30-35% of marketing spends allocated to IPL: Sandeep Kataria, Vodafone

As the Indian Premier League (IPL) fever grips the country, Vodafone India is offering unique, innovative and engaging experiences to customers. The fun and excitement quotient at the on-going Vivo IPL 2016 has exponentially grown with a series of ‘Super’ experiences on offer, all aligned to its latest Vodafone SuperNet proposition.

Marquee initiatives, including Vodafone SuperCheer, Vodafone SuperAlbum, Vodafone SuperFan and Vodafone FanArmy have been rolled out – all designed specially to make a strong connect between the fans, the brand and their favourite sport. These money-can’t-buy opportunities enable Vodafone customers to take centre stage on a global sporting platform like the IPL, creating memories to cherish for life.

Announcing the ‘Super’ exciting experiences on offer to Vodafone customers, Sandeep Kataria, Director – Commercial, Vodafone India, said, “Vodafone has been associated with IPL since its inception nine years ago. As we look forward to another exciting season of cricket, we are using this edition of the marquee cricket tournament as an opportunity to promote our recently launched Vodafone SuperNet proposition celebrating the major improvements in our network bringing new benefits to our customers. A series of unique experiences and engagement opportunities that combine the best of the past with the excitement of the new have been specially created for customers to actively participate in the Vivo IPL 2016. Vodafone SuperCheer, Vodafone Super Album, Vodafone SuperFan and Vodafone FanArmy are all being promoted with a creative blitzkrieg and amplified with a high decibel 360 campaign. We hope that our customers and cricket enthusiasts will enjoy this ‘Super’ exciting and rewarding experience while enjoying the cricket-ainment at the stadium cheering their favourite teams.”

Key highlights of the campaign

Vodafone SuperFan: The Vodafone SuperFan is back this year too. Vodafone customers can win a money-can’t-buy experience of watching the IPL match with full hospitality, meet the winning captain and get an autographed match ball. Customers need to simply SMS SUPERFAN to 199 and the winners will be selected basis a lucky draw.

Vodafone FanArmy: Vodafone also gives an opportunity to customers participating in the Vodafone SuperFan to be a part of the Vodafone FanArmy.

Vodafone SuperAlbum: One of the marquee initiatives this IPL is the Vodafone SuperAlbum. Click a picture with Zoozoo and be part of the Guinness World Record. Spot the Zoozoo at stadiums where the matches are being held and at Vodafone stores near you. Click a picture and become a part of the world’s largest online photo album with a mascot/ mannequin.

Dance to #HakkeBakke: Vodafone has specially created a cheer slogan – ‘Hakke Bakke’, to help spread the joy and sprit of cricket amongst fans. This anthem will be promoted across all mediums, including an online video featuring popular dance artist of film ‘ABCD’ fame – Lauren Gottlieb. As the tournament progresses, Vodafone will give an opportunity to the fans to become a part of Vodafone SuperCheer.

Vodafone SuperCheer: Cheer for your favourite IPL team with specially created Vodafone SuperCheer slogan. Vodafone SuperCheer also invites fans to create a crowd-sourced mash up video of the Vodafone Cheer Slogan. Record the Cheer with Dubsmash or any other relevant medium in your own renditions and become part of a music video with stars.

Vodafone India is the official partner and official sponsor (on-air) of Vivo IPL 2016. Vodafone is the only national brand to be associated with IPL since its inception in 2008.

In conversation with AdGully, Sandeep Kataria, Director – Commercial, Vodafone India, speaks at length about leveraging the cricketing extravaganza over the years, the various activities planned around it, and more.

AdGully (AG): What have been the key milestones in Vodafone’s nine-year association with IPL?
Sandeep Kataria (SK): This has been a relationship, while we have really enjoyed the participation, it has also given us the opportunity to innovate and develop a new communication for the first time. As we saw in our first year of association in which we brought together our Cheeka (the pug) and ‘Happy to Help’ – it was a really milestone campaign for us in which we brought our customer service message to the consumers. The next year, which was 2009, we gave birth to the Zoozoos, which were specifically designed to take advantage of the 56-day short breaks that this format allows – an innovation that we worked on. It was an opportunity for us to showcase not just one benefit, but multiple benefits, and that’s what we have done again this year – which is displaying not a single item or an attribute, but actually how it benefits consumers. The real consumer benefits in their homes, about allowing them to make video calls from anywhere, being able to get buffer-free streaming, lots and lots of content and all those benefits which this great new technology that we have bundled together under SuperNet brings to consumers provide.

AG: Did the various controversies surrounding the IPL ever make reconsider your partnership with the property?
SK: The fact is that this is India’s largest sporting extravaganza. IPL is and continues to be very popular among consumers and viewers and hence, our relationship with it. The fact that it has always paid us good dividends in terms of our relationship with our consumers, our viewers, and that all our campaigns have been liked a lot and have really worked well for our business is what gives us the confidence that we want to be taking part in it this year and in the future.

AG: What are the activities that are being planned this year?
SK: Besides the television campaign, we have a multimedia campaign around the SuperNet offering. There is also a lot of activation on ground; we’ve taken one of the great ideas that we had in the previous years – the Superfan – into a much bigger scale this year, where we are inviting consumers to be a part of the tournament and become a SuperFan of each match. The SuperFan allows them to see the match from the VIP enclosure, it allows them to take home the winning ball signed by the winning captain – it’s really a once-in-a-lifetime, money-can’t-buy experience.

Also, even if you don’t become a SuperFan, you can still be part of the SuperFan army which is there in the stadium and get to see the match from a great location. We want to take all of this to social media to bring in more consumers to the excitement and to allow them to participate even if they haven’t won.

Along with the SuperFan, we have two other activities which are going on simultaneously to cheer – a specifically designed cheer slogan – ‘Hakke Bakke’ and a video featuring Lauren Gottlieb. She has helped us design a few steps with her, which I am sure you will see on TV with our SuperFan army playing them back. There’s also a Dubsmash competition for it.

AG: What are the kind of spends that you have allocated for IPL this year?
SK: IPL is a very significant part of our spends for the year and our spends will be higher than last year of our total spends, but that depends on how much we are going to activate and spend behind the whole activation. 30-35 per cent of our total marketing spends have been allocated to IPL.


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