IPL still has the licence to thrill, and don’t the advertisers know it

NEW DELHI: There has been a sharp increase in the number of advertisers during


matches in 2018 compared with last year with several new brands such as Burger King, Grofers, Domino’s and Swiggy flocking to the annual tournament in the hope of catching consumer attention.

In 2017 there were approximately 90 advertisers during the T20 tournament which has gone up to around 130 this season, an increase of nearly 45%, according to Adex data from industry sources.

Categories like food and beverage, personal care, construction material and services have seen the maximum increase in the number of advertisers this season.

Traditional advertisers such as FMCG, telecom, consumer durables and auto companies also advertised with full vigour. Coca Cola, Parle Products and Vishnu Packaging were among the top advertisers. Mobile handset maker Vivo, the co-sponsor of the tournament, also advertised heavily.

“This year, IPL had a lot of small and mid-sized advertisers who usually stayed away from the tournament. Some FMCG companies also spent unusually more,” said Basabdatta Chowdhuri, chief operating officer, of media-buying agency Publicis Media. Media buyers say telecast on regional channels and the broadcaster’s digital platform Hotstar helped in attracting more advertisers.

“There are a lot of things that are different from the past, like regional language feed that was not there in the past. That gives opportunity to local advertisers. Also, this year digital and TV were sold together, because it was simulcast so many people who used one or the other would have ended up using both,” said Ashish Bhasin, chairman, South Asia Dentsu Aegis Network.

Advertisers expected viewership of other channels such as general entertainment channels (GECs) and movie channels to shift towards IPL as most Indian households have just one television set. “We were normally advertising on Hindi GECs but then we thought that the response on Hindi GEC could have gone down during IPL. So we experimented with IPL with a small burst of advertising. We did get a bump up during that time,” said Albinder Dhindsa, co-founder of online grocery delivery platform Grofers which advertised for the first time during IPL this year.

The spurt in the number of advertisers could help Star India to achieve its advertising revenue that could easily go up to Rs. 1,900 crore this year, according to some media buyers. However Bhasin of Dentsu said that the number of advertisers and actual revenue may not necessarily be co-related.