas, with a portfolio of multiple products, this helps us to cut across various segments. So, if you are talking about popular segments, premium segments or masses, IPL cuts across all the segments. This has been a consistent property throughout many years and it is only going to build up.”

In a time where customised activations have manifolded, especially leveraging sporting events, Deba reveals, “In the consumer durables space, there are a lot of things that we’ve done in the past few years.Whether we’ve launched- the All Weather AC, or the All Star Inverter AC, or recently the Adjustable Inverter AC, we’ve tried to build assets around the tournament. The ‘All-Star player of the match’ property, which was launched 3 years back, trended heavily on Twitter. The ‘Adjustable Moment of the Match’ was launched last year and did very well. ‘Voltas Cool Facts’, which was launched some years back, also did very well. We’ve tried to associate with IPL through some of these properties, which have given us mileage beyond regular advertising.”

With GECs constantly bringing in fresh content and homegrown leagues expanding in size, the reach and impact of television is growing immensely. On top of that, live sports bring in the additional benefit of keeping the audience glued to their TV sets. As per a recent study, the ads on live sports broadcasting channels have seen greater audience engagement when compared with other general entertainment and movie channels. Each passing year has seen live sports grow their viewership immensely, the far-reaching impact that the marketers are able to yield using live sports has marked it to become the prime preference for brands. The recall that live sports create is far more robust and long-lasting as compared to other mediums. To conclude, it wouldn't be wrong to say that the reach and power of television is still propagating and the fact that TV has withstood the waves of digitization.