Star power coupled with an event that has wide reach is any brand's dream; and, for many, the dream is coming true with the 12th season of Indian Premier League (IPL). Companies have signed up celebrities to increase their reach during the cricketing event.
IPL is getting bigger and better and is also considered as the largest league, currently valued at $6.3 billion. Then why do brands feel the need to rope in celebrities for promotions even during the league?
Talking to Moneycontrol, Varun Duggirala, content chief and co-founder, The Glitch, a creative agency, said, “The power of the celebrity or any influencer is the immediate audience connect and relatability they generate. Beyond that, it’s the strength of the creative to see if it’s leveraged right.”
For that, immediate connect with the viewers' brands are banking on star power this IPL as well, and the stars that will dominate the ad space on television will be Aamir Khan, followed by Deepika Padukone.
However, brands along with star power are putting their best foot forward this IPL in terms of innovative communication. One such example is Coca-Cola that is using music to deepen its connect with consumers. As many as 140 songs in five Indian languages will be seen on Coke bottles as labels. Ranbir Kapoor and Paresh Rawal have unveiled the idea with the first ad from the campaign #SayitwithCoke.
This year, those watching the league on Hotstar will get a chance to connect with friends and family irrespective of locations while watching live matches. The streaming platform has added a social, interactive layer to enhance the experience of watching cricket where viewers can chat about the match.
According to Duggirala, “The creative and the narrative need to be engaging enough for any endorsement to work. I’d say this year we’ll hopefully see everyone in new forms and stories and most importantly in ways that we remember beyond the IPL.”
Among the brands that are banking on celebrities include Vivo, the title sponsor of IPL, PhonePe for which it is the first time to get a celebrity on board and shoe brand Walkaroo.
Aamir will be the face for the aforementioned brands that are likely to spend around Rs 250 crore together during the league.
The Dangal star will be followed by Deepika Padukone, who has in her kitty two brands this IPL. She is the face of Vivo and will also be promoting online ticketing platform Goibibo.com.
Other stars that will be seen during the cricketing event include Shah Rukh Khan, who will be promoting online app learning platform Byju’s, Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt will be promoting MakeMyTrip, Sana Shaikh and Siddhant Chaturvedi of Gully Boy fame will be featuring in the Tata Harrier ad. Another big name in the list is Priyanka Chopra, who will be seen promoting Samsung, title sponsor of Mumbai Indians.
Sports celebrities like Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be seen beyond the field this IPL season. While Kohli is promoting E-sports platform Mobile Premier League (MPL), Dhoni will be representing fantasy sports platform Dream11.
“IPL is like our Super Bowl, so everyone is going to be seen. But looking at the sponsors in question, I’d say we’ll see a lot of Aamir Khan, apart from all the cricketers. However, what stands out needn't be a celebrity-led campaign,” said Duggirala.
With advertising revenues expected to go higher with Star India earning Rs 2,100 crore, up 20 percent from last year (Rs 1,750 crore) across TV and digital platforms, brands this year are likely to earn some strong returns.“This will be the beginning of the three peaks we will see this year between the IPL, the elections and the World Cup,” said Duggirala.