Benita Chacko

TV or OTT: Where are advertisers spending this IPL?

The IPL is around the corner - March 26 to May 29. How are brands appraising IPL inventory? What’s the preferred medium - streaming or broadcast?

Disney Star, the media rights holder of the IPL league, has sold all its ad inventory for the upcoming season, sources close to the development said. The season begins on March 26, 2022.

The company has roped in 15 broadcast sponsors including Dream11, Tata Corporate, Byju’s, CRED, Kamla Pasand, Asian Paints, PhonePe, Swiggy Instamart, White Hat Jr, Meesho, Spotify, Pepsi, and Mondelez. Disney+ Hotstar has signed up co-presenting sponsor Dream11, co-powered by Tata and Samsung. Associate sponsors Zepto, CRED, Pristyn Care, Swiggy, Ather Energy, Livspace, Niyo Solutions, Spotify, Spinny, Garnier Men, RuPay, AMFI, Parle Agro, Peter England, and Amazon Pay.

This year there are two new teams - Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants. This has brought 18 new advertisers on the jerseys as well.

Many other brands have signed advertising deals to make the most of the cricketing property. IPL offers brands a great opportunity to advertise. More so because it allows brands to choose a medium suitable for its needs- OTT or television.

GroupM’s ‘This Year Next Year’ 2022 report indicated that the share of advertising expenditure on digital media will overtake television advertising in 2022. Digital advertising will surge to capture 45% share, while TV will remain lower at 39%. However, when it comes to the IPL, television is still the preferred medium for brands for the reach it offers.

We speak to some advertisers to know how they will be advertising this IPL.

TV or OTT: Where are advertisers spending this IPL?

Mark Titus, assistant vice president, Nippon Paints

Nippon Paints has partnered with Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Titus says that it makes sense for regional brands like theirs to be involved with the IPL. But it needs to be leveraged across platforms.

“For any regional-focussed brand it gives higher impact. For the last couple of years our core marketing territories are Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. So it makes sense for us to associate and be more involved with the IPL. It has a huge impact on the regional pockets. But it has to be a complete 360 degree plan. So we are also on social media. We are activating our retail outlets as well,” he says.

With regard to the IPL spots, the brand will be advertising only on OTT. However it will make the most of the season to advertise IPL-related content on other television channels. This works well for the brand as it gets to make the most of the IPL mileage, yet at the same time without having to pay the exorbitant price,

It has to be a mix of both. It cannot be only OTT or television. Now, OTT has become so large that it cannot be ignored,” he adds.

TV or OTT: Where are advertisers spending this IPL?

Aruna Jathar, CMO, TenderCuts

“We will definitely be advertising on television at that point. How we are going to pan out our ads is what we’re considering; but we’re definitely going to be on television at that point of time. We are going to be advertising on Hotstar for sure, but we don’t have plans of integrations with the IPL tournament itself.”

Gayatri Tampi, CMO, Prasuma

The momo brand will be advertising for the first time in the IPL this season. Though it has advertised on IPL-related content, like commentary and highlights, before, this will be the first time it will be advertising during the matches on Disney+Hotstar.

Shedding light on its reasons for choosing only the digital medium, Tampi highlights its distribution. “We have a distribution of just around 7000 to 8000 stores in about 70-80 cities. So we can't go so wide with our campaigns,” she says.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Gayatri Tampi</p></div>

Gayatri Tampi

Being a family business, it also does not have the budgets to run a campaign on television. For brands like Prasuma, OTT offers the ideal solution.

Lastly OTT offers a highly engaged audience as compared to television. “The level of engagement is a bit deeper when people are watching something on their phone,” she adds.

Sporting events are a great snacking consumption moment. This is a particularly good opportunity for the frozen foods category as it involves impulse buying.

While the lack of third-party measurement for OTT platforms is still a bane for brands, Prasuma counters it on OTT through its specific targeting

feature. Since it has distribution only in select cities, it targets its ads specifically to those cities.

“We see which are the cities that contribute to 80% of our business and make sure that we are over indexing our spends on those markets. We can then check how those cities are faring,” she says.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Jigar Rambhia</p></div>

Jigar Rambhia

Jigar Rambhia, national director, sports and entertainment sponsorships, Wavemaker India

Rambhia has been associated with the Indian Premier League (IPL) since its inception in 2008. He says this is the first time in 15 years that BCCI sold the entire on-ground ad inventory.

“This clearly shows that there is more demand for the IPL on the ground. And whenever there’s a huge demand on-ground, we've seen demand on air as well, whether OTT or television,” he says.

Rambhia agrees that more brands are now looking at OTT medium. The new-age brands that are associated with categories like cryptocurrency, insurance, banking, find OTT to be an attractive medium to advertise. “ It is slightly cheaper than TV. It motivates more brands to explore the property,” he says.

But does the lack of third-party measurement affect the brands? Citing the example of lack of BARC data for news channels for the last 18 months, Rambhia answers in the negative.

“Brands did not move away from advertising on news channels. Definitely it would always be better if there was a mechanism to monitor the viewership. But its absence is not a deterrent for brands.

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