Tuesday, 7 May 2013

TV Ads during IPL6 - Their Economics and Analysis

We watch - we criticize; we enjoy – we thrash… We continue to talk about the matches, the players, the team owners, the opening & closing ceremony every year and that is nothing but IPL fever. It is the dough mix of glamour & sports, style & spirit and money & unity.

IPL from season 1 to season 6 has enthralled the masses not only in India but also abroad. From corruption to cheerleaders, from teams to brawls, from ads to after parties almost everything is in the Newspapers, TV news and not to forget Social Networking.

Ever wondered how much does the production of a TV ad costs? And once it is created, how much does it cost to promote it? No idea, well one can make an ad anywhere from few lakhs to crores (depends on creative & technology required) and promotions on TV can be unlimited. It actually depends on brand’s spending capacity. However minimum requirement for a brand to spread its message amongst masses is in between Rs. 5cr to Rs. 10cr.

*And how much are these advertisers spending to be a part of this IPL season? It is between Rs. 4.5 lakh to Rs. 5.5 lakh for ten seconds slot. And in-case the brand is one of the main sponsors (Like Pepsi & Vodafone) then the brand is shelling out nothing less than Rs. 60cr on ads. For other sponsors like Micromax, Godrej Eon, Usha, Parle, Samsung the cost is between Rs 25cr to Rs. 30cr.

An interesting data comes from CRIC study for developing strategies for advertising during IPL:

Basis the above points, let us analyse:
  • For how many brands was it absolutely necessary to advertise during this season
  • Were they successful in creating the presence in consumer’s mind
  • Was the messaging right
  • What was required and what was not required

To build a complete case study, let us first find out the brands advertising in IPL6 – Total of 25 Brands (what I can recall and are prominent)– Pepsi, Samsung, Vodafone, Coke, Voltas, Panasonic, Rasna, Parle, Bisleri, Micromax, Godrej, Airtel, Videocon, Limca, Hero, Sony, Cleartrip, Hitachi, Usha, Cadbury, Docomo, Karbonn, Arise, Havells and Berger Paints - Now that seems BIG show & whooping money.

For a minute, can you visualize the ad for each brand? If yes, then that brand is successful in creating a space for itself in the consumer’s mind. If no, then despite spending so much money it is not helping the brand.

Now let us connect the pieces by taking individual brands with scores of GOOD, BAD & OK:

  • Pepsi – Established the message in the TVC of ‘Oh Yes Abhi’ with Bollywood actors and cricketers. The message was taken on Billboards, on-ground branding, Facebook & Twitter
  • Vodafone – Bringing back the ZooZoo’s in their mini avatars along with clearly defining various services of the brand. The ads were cute and liked by many.
  • Samsung – Ad is on launch of S4, launch of Galaxy Grand also Note 2 with a message of interest free EMI. The brand was quite successful in their advertising.
  • Micromax – Canvas Ad was a spoof of Can Own Now from Samsung. It was direct attack to the brand and at the same time it created a stir in consumer’s mind about the launch
  • Airtel – The one rupee video ad is different approach and has appealed to the masses since messaging is very appropriate and at the same time promotes the airtel’s service.
  • Cadbury – Amazing advertising. They are not sponsors and yet they are doing subtle advertising through ‘T20 ka Shubh Aarambh’, ‘jeet ke baat kuch meetha ho jaye’. They were the first brand to start with ads (newspaper jacket on TOI) on the opening day of IPL.
  • Havells Fan – Taaza hava chali – Very different ads to show ‘break the customs and unnecessary society protocols’ and a brand tag line goes along with requirement ‘Hava badlegi’.

