By Sonam Saini
With several mega events expected to unfold in the next few months, an unprecedented surge in advertising is anticipated. The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) kicks off on March 23, followed by the General Elections, to be held in April and May this year, with the ICC Cricket World Cup commencing soon after on May 30 — the advertising canvas looks promising.
According to the Pitch Madison Advertising Report 2019, ad spending on TV is expected to grow by 18% in 2019, to reach a figure of close to Rs 27,650 crore.
Navin Khemka, CEO, Mediacom South Asia, says that the first half of the fiscal typically tends to see a lot of advertising. “This is the time when brands make their budgets for the next financial year, and are flush with funds. Since three big events are lined up during this time, some additional investment from advertisers is likely; they may cut down their budgets from other properties, too,” he explains.
Why IPL scores
Star India claims that IPL 2018 reached out to over 700 million viewers across screens, and that 20 brands have signed up with the property this year. Vivo, Harrier, FBB and Hotstar Specials are the official partners, while Paytm is the umpire partner. CEAT has come in as the official strategic timeout partner; PhonePe, Thums Up, Asian Paints, Maruti Suzuki, Dream 11, MakeMyTrip, Swiggy, Voltas, MRF, Big Bazaar, Samsung QLED and Polycab are the broadcast partners. That apart, the network has got seven digital streaming sponsors — Amazon Pay, Dream 11, Swiggy, Coca-Cola, Flipkart, Maruti Suzuki and Nestlé Maggi.
Tata Motors will use the platform to showcase its new SUV Harrier, and to also facilitate on-ground engagement. Vivek Srivatsa, head – marketing, passenger vehicles business unit, Tata Motors, says, “Apart from the car display at the stadium, matches will have engagement activities like ‘super striker’ and ‘fan catch’. We are also planning to take the IPL trophy to our dealership stores for customers.” Tata Motors has signed a three-year sponsorship deal with BCCI for IPL, and is expected to spend 10% higher than last year.
According to a few media planners, Star India is eyeing a revenue of Rs 2,100 crore from this season (TV and digital). To give an idea, an associate sponsorship costs around Rs 40-45 crore, while a 10-second ad spot costs Rs 10-12 lakh.
Ashish Bhasin, chairman and CEO – South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network, mentions that while IPL is, of course, a planned event which is “a part of every calendar year and not really a new thing”, the ICC World Cup and General Elections on the other hand should give some added impetus. He expects these events to effect a 12% growth in ad spends. “This will be the first year when Indian advertising will cross the $10 billion mark,” he states. “This will also be the year when digital advertising will cross the $2 billion mark.”
The election wave
The news genre is highly event driven. As per BARC India, politically significant events, such as elections, lead to a noticeable increase in viewership, as is evident across the genre timeline. And the recent five-state assembly elections proves that. Hence, staying relevant by advertising around elections could be a good opportunity for brands to leverage.
Take Castrol India, for instance. Its recent campaign encourages the younger audiences to Give a Ride, Help Cast a Vote. As per sources, the brand is spending over Rs 10 crore on the ad campaign that will be predominately promoted on television, followed by digital. Kedar Apte, VP – marketing, Castrol India, says, “We are releasing this campaign two months before the elections, so that the youth watch this and get inspired.”
While all the three events have their own pull, the General Elections could steal IPL’s thunder. Media planners note that because of the upcoming elections, Star India has not hiked its ad rates exorbitantly — only by around 5-10% compared to last year.
News channels, meanwhile, have increased their ad rates by 40-60%. “It’s a no-brainer that during elections, news channels garner the highest viewership. Therefore, most brands opt for these channels to advertise,” says Vineet Sodhani, CEO, Spatial Access.