IPL Ads 2024 – Then & Now

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The Never Ending Charm of Cricket IPL Ads

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has emerged as a premier platform for advertising in India, catering to a diverse range of brands aiming for both brand visibility and sales growth. Cricket holds a special place in the hearts of Indians, serving not just as a sport but as a unifying cultural celebration. The IPL, therefore, transcends mere sporting events, evolving into a nationwide carnival that captivates cricket enthusiasts across the country.

In the current season, the IPL fever has resurged with unparalleled enthusiasm. With billions of viewing minutes already recorded, every brand is eager to capitalize on this golden opportunity to secure a share of the sponsorship and advertising pie. The IPL presents a unique chance for brands to connect with their audience on a massive scale, leveraging the fervor and excitement that cricket ignites throughout the nation.

The IPL Advertising Pie

Since its inception, the tournament has consistently expanded its audience base, gaining significant traction over the years. The IPL has evolved into a pivotal event for both viewers and advertisers, attracting substantial advertising expenditure annually.

The league presents brands with a lucrative opportunity to engage with a vast and attentive audience, making it a goldmine for those aiming to reach a national market. Throughout the tournament, the IPL captivates audiences, keeping them glued to their TV screens. Moreover, with Viacom18 holding the live online streaming rights, the IPL’s reach has further broadened, extending its impact to an even larger audience.

The 16th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) generated a remarkable Rs 10,120 crore in advertising revenue. According to the report, JioCinema, the holder of streaming rights, together with TV broadcasters Star Sports, amassed Rs 4,700 crores from advertising revenues. Additionally, the franchises themselves earned Rs 1,450 crore, while the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secured Rs 430 crores. 

Collectively, the BCCI, the franchises, and the broadcasters accounted for 65 percent of the total revenue as direct income from these advertising spends. The remaining 35 percent, referred to as indirect revenue, was garnered by social media platforms, traditional media, and other internet platforms through advertising. This distribution highlights the substantial financial impact and revenue-generating capacity of the IPL, demonstrating its significance not only as a premier sports event but also as a major advertising and marketing platform.

Top three reasons why brands should consider advertising in IPL are as follows:

  • Loyal Audience: IPL fans are loyal audience, they are die-hard cricket fans and most of the viewers watch the series to support their favourite team. A report by Ormax Media in 2020 estimated that the total fans across the 8 franchises is at 8.6 crores (86 Mn). Now with 10 teams (Gujarat and Lucknow joining the league) the fanbase has obviously increased. 
  • Mass Reach: The TV viewership of IPL 2021 on Star India (the official broadcaster) was 458 Mn and on Disney+Hotstar it was 300 Mn+. The viewership of IPL is constantly increasing, last year the reach of IPL was 51% higher than the combined reach of Indian Idol, Kapil Sharma Show, Big Boss, Super Dancer. 
  • Growing Popularity: IPL is the biggest domestic cricket tournament, therefore there’s no surprise that it has become the most popular and anticipated event. With every year the popularity of IPL brand ads gets bigger just as the series itself. Brands too leave no stones unturned to make the most out of it. 

Why advertise in the IPL?

As the premier T20 cricket league globally, the Indian Premier League (IPL) offers unmatched opportunities for advertisers and brands seeking to connect with a broad audience. In 2023, the IPL broke viewership records across both digital platforms and television, with projections indicating an even more substantial increase in viewership for 2024.

The IPL is a pivotal sporting event in India, providing a significant platform for brands and advertisers to reach a vast potential audience. The league garnered an impressive 44.9 crore video views on Jio Cinema in 2023 alone. It is forecasted that the number of viewers on the Jio Cinema App will see a significant boost in 2024. Advertising during the IPL 2024 is thus considered one of the most strategic avenues for enhancing brand visibility and fostering engagement.

