I asked a colleague what his plans were for the evening. He looked at me quizzically. I reminded him of the fact that the IPL finals had been on Sunday. A look of realisation dawned on his face, and he said “I didn’t think about that. What’ll I go home and do now”.
And that would best describe the amazing takeover of Indian primetime television by a force bigger than the combined might of saans and bahus. For more than a month and a half, irrespective of whether home teams won or lost, India was glued to SET Max. We’ll not delve into whether this is a dumbing down of cricket and such other weighty matters, we shall restrict ourselves to taking a small brand journey.
What did we see during primetime other than the five minute intervals of actual cricket? We saw Hyundai and its I’s, we saw Godrej and CEAT and their brand new logos, Hutch and the ‘now on, now off’ pug, we heard Irfan talk of his local sister and the one in Dehradun, later we heard quite a nice tune for the ‘chota credit’, we hoped madhavan would just leave when Vidya balan was asleep, so we would be spared that silly syrupy sweet conversation, we saw the omnipotence of Yum Yus Dhoni, “break or not, there’s no break from me”, mind it!! We heard commentators laying more stress on the DLF than the six, of the fact that it didnt matter if it was a wicket or a winning run, it was a Citi moment of success for someone. We saw a Citi Metro card, a Canon powershot, and yes, I really can’t forget the one name that echoed across india, the one whom several of my friends threatened to kill if they could lay their hands on him, the one who goes by the name of Sanjoooooo!
But i noticed two other ads that were on only for a day (for one night wonly) – Tulip IT and Avalon Academy. Thank God, they didn’t show it before, is all I’ll say. But they got seen, and how. It would be awesome if someone could do a cost benefit analysis, i.e no: of days ads telecast vs mileage for the brand. I wonder if the incremental benefit that Max New York got by being there forever is proportionate to the money they spent compared to the T20 style knock of Tulip or Avalon.
I think the IPL has been a learning for not just the BCCL, but also for brands. There were important lessons on frequency of ads, context in which they’re shown, fatigue factor etc. I wonder whether these learnings would get brands to relook their strategy for next year’s IPL. But I definitely think we’re on our way to creating our own Superbowl. Maybe, it also means that we’ll get to see ads specially created for the occasion, ads that would make or break brands, and ads that would get showcased year after year.
until next time, over