Vivo IPL, the biggest sporting event in the country on Hotstar, gives brands an opportunity to achieve two things - firstly, to reach across audience cuts and regions and the opportunity to reach a highly engaged audience without disrupting the viewing experience; and secondly, the opportunity to associate with Vivo IPL - India's biggest sporting spectacle - without having to burn a hole in their marketing budgets as compared to TV. Vivo IPL, being the biggest sporting event in India, is a must-have, from a strategic planning point of view, to build mental availability and engage our TG during a brand's campaign period. No other sporting event can give us the kind of reach and engagement on the scale that the Vivo IPL does.
Sharper targeting and engagement
In its latest avatar, Vivo IPL 2018, with multiple language streams, has given brands the opportunity to customise their creatives, basis regional interests and target different geographies, instead of using a single creative on a single feed which may not help brands with a regional focus. The other area that brands can get inventive is to go beyond the 30-sec TVC and create shorter, more effective digital communication and have contextual creatives with options to engage users with properties like Watch'NPlay.
Big momentum on traffic
Vivo IPL 2018 is expected to reach 200 million users this year, compared to 130 million users last year and nearly 100 million the year before that. Current deliveries indicate brands are already achieving their reach targets 'within 2 weeks' of the tournament due to the massive traffic surge. Each match, clocking an average of 3-4 million concurrent viewers well into week 3, indicates there are no signs of interest in the tournament dipping. The data wars between operators and an aggressive push from players like Jio and Airtel has driven mobile video consumption and these numbers could very much compete with television in the near future.
Servicing multiple objectives
The host of options for advertisers this year ensures that there are tools to serve varied objectives from brand building to performance. These would include driving cost-effective reach, regional focus with multiple streams, the opportunity to drive link-to-purchase through Watch'NPlay, contextual presence through L-bands and emojis, and a brilliant impact through sponsorships.
The last word - Bullish on Vivo IPL
This could be the year where we see the Digital-to-TV mix shifting when it comes to Vivo IPL spends. Reaching consumers at scale in a highly engaged environment, with Brand-Safe inventory, no fraud, high viewability standards and without burning a hole in the marketing budgets are definitely going to create a case for a digital-led Vivo IPL push.
(Vinod Thadani is chief digital officer at Mindshare)
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