Top three reasons why brands should consider advertising in IPL are as follows:

  • Loyal Audience: IPL enthusiasts represent a dedicated fan base, consisting of ardent cricket supporters who primarily watch the tournament to cheer on their favorite teams. This fan base significantly contributes to the league’s audience numbers.
  • Mass Reach: According to the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), sports viewership on TV reached 803 million in 2023, with cricket events accounting for 98% of this figure. Digital viewership was projected to hit 680 million on Hotstar and JioCinema for the years 2022 and 2023, respectively. The Gross Rating Point (GRP) for 2022 stood at 15.89%, and for 2023, it was 14.46%, with the Average Television Rating Point (TRP) for these years being 0.21% and 0.18%, respectively. These statistics underscore the IPL’s broad appeal and effectiveness as an advertising medium. The 2024 season is expected to see a spike in advertiser interest, particularly on digital platforms, attracting nearly 1000+ brands and offering a lucrative opportunity for brands to connect with their target audience.
  • Growing Popularity:  IPL is a premier cricket tournament, there is no surprise that the popularity will grow even more than what it was previously. The appeal of IPL brand advertisements grows in tandem with the tournament, providing brands an unparalleled opportunity to leverage this platform for maximum visibility and engagement.

Change in Brand Ads During IPL

When IPL was started in 2008, it was mostly the big brands’ battleground. Ads during IPL series meant that the ad would be shown on a nationwide scale, which hence, required brands to have a big budget. Also, the diversity in brand categories advertising in IPL today is much more than the initial days of IPL. One can easily see a stark change in the categories and also the type of ads that advertise in IPL now vs then.

Then, the ad spends on IPL included a lot of cellular operators and automobile brands. Back in 2008, brands like Vodafone, Nokia, Volkswagen, were the major players in the IPL ad market, and for a long time they maintained their top position.

IPL Ads Then

Some of the most iconic and memorable ads of those time are as follows:

1. Volkswagen

This memorable IPL edition TVC ‘What is score’ by Volkswagen gave a light-hearted approach to the brand. 

2. Nokia

The fun combination of our daily soaps and IPL was evident in the 2010 Nokia commercial starring Shah Rukh Khan and Urvashi Dholakia aka Komolika. Where we see Komolika as the coach of Kolkata Knight Riders giving them ‘sledging tips’. 

3. Vodafone

And who can ever forget the Vodafone advertisement character ZooZoo, this IPL edition ad shows little ZooZoos engaging in a cricket match. 

However, the proportion of above mentioned categories is slowly reducing and is being overshadowed by categories like e-commerce, online gaming, FMCG and BFSI (Banking, Financial services and Insurance), which is witnessing a spike over the last 2 years. 

The media spend on digital media, OTT or Hostar during IPL was about 40%, which mostly came from automotive, E-commerce and FMCG. This proportion with a jump of 5% has been now accounted for by mobile handsets, e-commerce and fantasy games. 

Currently, automotive is less than 10% and FMCG shares the same percentage. BFSI has drastically increased and is at 20%, all thanks to the growth in digital payments and of course, the popularity of PayTM and GPay. (Source: Business Today)

As per Nitin Bawankule the head of ad sales, Star & Disney India, ‘IPL is witnessing growing interest from advertisers and brands across various categories among which are e-commerce, edutech, fintech, fashion, healthcare, food and grocery delivery.’ (Source: Exchange4Media)

IPL Ads Now







BFSI Winning the Game

The banking, financial services and insurance category is experiencing a boom over the past few years, this is due to the growing use of digital payments among the masses.Especially, during the pandemic the use of PayTM, PhonePe, Upstox, Cred, Rupay and GPay has increased. In the last few seasons of IPL there has been a spike in the BFSI category, because of the growing space and levels of adoption have gone up in the pandemic period.

Women-centric Brands Creating Its Space

According to data by TAM AdEx, there was a 57% increase in ads for women-centric categories in IPL 13 in comparison to IPL 12. As per the data, the 6 advertisers in the women-centric category were HUL, Titan Company, ITC, BSH Home Appliances, Procter & Gamble Home Products & Reckitt Benckiser India. 

The only two women-centric products that were common in IPL 12 and 13 were washing liquid or powder and dishwasher. The ad volumes for dishwashers surged by 2 times and washing liquid and powder by 3.7 times in IPL 13 in comparison to IPL 12. 

