Benita Chacko

Simplilearn invests Rs 20 crore on IPL campaign on Disney+ Hotstar

The edtech platform is advertising on the media property for the second consecutive year.

Simplilearn is one among the dozens of brands advertising during the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL). How does the Bengaluru-based edtech platform try to break through the clutter? By blending in. The ad is set on the field, where the cricketers are seen discussing their game plan.

Kashyap Dalal
Kashyap Dalal

Kashyap Dalal, co-founder and CBO, Simplilearn, says, “Typically, a person zones out when the ad break begins. But if you see a cricket team in uniform, walking on a pitch and talking in the context of cricket, it brings back the viewer’s attention.”

After advertising during the IPL last year, Simplilearn has put its money on Disney+ Hotstar to promote its Job Guarantee program.

“Our primary objective is to build stronger awareness and credibility for our products. We are in a phase of rapid growth. We needed a property that can accelerate that and expose it to a much larger audience. Our larger strategy, through the IPL, is to continue to build more visibility for Simplilearn,” adds Dalal.

The brand ran a campaign for the same program earlier in January - a mix of television and OTT. This is the second phase of awareness building. As a result of the two campaigns, the program has seen enrollments go up by six times, from November till now.

“Such results may not be achieved through any other media property in such a cost effective way. The IPL is a great investment, as it helps to drive short-term growth and also establish long-term credibility,” Dalal mentions.

Simplilearn has spent around Rs 20 crore, less than 10 per cent of the brand’s entire marketing spend, on the IPL campaign. The company is targeting IPL viewers who are streaming the tournament on television screens, over those who view it on their mobile screens.

“Our primary audience is young and urban. If we reach out to them on television, we have a huge spillover, i.e., we will be paying for a lot of eyeballs that are actually not our target. On OTT, we might have a 30 per cent spillover, but on linear television, we might have 70 per cent spillover,” Dalal explains.

The IPL has become a highly concentrated property, while the overall media is getting increasingly fragmented, he adds.

“There are many OTT platforms and television channels, but the IPL is one property that gives (us) a concentrated visibility. So, if we're visible during the IPL, then we've probably touched a large percentage of the target audience. Without the IPL, we have to have a much longer-term brand campaign, maybe the equivalent of three months across 30 channels, to get the same kind of visibility that the IPL provides.”

The reason the brand decided to carry out a second phase of the campaign during the IPL is because the media extravaganza meets the brand’s core TG - youth. Dalal says that today’s youth is constantly thinking about career and job prospects. So, when they see a relevant ad for their career, they tend to notice it and even if they do not act on it immediately, it is definitely something they take note of.

“A contextually relevant message, with a strong credibility driver like a job guarantee program, is bound to get attention. We have seen that mobile penetration has changed consumer behaviour. Even when they are engrossed in cricket, if they see an interesting message, they tend to type it on their mobile or drop a lead to check it out later,” he concludes.

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