The OKs
  • Pepsi atom was launched with a direct attack on Thums-Up and even the last line of the ad says aaj kuch macho karte hai. Isn’t this way too similar to Aaj kuch toofani karte hai?
  • Coke – The CSR route to the message ‘Happiness’ & ‘Haan main crazy hoo’ could have been better because they are the official beverage partner for one of the teams and should have taken the message with more sporty & lively ads.
  • Karbonn Mobiles – Launch of Tablets and advertising as Karbonn Kamaal ka Catch with side-lined advertising was a nice concept. But Ad creative used for the Launch were not that great
  • Hero –Though the song of Hero Splendour is very much in the minds of the audience they should have somehow carried their main song of hammein hain hero in the overall thought.
  • Sony – Though I remember the ad of cybershot but isn’t it too technical. Instead of promoting the camera, emphasising the technology of sensor and lens is way too heavy for consumers.
  • Usha – Just because the brand is the sponsor of one the teams does not mean that you have to advertise even if you do not have proper creative. Still they have managed to get eye balls on some products like Sewing machine and Irons but overall score is below average.
  • Tata Docomo – While one ad on corruption is good that the Docomo music plays when minister is taking money but the Pizza ad is sad. So overall brand connect with the messaging is normal and nothing innovative.

The BADs
  • Voltas – The AC ad with Murthy in the hot weather is too stretched, running since long and is too boring now for the audience and its repetition.
  • Panasonic – Bringing Katrina Kaif will not help if you do not have a strong message which can be taken more broadly on not only TV but to other mediums
  • Parle- Launching Gold Star biscuits and keeping Amitabh Bachchan as the ambassador. Do I remember this ad – yes? For positive or negative reasons – negative. Why? Because creative is bad, very strongly imposing the message to remember the name of biscuit again & again in the ad and not a very innovative way to cast Mr. Bacchan (This brings another debate ‘Are Brand Ambassadors successful for brands in all the scenarios?)
  • Godrej – Got Amir Khan for all the product ads for IPL. They could have done much more by taking the female Amir route but they became flat after two or three ads. Started with a bang and now holds no excitement.
  • Limca – Again the same debatable question - Are Brand Ambassadors successful for brands in all the scenarios? Bringing Kareena Kapoor does not ensure that people will remember the brand even if the ad is not good. And the route is indirect IPL promotion so why not make it more interesting.
  • Fruity - Does anyone understand the language used in the ad. Or what is the message the brand wants to convey? What is Shahrukh doing in this film. Need I say more?
For rest of the brands, I do not remember the content of the ad and for the same I had to Google. Two points to note here – a. They have not registered in the consumer minds and b. It might be just for me but not for everybody. So after checking their content, here is the analysis of more BAD’s:
  • Arise Batteries – You bring in cricketers but do not know what to do with them for your kind of Brand. Even the brand is unknown and advertising for first time, then why on expensive IPL.
  • ClearTrip – It ends before it starts. Actually! Goggles check, suitcase check, Perfume Check – Ad ends with the Logo.
  • Videocon – Launching Mobile Service and DTH, without any kickass ad, very few spots taken to promote. How would you get to consumers Mr. Dhoot?
  • Rasna – TG (Target Group) is not right to advertise. I mean Rasna ishas always positioned themselves for kids then why chose to advertise on IPL. They could have simply done on GECs or Kids channel.
  • Berger Paints - advertisement showing how effect of rain on walls can be reversed (Ulat Palat). If the brand is taking such a clutter breaking positioning, then it should throw more ads so that public can view it, register it. However neither the brand is making any effort in doing so nor does it match with the segment of IPL viewers. So, again BAD move to choose IPL as platform.

Many other brands (Asian Paints, V Guard, Sprite, Kent, Quicker etc.) are taking a step in the end to advertise so that they do not miss the bus and also that the last few days have higher visibility as per the data by TAM (TV Audience Measurement)

Summarizing the above with a very strong view point and facts – If only 7 out of 25 i.e. close to 30% of the brands are GOOD such that they have grown in the consumer minds, interacted not only through TV ads but also taken it online, mall activations and outdoor then why are the other brands splurging their monies. 

Close to 30% of the brands are OK advertisers, then they need some improvement be it the creative or be it a push on media or taking the message beyond TV and for rest 40% BAD advertisers, it is time that you as a marketer sit with creative and digital agency and co-create a content which is worth the consumers.

*Source MSM (Multi Screen Media (MSM), the official broadcaster of the IPL). The image is used from CRIC study by Domor Communication Consulting and Vivaki Exchange on Marketing by brands participating in IPL.