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Marketers look beyond television, tangible RoI, and eyeballs for ICC CWC 2019

With 4 India matches lined up over the next 10 days at the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, it will be a bonanza time for fans as well as brands. The tournament is gaining traction not just on television but on digital platforms as well.

Despite TV making up as much as 85 per cent of the spends for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, many marketers are looking closely at digital and on ground activations to reach Cricket fanatics during the tournament. A Nielson Total Audience Report 2018 found that 45 per cent of audiences are using other devices simultaneously while watching television. Marketers are aware that while TV does a great job in driving reach, none compare to digital in driving interactivity. As a testament to this, E&Y released a whitepaper last year, titled “How the second screen interactivity is changing the television experience in India”. The whitepaper showed that during IPL 2018 Star’s OTT platform Hotstar saw 10.3 million simultaneous viewers and more than 2 billion engagements during the tournament. Industry sources have stated that during the tournament at least an audience of 12-15 million would be viewing the game only on digital.

Considering the cost of inventory on television and poor weather conditions dampening engagement on high impact games, marketers may not be keen on putting all their eggs in one basket.

Adgully spoke to some of the top spenders during this ICCI CWC to understand their marketing strategy for the tournament.

Going Beyond Television

Sanjeev Mantri, Executive Director, ICICI Lombard, remarked, “With the CWC, we wanted to reach out to a larger audience set during maximum eyeballs. Moreover, majority of our current and potential TG will be watching the CWC matches. Further, we wish to convey how we deliver on our promises using the latest technology that our employees’ harness to provide best in class and convenient solutions to our customers. Apart from TV, we will be active on Radio, digital and in a big way on the Hotstar platform during the CWC.”

Some brands like Acko General Insurance are looking at investing largely in their digital strategy, Nitin Khanna, AVP - Marketing, ACKO General Insurance, explained, “Given the fact that Acko is a young consumer brand, our primary objective is to drive brand awareness through CWC. Since, we are a new age digital first insurance brand, the campaign is predominantly being amplified by targeting urban digital viewers of the CWC on Hotstar and social media platforms. TV and other offline mediums form a part of the surround plan.”

Banking on the huge RoI from digital, Sumit Mathur, Director - Marketing, Kellogg's South Asia, noted, “As more and more consumers polarise towards digital media, we consciously decided to reach out to them with a digital-first approach for this initiative. The result that we witnessed from this was exceptional.”

He further elaborated, “Our Guinness World Record installation was unveiled at Lulu Mall in Kochi on 7th June. We activated Twitter, Instagram and Facebook throughout and made sure we captured on-ground developments in real time on these platforms. We curated a splash of varied content that included static images, drone videos and time lapses. In addition, we also had several cricket enthusiasts and fraternity who engaged with our pages and some of them even retweeting us, such as Harsha Bhogle, Yuvraj Singh and Ajinkya Rahane. Quantitatively speaking, we secured a social media reach of 20 mn across three days. While we expected to generate a buzz about the initiative on social media, we were delighted to see that achieved a step ahead as we trended on Twitter on 8th June, just 24 hours post the installation being unveiled. Within an hours’ span while we were trending, there were a total of 1,322 posts that had a reach of 2 million and 8.7 million impressions alone.”

Read More: Pringles India amps up Cricket fever by entering GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS

Even brands like BYJU’s, who are delivering an intangible product to an audience where trust plays a key factor, rely on digital. “Our product is visual and we want the parents to understand how early learning will make their children better learners for life in about 30 seconds. Advertising on TV has always helped us with customer acquisition, i.e. increased downloads. From the time we launch, we measure the ROI of our ad campaigns, through downloads, subscriptions, etc. We are very paranoid about the performance of an ad; if we see it performing well, we are ready to invest. In terms of mediums, we have seen that TV when used simultaneously with social media amplifies our ROI,” said Mrinal Mohit, Chief Operating Officer, BYJU’S - The Learning App.

