Dissecting PhonePe IPL 2021 Sports Campaign 

Case Study 13


Just ten years ago, there were lots of difficulties and obstacles to deal with when people wanted to make online bill payments and otherwise related expenses. The inception of Phonepe not only made it easy but also safe to carry out those tasks. It may be topping up your phone, booking your travel ticket online or shopping but it can also be that one all inclusive comprehensive financial service with just a click or two on your smartphone.


PhonePe’s campaign objective was to capitalize on the gigantic IPL viewership for brand awareness. 

Target audience

The campaign was aimed at a broad audience with a specific focus on young adults, categorized into two main age groups:

  • 18-24 years old
  • 25 years and older


The campaign targeted Pan India, relying on the IPL to get a wide spread audience.

How Did Phonepe Aim to Boost Brand Visibility by Sponsoring  IPL 2021

  • PhonePe looked to maximize their brand impressions by associating themselves with the popularity of IPL 2021 which was largely watched by millions of cricket fans and thus be connected emotionally to it. The approach embraced was nothing unusual but interlink the brand of PhonePe into the IPL soothingly and interactively with the audience.
  • PhonePe had its logo flashed around the stadium area, its banner was visible, and its logo was on each player’s uniform, thus becoming a visual representation of IPL.
  • Creation of special content like backstage films, a lot of player interviews, and match analyses will have the Phonepe brand somewhere to draw the attention of the viewers and the brand association with cricket will become stronger.
  • Utilizing moments of peak excitement during the game to promote giveaways, offers, or contests on PhonePe, that will hold their interest at the time they are most engaged.
  • Collaborating with famous cricketers in the marketing process to bring the trust and credibility affiliated to phone for the cricket fans that will undoubtedly boost the brand.
  • It can be possible to seek IPL-themed promotions, demo and cashback observations on the PhonePe platform so as to attract and retain users by linking the euphoria of cricket with the benefits of users’ engagement with PhonePe.

Ad options identified by Phonepe to engage with their ideal audience.

For engaging with its target audience, PhonePe identified and executed specific ad options during the IPL that were designed to capture attention and drive engagement on the digital streaming platform, Disney+ Hotstar: For engaging with its target audience, PhonePe identified and executed specific ad options during the IPL that were designed to capture attention and drive engagement on the digital streaming platform.

  • Instruction marketing was the ingredient of choice. Used short video ads that were not only informative but fun to watch and included recipients to the content, promoting higher engagement and more recalls.
  • Marketing through poster ads telling a story engaging the viewers from one stage to another bringing the whole idea to a clearer picture, and conclusion.
  • Ad positioning can be very crucial at this point, according to this, adverts can be integrated and placed into the platform such that they are not so disruptive and related to the experience of viewers.
  • Utilizing multi-faceted media, to showcase mentions of the PhonePe app in various matches and highlights, therefore linking the brand to the exciting prospects of the IPL matches.
  • Use data of the viewer to provide personalized advertising messages, which ensure that the ads match viewers’ past experiences and current preferences, hence would encourage their engagement.

Campaign Execution

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The campaign achieved an overall reach of 49.3 million. This figure represents the number of unique viewers who were exposed to PhonePe’s ads during the IPL. A higher reach indicates that a significant portion of the target audience was exposed to the brand, enhancing its visibility.

With 1.6 billion impressions, this metric reflects the total number of times PhonePe’s ads were displayed to viewers. Impressions are crucial for reinforcing the brand message, as repeated exposure can increase brand recall and recognition.

The campaign led to an increase in aided awareness, which measures the percentage of respondents who recall the brand after being prompted. Specifically, there was an 11% increase in aided awareness among the 18-24 year-old demographic, and a 9% increase among those aged 25 and older. This indicates that the campaign was effective in enhancing brand awareness, with more individuals recognizing PhonePe when prompted, compared to before the campaign.

The campaign successfully increased purchase intent by 10% in the younger demographic (18-24 years) and by 9% in the 25+ age group. This increase signifies that more viewers were not only aware of PhonePe but also considered using its services following the campaign.

There was a 9% uplift in online ad awareness across all age groups, indicating that the campaign was effective in enhancing recognition of PhonePe’s ads online. This uplift suggests that the target audience not only noticed the ads but also remembered them, which is crucial for long-term brand recall and recognition.

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Sandeep Nair

I'm a wanderlust driven content wizard, weaving stories from the threads of my adventures. I channel my passion into every goal, mirroring the dedication I bring to each written word. In life's simplicity, whether it's a quiet moment or a shared laugh, I discover profound joy and tranquility. With a controller in one hand and a pen in the other, I merge the virtual and real worlds in a symphony of words.

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