Shreyas Kulkarni

Chose to advertise on TV for the IPL because it is tried and tested: Mayank Shah, Parle Products

The senior category head reveals the exact reason it chose Star Sports, why it’s advertising old ads, and why WPL during Diwali is a good thing for advertisers.

Advertisers scrambled into their boardrooms, account books in hand and on screens, after the Indian Premier League (IPL) split its television and streaming rights between Disney Star and Viacom18, two rival media networks, respectively.

Brands now had to pick a side, a decision they did not have to take for over a decade.

Parle Products, the maker of Parle-G, Hide & Seek, and KrackJack biscuits, chose television because it, as per senior category head Mayank Shah, was “tried and tested.” Television was a good choice if one wanted mass reach, and the medium he says offered the benefit of “co-viewing.”

Industry sources claim Disney Star charged between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 14 lakh for a 10-second ad.

Another reason, he says, which influenced Parle Products’ decision to choose television was the screenings many societies, restaurants, and pubs host during the league. “All those things put together, you get multiple viewership,” says Shah.

One can argue that connected TV (CTV) also offers the benefits of co-viewing to which Shah agrees, but he feels it is a small number and there is still time before it gains significance.

An advertiser, says Shah, signs up for CTV as part of the larger digital deal but “when you are an advertiser whose ticket size is small… I sell biscuits priced at Rs 10, Rs 20, and at the most Rs 50, the level of targeting CTV offers is not required.” He says it makes sense for advertisers like the ones of high-end durables or automobiles.

Parle Products is one of the 11 sponsors Disney Star notched up for the IPL, but the biscuits maker, like many others, rolled out old ads and did not release new ones made specifically for the domestic T20 league.

The biscuit company’s last-minute decision to advertise on the league is to blame for the old ads. “We were not sure whether we would be there on the IPL or not… We had not planned a campaign, and that is the reason why we are advertising old ads.”

Ads that the company chose for the league were “short format, crafted in a premium manner, and brings out the product proposal very well.”

Shah nods to the increase in language feeds of IPL on television as well as the opportunity to telecast on Free to Air (FTA) channels as influencers to its decision to pick a media property. He also reveals the company chose to broadcast different ads based on the feed.

While Star Sports HD viewers are watching Platina ads because they are the target group (TG), there is a TG which is apt for 20-20 cookies or Happy Happy cookies which are value products, they are on the SD feed. “We were getting the benefit of customising our ads using feeds to reach the right TG for different products,” he explains.

A major highlight of the company’s IPL strategy is to refrain from partnerships with the league’s many teams. “It makes much better sense to be present on TV because it is less cluttered,” remarks Shah.

When you look at a team’s jersey, you are one of the many brands there, he feels, and adds that “being part of the team does not give you visibility on TV in terms of advertising, that you have to buy separately.” Smaller brands which might not advertise on TV choose to partner with teams.

Many media reports have mentioned the dip in television viewership of the league and a rise in advertisers but such news does not affect the senior category chief.

He says it is too early to say anything right now, but he does expect more advertisers to jump in as the league progresses towards the playoffs and final.

The IPL takes up the summer months, one of the two peak advertising seasons. The Women’s Premier League (WPL) is likely to hold its second season during Diwali which is also the other peak season for advertisers.

Shah says it is a good thing because during Diwali time, “there is a shortage of inventory. Most channels jack up rates at that time saying it is festival rate, and demand is higher than supply.”

The WPL, he feels, will “open a host of new avenues with regard to supplies. There is a market for it, enough takers too.”

Shah feels it is going to be helpful for advertisers because “from a situation where you are talking about not having enough inventory, you would have adequate inventory during festival time.” 

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