IPL viewership is going through the roof and so are the user engagement metrics for brands
By Nicholas Boehnlein
Vibrant colours continue to unfurl across every nook and corner of the country as the passions run undeterred as of now. The IPL matches are now the perfect delicacy to be served and enjoyed with and after dinner. The credit goes to India’s enormous love for cricket along with those spine-tingling matches in the gulf, keeping everyone on the edge of their seats to the last moment. After more than half a year, our nation has finally got a chance to cheer and celebrate – and it seems to be doing it right!
IPL viewership is going through the roof and so are the user engagement metrics for brands. Why wouldn’t they? IPL 2020 comes across as the much-needed interlude for Indians after lockdowns and the subsequent ‘New Normal’. So, whether it is sharing memes on an incident or debating the batting order on social media, the entire nation seems to have its mood set for the upcoming digital festivities.
20-20 in 2020: It’s a ‘match’ made in heaven
This year’s IPL holds several distinctions. First and foremost, IPL 2020 has pumped up unique energy into our nation by allowing it to unwind from the months of rigor in the past. People are currently avoiding stepping out of their homes to the very extent possible – even as the year’s most spectacular festive season approaches. The majority sentiment is to maximize the use of digital channels for end-to-end needs. It includes everything from education to get-togethers and shopping.
Secondly, it not only comes across as the most engaging pastime for people, but also becomes a conversation starter and triggers friendly chit-chats later. So, the sport gives masses a networking opportunity to further de-stress themselves. Thirdly, the ability to stream IPL on digital devices, coupled with online festive shopping, and then engaging with others on online platforms has given a digital hue to this year’s event. No doubt then that you can feel the passions flowing right through you in the run-up to a match, especially as you might’ve predicted its outcome somewhere or the other already.
How are brands betting high on IPL to improve user engagement?
The creativity quotient during any IPL season runs high in India. It’s the same this year as brands leave no stone unturned while tapping something that is religiously followed by us. Zomato, as always, seems to be amongst the leading names on this front. In fact, the brand even seems to build on its business presence in the UAE and is serving ‘Hyderabadi Biryanis’ while asking its customers to eat them before the ‘Sunrises’.
I believe the best opportunities are being tapped by digital platforms. The reason is that digital platforms can instantly channelize the sentiment to generate the desired metrics. For instance, Khatabook’s lively ads promote app downloads for easy business credit management. CRED, on the other hand, is encouraging people to pay their credit card bills during ongoing matches to get featured as ‘Payer of the Match’. Dream11 is another great example that gamifies the watching activity to a great extent before the match.
There is surely scope for more gamification during the match as well. The reason is that people typically enjoy sharing their thoughts, emotions, predictions, and interesting insights and developments – even while watching the matches. In this context, social media platforms are not much behind with their innovative approach to gamify IPL. As a matter of fact, AiiSocial, the #mydatamyasset driven social media platform has received phenomenal reception for their prediction-based ‘AiiPL’ campaign with a steady user engagement growth week on week. Given high traction, AiiSocial members can predict the match winning team, man of the match and more in a dedicated section on the platform. It enables users to interact better during an ongoing game, thereby winning rewards while supporting their teams.
ACKO, the general insurance company, is gamifying everything by asking people to count ACKO logos on the field during the Delhi Capitals matches. And people, as elated as they are, proactively to do so and win exciting rewards.
In conclusion, you can yourself feel the passions flowing through you as India passes through the best period of this year so far. It’s IPL time and brands are enjoying great innings off their own bat!
The author is co-founder and COO of Aiisma.