Telecom, handset makers to be biggest spenders on IPL 2020: Ashish Bhasin

Being held in the shadow of the ongoing Coronavirus spread through the world, the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held from March 29 to May 24. 

Ashish Bhasin, CEO, APAC and Chairman, India - Dentsu Aegis Network, is upbeat about the T20 tournament and shares his opinion on IPL 2020, the top spenders, viewership, and media strategy. He also has some valuable advice for marketers. 

“IPL 2020 is one of the strongest properties on television in India. Cricket is such a passion across the country, and particularly in this format – a mix of cricket and entertainment. 

Sport used to be largely male dominated in viewership, but IPL managed to change that. The tournament made it’s viewership a lot more family inclusive. I can’t think of any other Indian TV property that is so universal and cuts across all age groups, genders and geographies – it has built for itself a unique position. For those 40 days, it is very hard for any other programming to compete with at the same time slot as the IPL because of its impact. It has almost become a part of our culture. It’s not about just television viewership anymore; IPL has become a part of the Indian ethos in some way. Given the background, I think there will always be a positive inclination towards a property like IPL as advertisers follow eyeballs. 

Telecom and handset manufacturers for sure will be the biggest spenders. If you want to reach out to a large audience across the country, IPL is certainly a great platform because you can reach out to millions of people in one go. So, I think anybody who wants to have that quick reach should build up on this. It is a great opportunity. Usually the soft drinks category is also pretty active given the summer time. 

I see many innovations and trends surfacing during the IPL. For instance, online is going to keep increasing simply because it’s a format over several weeks and people are on the move today. Also, data prices have fallen and bandwidth has improved. It’s a no-brainer that online engagement is going to rise. However, brands that will gain the most out of the IPL are those who have a holistic communication around it. There are a lot of people who are able to do on-ground activities- maybe ground screenings, etc. It’s about making sure that you are getting the consumer in as many touchpoints using as many mediums to build that aura and not putting spots on television alone. 

Digital and television will have to go hand in hand to serve the advertisers as efficient platforms to leverage the property because a consumer is watching a screen and he is not interested in knowing what the delivery mechanism to that screen is. But ground activities and OOH are equally important at times like this. So, depending upon the product and the category, using various media and giving a consistent message across them is going to be fruitful for brands. 

The one advice I would like to share with the marketers is that try to put a consistent message to the consumers, holistically. Don’t get tied up with one medium and make sure that you supplement your television and digital activity along with other activities.”


News in the domain of Advertising, Marketing, Media and Business of Entertainment