The IPL viewership is believed to be majorly consisting of male audience, but in the last few years the demographics of the series has changed. Last year the female viewership during IPL reached up to 200 Mn, which was 27% more than the combined viewership of top 5 GEC channels. 

The growing female viewership is also leading many FMCG brands to advertise their products in order to target the female consumers.

Apart from these women-centric brands, IPL is now seeing a growth in FMCG brands and they have garnered reach and brand recognition too. 

The Growth of Audience

During the IPL 2022, the number of Pay TV households increased to 165 million, up from 163 million in 2020. This growth trend continued during the recently concluded World Cup, with Pay TV homes surging to 173 million households. All key viewership metrics, including Cumulative Reach, HD Reach, TV Ratings, Consumption, and both Peak and Average concurrency, have exceeded previous records. This surge in viewership numbers occurred concurrently with both the IPL 2023 and the Cricket World Cup being streamed for free on digital platforms, highlighting the vast reach of cricket viewership in India.

Industry experts note that broadcasters are intensifying their efforts to enhance the sports viewing experience for audiences and to deliver innovation and impactful advertising opportunities at scale for advertisers. With the macroeconomic situation showing signs of improvement, IPL 2024 is poised to become a lucrative opportunity for advertisers, making it an event unlikely to be overlooked by brands seeking to capitalize on this significant platform.

Industry Sectors That Can Benefit From IPL 2024

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 offers a dynamic platform for various industry sectors to enhance their visibility and engagement with a wide audience. Below are how four specific sectors can leverage the IPL:

  • E-commerce

The IPL’s vast viewership provides an excellent opportunity for e-commerce platforms to showcase their products and offers. During the tournament, these platforms can launch IPL-themed marketing campaigns, offer special discounts, and sponsor contests to engage cricket fans. The heightened emotions and engagement during the IPL can lead to increased impulse purchases, making it an ideal time for e-commerce brands to boost sales and customer acquisition.

  • Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)

FMCG companies can benefit significantly from the IPL through targeted advertising and special edition products. Given the mass appeal of the tournament, FMCG brands can use this occasion to promote snacks, beverages, and other consumables that are popular during sports viewing. Special packaging featuring team logos or popular players can also attract the attention of cricket enthusiasts, potentially increasing brand loyalty and sales.

  • Ed-Tech

The Ed-Tech sector can capitalize on the IPL to reach out to students and parents with educational campaigns that blend cricket with learning. They can introduce cricket-themed quizzes, educational content, and interactive courses to make learning more engaging. Sponsorships and advertisements during the IPL can help ed-tech firms increase their brand visibility among a broader audience, including younger viewers who might be drawn to educational offerings through their interest in cricket.

  • Food Delivery Brands

IPL matches are prime times for food delivery brands to maximize their orders as fans prefer to stay glued to their screens rather than cook. These brands can offer special promotions, combo deals, and discounts during match hours to entice viewers. Collaborations with IPL teams or popular cricketers for exclusive meal packages can also enhance their market presence. The real-time nature of food delivery services paired with the live excitement of IPL matches creates a perfect synergy for boosting sales during the tournament.

Each of these sectors can use the IPL’s platform to not only reach a vast and engaged audience but also to create lasting impressions that could translate into increased sales, brand loyalty, and market share.

Tap into IPL Advertising 2024

With IPL 2024 just around the bend, the anticipation and excitement among fans are palpable, and similarly, brands are keenly setting their sights on this major event to boost their business and engagement levels. It’s clear that brands and advertisers have earmarked their budgets with the expectation of significant returns. The IPL has always been recognized as an excellent platform for brands to communicate with a broad and diverse audience.

One of the key reasons behind the IPL’s escalating popularity is its portrayal as a ‘tyohaar’ (festival) or a family entertainment event. This unique positioning intertwines cricket with entertainment, thereby drawing a vast spectrum of viewers. The Indian Premier League’s ability to merge sports with entertainment appeals to a wide audience base.

For those interested in advertising opportunities during the IPL, or if you have any questions, please reach out to us at ad@themediaant.com 

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