Upcoming Webinar:Join the webinar on ' Unique ways of participating in agri commodity derivatives' on June 18, 5pm. Register Now!
you are here: HomeNewsTrendsSports

Commercial break: The 'pause' on IPL is good for big game ad campaigns

Many campaigns lose momentum by week three. The break could provide marketers with an opportunity to create a second burst when play resumes. But there’s a big IF.

May 07, 2021 / 04:28 PM IST
The Indian Premier League trophy (Image courtesy: Twitter/@IPL, BCCI)

The Indian Premier League trophy (Image courtesy: Twitter/@IPL, BCCI)

The Indian Premier League - the distraction from the distressing reality of life, came to a screeching halt after the Covid-19 virus infiltrated the bio-bubble designed to keep players and staff safe.

So what happens now? Players go home. Via Maldives. Advertisers are probably feeling the same degree of rage as Indiranagar ka gunda. Use words, not bats. Star Sports, the broadcaster, is in a jam. Losses for the world’s richest cricket board, BCCI, could be way north of Rs 2000 crore, according to reports.

Over 18 sponsors and over 100 advertisers threw open their purses in the middle of a pandemic to get their brand on every piece of IPL real estate. Nothing was spared. The result: A traffic jam of ads and logos on players, on the pitch, and on our screens. Commercial breaks were packed with dancing celebrities and cricketers with anger-management issues. And MS Dhoni. Star Sports had increased the rate of ad slots this year from Rs 12 lakh for ten seconds to Rs13 lakh.

Where do the big advertisers go? Nowhere, for now. They wait for the ‘pause’ to end and play again. Besides, there’s no match for the IPL in terms of scale and attraction for advertisers. Even in a bad year. Television viewership of IPL 2021 was down almost 10% from last year, which prompted many advertisers to rework ad deals.

Now, for big advertisers, it’s a game of wait and watch. Keep your eye on the ball and the virus.

Close

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more
Show

The best-laid plans: We spoke to Karan Shroff, chief marketing officer, Unacademy, an associate sponsor which ran a big IPL campaign this year. IPL associate sponsorship comes at a price tag of Rs 120 crore for three years. The one-year old edtech unicorn had also battled other brands for title sponsorship rights in the past. Earlier in 2021, Unacademy brought in cricketer Sachin Tendulkar as its ambassador. Tendulkar is also an investor in the company.

“As a marketer in such uncertain times, it is important to be fluid and nimble so that we have multiple action plans and contingency measures in case of disruptions.” Never put all your eggs in one basket. Buy more baskets. “We always have multiple marketing initiatives that are at play simultaneously, which include our OTT integrations, brand associations and ambush campaigns.”

Marketers like Shroff are waiting for the situation to stabilise. He believes the “break will provide marketers with a unique opportunity to create a second burst when IPL recommences. We generated a certain kind of momentum within the 3-4 week period when the campaign was live and managed to create a substantial impact. Typically, after the initial few weeks, any campaign starts losing momentum and enters into a lean period. So we view this temporary disruption as a break from the trend and expect the second half of the tournament to be high impact from an ad-marketing perspective, whenever IPL recommences.”

But the future of these IPL campaigns depends entirely on how the second wave of a raging pandemic goes.
Delshad Irani
first published: May 6, 2021 12:36 pm

stay updated

Get Daily News on your Browser
Sections