He added, “We will be spending 15 per cent of our marketing budget on the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. We have spent about 20-25 per cent of our digital marketing spends for our brand promotion. We are also planning to spend more on regional campaigns during this time.”

By leveraging the insight that people often discuss and predict the outcome of matches, especially the ones played by India, Dineout launched a Predict and Win campaign to reward consumers who successfully predict the outcome of games. According to . Ankit Mehrotra, CEO & Co-founder, Dineout, "During IPL, we gave over Rs. 104 crore as cashback to players via Predict & Win, which was the highest in the industry and we're hoping to break that record during this World Cup."

Dineout has leveraged the fact that most television viewers are simultaneously on their smartphones. Mehrotra says, "On an average, consumers in India go out at least 7 times a month. There is a real time engagement that we are doing to make sure that all those using Dineout during this campaign have an amazing end to end experience."

Building Brand Connect

However, for some brands their marketing objectives go beyond driving tangible RoI and are focused more on brand building and positive brand associations.

Smartphone brand OPPO, one of the biggest sponsors of the tournament has also invested heavily in BTL activations for the tournament. Speaking about the brand’s association with Star Sports, Will Yang, CMO - South Asia, OPPO, said, “Our partnership with a property like the ICC World Cup is in line with our core objective which is to expand our customer base by capitalising on the followers of the Indian cricket team with an enhanced customer engagement and to create brand affinity.”

“We have a consumer first philosophy. All our marketing objectives and partnerships across various properties and platforms are aimed to deep dive and reach out to our potential target audience and build the brand connect,” he added.

Speaking about their marketing strategy, he said, “We do have an aggressive plan for our marketing strategy with equal emphasis on ATL and BTL activities for the ICC World Cup 2019.”

As a sport, cricket does a job like no other in bring the entire country together. During this period of anticipation and celebration FMCG brands like Mondelez are especially keen to reach out to consumers.

“Supporting the great fervour towards cricket, we have invested in IPL and the World Cup with platforms like Star Sports and Hotstar tapping consumers across mediums at scale.As you will see, we believe in leveraging such Impact associations to grow brand equity and love and not just short-term sales. In our assessment, such investments pay back stronger over time,” observedsays  Anil Viswanathan, Director – Marketing (Chocolates), Mondelez India.

For brand Royal Stag, “Cricket beats all other sports when it comes to sponsorships and the World Cup is an opportunity no big brand would want to miss. Cricket has always been at the center stage of Royal Stag’s brand strategy. Cricket as a sport enjoys a fan base of billions with TV viewership of the sport itself being close to 1.5 billion. Partnering with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, enables us to provide for a larger than life experience to cricket fans and hence, enhance our connect with the sport and its followers.”

Signify India Innovations is another great example of deep integration with the ICC Cricket World Cup. Instead of just launching a TVC or digital campaign they have partnered with Star Sports as the Title Sponsor of the Cricket Live Show for the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Sukanto Aich, CMO, Signify India Innovations, puts it this way "With over 700 million viewers for the 2019 World Cup, we believe that this is a fantastic platform for us to showcase our connected home lighting system - Philips Hue. As a part of the partnership, the Cricket Live segment is branded as Philips Hue Cricket Live, over the course of the 45 days of the tournament. The show Philips Hue Cricket Live is an integral part of every world cup match, with cricketing experts discussing the day’s match and team performances, and our sponsorship extends across both TV (Star Sports) and the digital platform (with Hotstar). Additionally, we have also launched a new TV brand campaign for Philips Hue during this tournament, which is also being amplified on digital platforms."

Spread of ad monies

Are marketers in two minds when it comes to investing monies on high impact matches such as the India-Pakistan match?

Most marketers are in agreement that their campaign spread will be throughout the tournament as a sure shot way of reaching the maximum eyeballs. However, they are also keen on going after India matches as the meter for engagement for these games goes up a notch. It does not seem that yesterday’s match being called off dampened their high spirits.

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