Archive for IPL

Super Bowled

Posted in Brand, India with tags , , on June 2, 2008 by manuscrypts

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

IPL – Can we have some cricket please?

Posted in Advertising, Brand, India with tags on April 23, 2008 by manuscrypts

Notice, that its not a break from cricket. Mine is almost a contrarian stance from the cricket pundits as well as a section of the players and viewers who feel there’s too much of cricket on TV. To me, the latest form makes me feel as though I’m watching an NBA playoff (i don’t, still.. 😉 )- celebrities, entertainment, and a game that a lot of people are passionate about. Also, its a testament to the times we live in, similar to what’s happening on the web. Tests- Journals, ODI – Blogs, Twenty20 – Twitter… dwindling attention spans….

The campaigns did their job, maybe thanks to the media avalanche, and although there were concerns that the ‘karmayudh’ was a rip off from an old Fox TVC, it didn’t gather enough momentum to dislodge the creative+media strategy, nor did the internet ban (Internet Prohibited League, anyone?) Meanwhile, many teams created websites and TVCs. SRK created controversies and a music video. Airtel has created an Indian Fantasy League and a facebook app for it, although it does strange things to my facebook page layout. In addition to the Bollywood team owners, Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan were seen endorsing teams. And, as a result of all this and many other things, which I’ve not been able to catalogue, like the names and phone numbers of the cheerleaders, the viewership just skyrocketed.

So, what’s the problem? The problem, I feel, is that I’m reminded of the way Bollywood functions now. The satellite rights, the mobile rights, the overseas rights are all sold before the script is heard, and the movie is declared a hit even before the audience decides whether its right for them. So, whether its a hit or a flop, its a hit anyway financially. In between all this left, right and centre hitting, the public is a mere spectator. Yes, that is their role, I agree, but being the end audience it feels very undemocratic. The connect is that HypePL, at least it seems, has gone so overboard in making sure its sponsors are pleased that it doesn’t spare a thought for the user who is viewing primarily for the cricket. So, by pushing that ad in, if the bowler so much as hesitates in his run up, you’re spoling the experience for the user. And brands which are doing it beware, you might be getting eyeballs, but each eyeball is a negative equity score. I already hate that irresponsible girl who can’t remember to get her damn tie, or keeps her socks in the right place. With lesser frequency, I might have loved it. More on that tomorrow. Hutch (yeah, no publicity for your new brand name), Hyundai (iRRITATING), go look up the word ‘overkill’

until next time, Let TVCs not kill the cricket star, sign up here